No bread is an island

...entire of itself. (With apologies to John Donne!)
I live and breathe breadmaking. I’m an evangelist who would like everyone to make his or her own bread. I want to demystify breadmaking and show it as the easy everyday craft that it is. To this end I endeavour to make my recipes as simple and as foolproof as I possibly can.

I call my blog 'No bread is an island' because every bread is connected to another bread. So a spicy fruit bun with a cross on top is a hot cross bun. This fruit dough will also make a fruit loaf - or Chelsea buns or a Swedish tea ring...
I'm also a vegan, so I have lots of vegan recipes on here - and I'm adding more all the time.

Saturday, 29 November 2014


I haven't done any weight bearing exercises for 6 weeks, due first of all to a strained (or sprained - who knows?) shoulder, although I still continued with HIIT, followed by severe pain in my right glute. It was indeed a pain in the arse!

Both problems turned out to be actually muscle spasms - which my son sorted out by applying pressure to the affected muscle. First the glute pain which was banished - almost instantaneously - by sitting on a rolling pin periodically! The shoulder problem was sorted similarly by pressing hard with the muscle on my (quite thin) wardrobe door!

I resumed my exercises quite gingerly - sets of 5 normal press-ups instead of 20 weighted (8kg) ones, 2 chin-ups instead of the 5 I was doing earlier. And I went back to my 6kg kettlebell in place of my 9kg - only doing sets of 5 reps initially.

I do my body weights on Mon, Wed and Fri; and swing my kb around on Tue, Thurs and Sat - with a day off on Sunday.

I'm gradually building back up - I've doubled my starting numbers, and I'm adding one extra rep each time, except for the chin-ups. I'm concentrating on getting the technique right for those, so I'm still on 2 reps - but I start with my arms straight, unlike before when I began with my arms bent.

Already, 10 days in, I'm starting to feel the benefit, and it feels good to be back in the routine.

It'll take me a couple of months to get back to where I was, but I'm in no hurry - I'll get there eventually.

(Another glitch in my exercise fitness routine - a hernia op in September 2015!)

My HIIT (running on the spot in 4 foot of water for 30 secs, followed by a recovery period of 20 secs) is progressing well - I'm up to 4 sets, now, and loving it. I count every other step in each 30 seconds - initially I used to average about 70 and now my average is 80+. The exercise is therefore more intense, but I don't breathe any heavier, nor is my pulse rate any greater.

But the exciting news concerns my lung capacity. I was diagnosed with mild COPD (from smoking between the ages of 19 and 33) a couple of years ago, so I have my lungs checked regularly. I was discharged from the Lung Clinic last year, but my local surgery keeps an eye on me.

And the good news is that my lung capacity showed an increase of just over 5% - from 3.65 litres in August 2013 to 3.85 earlier this month. I'm very pleased with that, especially since the 



So, my lung capacity, at the age of 77, is .033% greater than that predicted for a healthy 65-yr-old!  This can only be as a result of my taking up weight-bearing exercises.

I am indeed very grateful to GymBoffin and all my friends on Mumsnet who encouraged me to start serious exercising exactly 12 months ago this week!!

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