About Exercise and COPD Part 3a - Building The Home Gym
Posted Sep 12 2008 7:18pm
In my first two columns on COPD, Part 1 and Part 2, my objective was to help you understand that the challenge of exercise is overwhelming for most people, and that for this reason most healthy people choose not to workout. This challenge is made all the more challenging when you also have to deal with COPD.
I proceeded to make the case that exercise is vitally important for people managing all forms of COPD, but there are numerous obstacles facing people with COPD that make it exceedingly difficult to incorporate certain types of exercise in their day to day lives. One of these obstacles is the somewhat hostile atmosphere of most commercial gym settings, which for someone with COPD may not be ideal. Since the commercial gym setting is not appealing to some folks with health challenges, most of these folks just go without. Without access to proper strength training tools, their health declines and that is unacceptable. To address this, the case was made for having a home gym, especially if what you are seeking is quality workouts at your own pace. This column will help you devise a strategy for setting up a home gym, and will be broken into several mini-columns.
In this columns we will examine:
What sort of training options you have.
The costs of these options
What sort of training options are best for you.
What to look for and where to shop.
What sort of training options you have.
If you decide to build a home gym, you must first decide if all you want is a stretching room or if you really want a strength training room.
If all you have is a tiny room/space to use for your fitness needs, understand that you can get great workouts with just a jump rope and your body and a floor. You can focus your efforts on building stamina and tone with simple movements like pushups, situps, free-standing knee bends, and some targeted rope-jumping. Herschel Walker (of NFL fame) built world class levels of fitness using these very exercises. But eventually, I believe the best way to get a strong body is to make it STRONG, and the only way to do that is through progressive resistance strength training. So, if you want to go this direction, and you are still looking at space as an issue, what then? No problem. Your home gym can consist of several types of professional level strength tools that take up little or no space at all and are ideally suited for people with COPD.
Perhaps the most inexpensive way, not to mention space-efficient and safe, is professional grade rubber bands. Band training is gaining a LOT of attention in strength training circles because they actually build hard muscle, add muscle tone, strength, speed, flexibility, you name it. But the sorts of bands/cables I am referring to will not be found at your local Dicks Sporting Goods store. Have a look at these examples of professional grade strength training bands and cables:
I use these, and I am building Herculean levels of strength and fitness with them. Also, these two sites above have books on how to use bands and cables. For more information about this form of exercise, have a look at this article within TPO. It will help you gain more insight into band and cable training. [editors note: I will be offering a photo essay on cable training soon]
Now mind you, band training is not the only way to go, but it is a great tool to use either on its own or in conjunction with more traditional strength training protocols. It is also extremely affordable. You can get all the bands and/or cables you need for less than $200.00. In fact, if you are just starting out you should be able to get by with an investment of under $100.00 This sort of training is not too hard on the lungs at first, but you can improvise and increase the level of intensity and difficulty as your fitness levels improve.
Ok, so band training is a great way to go, but what if you have a budget, and the space, that allows you to make a more diversified commitment?…..