Saturday, November 07, 2009

Me, Myself and i (phone)

Yesterday I bought myself an iPhone. As you know, I love technology and this is my latest toy! And what a toy it is! I've set up my calendar, downloaded music and videos, organised photos, searched applications for anything remotely useful, kept tabs on my email, compiled a shopping list from recipes I've chosen, logged my daily food intake and exercise and sent text messages. You know the one thing I haven't done? I haven't made or received a phone call yet!!!

Had an appointment with my sports doc yesterday after having an ultrasound scan the week before on my right hamstring. I now have to have an x-ray of the area as the pain has flared up despite the cortisone injection. The weakness and pain has greatly increased. Best case scenario: I have a fracture of the ischial turberosity. However, if the xray does not show a fracture sports doc is recommending an MRI. Worse case scenario: the tendinopathy is so bad that surgical repair is recommended. The scan images are inconclusive - she can't tell if there is a fracture or if its thickening and inflammation of the tendon (which has increased since the last scan).

Briefly the surgery involves: first cutting the lower edge of the gluteus maximus (buttock) muscle. This allowed the surgeon to get down to the level of the hamstring tendon attachment to the ischial tuberosity. The portion of the hamstring muscle referred to as the semimembranosus tendon is then cut about three to four centimeters away from its insertion point on the tuberosity. This procedure is called a tenotomy.

The cut tendon and muscle are allowed to retract (pull back) away from the tuberosity. Then the surgeon reattaches the tendon with sutures (stitches) to another part of the hamstring muscle (to the biceps femoris tendon). This is a way to shield the affected tendon from ongoing mechanical stress. The goal is to give the semimembranosus a chance to heal by protecting it from overuse.

Sounds like fun. Ok, so fingers crossed its a fracture. I will be running again by January.

Today it was a weights session in the Play Pen - my name for the area of the gym which has the big boys toys - the heavy duty weights machines. Its where I usually get a workout just setting up my machine because I generally have to remove several 20kg plates before putting on my 5kg plates! There were not too many in the play pen today so I managed to get my session done pretty quickly before moving on to doing abs/core exercises and then finishing with 20mins cardio on my fave machine - the crosstrainer! I am so looking forward to the day I can run outdoors in the changing scenery.

What is that?


This is the loss of muscle mass and strength that occurs with aging. People who remain inactive tend to lose about 0.5% of muscle mass every year and the muscle mass that is being lost is being replaced by fat cells in the body.

Men and women attain their highest strength levels between 20 and 40 years of age.

Around 45 years of age muscle mass begins to decline by around 15% every year and by the time a person is 70-80 years old, muscle loss increases to around 30%. This reduces strength so activities such as taking walks, climbing stairs and other normal routine chores become difficult and are then avoided, which further increases weakness. This increases risks of falls and the chance of injury.

Loss of muscle mass occurs more in physically inactive people than in active people. Sarcopenia can also be due to reduced hormone levels as we age, and in women, the fall in oestrogen levels after menopause also contribute to sarcopenia. Poor nutrition is also a contributing factor.

Less muscle mass means a slower metabolism which means unless there is a reduced caloric intake, there will be weight gain, generally known as the 'middle age spread'.

"If you don't use it, you lose it".

Weight training forces your body to build muscle. This muscle building process does not happen while you are lifting weights, it occurs for hours after your workout is over. Lifting weights actually breaks down muscle fibers, which react by getting stronger during the time after your workout is over when you are resting. It takes energy to rebuild these muscles. Calories, lots and lots of calories. Not only that, but the more lean muscle mass you posses the more calories are needed just to maintain that muscle. And we’re not talking about getting huge massive muscles. When you weight train you can adjust the amount of weight you use and sculpt your body anyway you see fit. Just firming up your overall musculature will tone and shape your body while at the same time making it possible to keep the weight off. It’s a win-win situation for anyone who is serious about losing weight and then keeping it off.

Weight training is the best way to boost your metabolism to its fat burning heights. Not only does it strengthen your body it burns calories while you are sleeping, turning your metabolism into a fat wasting machine.


Two Fruits said...

You will be glad to get out of the gym one day, those machines are hard work. The results are worth the effort. Hang in there, never thought the best you would hope for is a fracture.

Ewen said...

I hope it's a fracture too. The surgery sounds horrible - not to mention being left with a massive scar on your right buttock ;)

A good app for the iPhone might be ithlete:

Good to prevent over-training when you're back running a zillion ks and massive hills in January.

P.S. That bottom photo looks like Susan!

strewth said...

I will keep my fingers crossed for the best case scenario cj. Good grief, you will be sick of doctors and hospitals (no pun intended) but if it all works then it's well worth it. xx

IHateToast said...

i hope it's a fracture, too. did i really write that? and i'm reading things way late and out of order. who knows. maybe you've already updated that you had a nest of spiders in your glutes.

you and ewen need to stay away from the big scary buildings with that funky smell.