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#2132491 - 08/13/13 08:57 PM Piano and Exercise....the PE thread  
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rnaple Offline

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Thought I'd start a thread on this. Seems we keep sticking in some kind of exercise in other threads. It surely helps us in our quest to play piano.

You can post anything you want related to exercise on this thread. Got a new bike, etc.
Especially important is exercise that is focused on playing piano.
Anything you think might help others.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2132501 - 08/13/13 09:09 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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Before piano, I used to commute to work by bike routinely, but now I have to choose between 20 minutes more practice time or a ride to work.

How's that for a dilemma?!


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2132504 - 08/13/13 09:13 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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In the last few years, I’ve been in a regular routine of exercising and watching what I eat… though I still like potato chips now and then. smile

The exercising has become a very important part of my daily/weekly schedule; I lost over 50 pounds the first year I started exercising, and I've been maintaining my weight since. In fact, I honestly don’t like it when something comes up that interferes with my exercising time.

I workout on a stair-stepper machine, do sit-ups and lift some free weights an hour or more on my days off from work, (the weekends) and I try to exercise at least 30 minutes 4 out of the five work days. I take one day a week off my exercise routine.

I feel better, look better, and my blood pressure, and cholesterol, are lower than they have ever been… of course, I do take a statin drug for the cholesterol; I asked my Dr. about stopping the statin, but he said it was good to take it for maintenance purposes. Not sure I buy that, but I still take the statin daily.

I think my exercising has done a lot to enhance my piano playing/practicing. Or, perhaps I just feel better and playing the piano is just more fun for that reason.

Anyway, I hope I can keep it up (the exercising). I honestly think it is the best thing I have going for me at this stage of my life.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
#2132505 - 08/13/13 09:14 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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rnaple Offline

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You people might not know. I almost died permanently 9 years ago. I did die for a few seconds. I had diabetes that was causing weight loss. Doctors can't treat that. It either stops or it doesn't. I suffered damage, even nerve damage.

In my quest to find how to effectively recuperate and get healthy again. I had two sources of great info.

One was a book named: Younger Next Year. It is written by a retired lawyer. He did it with the permission and input from his Gerontologist. It is focused on people retiring. It is proven that these people start exercising. The result is they get younger each year instead of older. The age determined by common clinical tests. Think about this and playing piano. How many time you've used the excuse of getting older. You really should check this book out.

The other one was I ran across a guy teaching training. His name is Scott Sonnon. I wouldn't suggest to anyone here to try to get into training with him. His system of training is so involved mentally. You have enough trying to learn piano. I have always suggested to people to get his mobility program. He says that is the most important part of training. It is the one and only thing he wants people to do everyday. It is a fountain of youth.
I'll post later on some mobility to fingers I came up with just for piano. Also the reasons why.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2132516 - 08/13/13 09:30 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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My wife and I are runners. We live close to a wonderful park that has miles of running and biking paths. We run 5 and 10k events here in town. Whats great about being old is that there is not too much competition in my are group. We had to slow down a little this summer as we have had a health problem to deal with but we are now on the other side of that and hoping to start training for a half marathon this next spring.


wj3

2010 Roland KR-115m, Yamaha clp-430
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#2132525 - 08/13/13 09:40 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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rnaple Offline

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Rocky Mountains
malkin... I commuted to work at one time. Only problem was; I was so worn out after work. I really pedaled slow on the way home. It was only about 4.5 miles.

Rickster....sounds great. Sounds like you're doing real good.

WJ3....gee not much competition? I got second place in my age group in my ultra marathon. Now we can ignore the itty bitty, teenie weenie, little...well... fact.... that there was only two people in my age group at my distance. The important thing is I got second place! smile ... Good going for you. Keep at it.


Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2132542 - 08/13/13 10:37 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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malkin Offline
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Originally Posted by rnaple
... ignore the itty bitty, teenie weenie, little...well... fact.... that there was only two people in my age group at my distance. The important thing is I got second place! smile...


Of course we will ignore that!

I used to wear (under my helmet) a cycling cap with the world champion's stripes on it. It always cracked me up, and I always said to myself, "I am the world champion or this here commute."


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2132578 - 08/14/13 01:06 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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I used to race other cyclists on the 3 mile trip to work. We were crazy, and usually a bit on the "late" side. So there was no let up; a down gradient all the way, we were flying, and very sweaty when we got there.

It was a bit different coming home. Now, women pass me and I can`t do a darn thing about it . . .


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2132584 - 08/14/13 01:19 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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Nice thread! To my regret, I am not much of a sport person, but I intend to do something about it.

Last winter I started some indoors rock climbing - a great mind/body workout but not very good for the hands. You're supposed to use your legs more than anything but in the end you still use your arms a lot, especially when you are a beginner and a bit scared of heights! So fingers and forearms get stronger but possibly less nimble. I stopped for the summer but I want to start again in October, it was great fun. I also climbed a bit outdoors with friends who are good at it, but my goal is just to be safer when I go hiking and to be able to do some via ferrata's and things like that, I'm so not into real climbing.

I also want to start running seriously next fall. I had started a C25k program but I didn't stick to it. Now it's the time! I move around a lot here in the country, tending my olive grove and garden, but I need something more structured and complete.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)
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#2132593 - 08/14/13 01:55 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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My only hobby up until last year was running. From a casual runner with perhaps one marathon a year I really upped it in the last two years running in both 100 km an 100 mile events. I was forced to stop running altogether and took up piano and then of course put on weight. So now I like to get out about three times a week on the road bike, my usual course is 32km and takes me just over an hour. So today is one of my cycling days but found a new piece of music which has me captivated, oh the dilemma.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2132623 - 08/14/13 04:18 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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My sport is tennis. I practice tennis for 8 years in a club near my house. We have one/two sessions with a teacher during the weekdays, and we do some games in the weekend (usually at Saturdays).

Now, the interesting is that I can find a similarity between tennis and piano. In both activities I am "alone" i.é, I play piano alone, and tennis is played alone (I don't like to do doubles). So, every decisions and every failures are imputed to "me". I don't have any partner to accuse for a miss ball as I don't have any colleague to blame about a lost chord. On the other hand, I've to have the capability to restore my confidence for my self. Once again, in tennis and in piano (remember: I don't have a teacher), confidence must come from "inside".
It was funny when I started thinking about this.



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#2132624 - 08/14/13 04:27 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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Carlos CC I think there are a lot of similarities with piano and some sports.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

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#2132630 - 08/14/13 04:45 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: earlofmar]  
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My preferred exercise has changed over the years. I did triathlons in my thirties, rode dressage horses in my 40's and 50's, and now I just hike. Some health issues that cause vertigo have forced me to keep two feet firmly on the ground, but what a better place to hike than in the middle of the alps! Swiitzerland is covered in trails, and I can literally walk out my front door and end up on top of a mountain. This is what is outside my front door:

[Linked Image]

So, it is not as intense as the activities of the past, but climbing the hills does get my heart rate up! I hike daily, and try to get a long one in once a week.

#2132633 - 08/14/13 05:05 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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casinitaly Online blank

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Well, I'm not a very sporty person. I played squash a lot in my early 20s, and loved that. (I can't remember why I stopped, truth be told).... and for a while I was going to the gym very regularly . A detached retina put a stop to that for a while, yet even after my eye healed (and it is fine) - I have some restrictions for the types of activities I can do (no aerobics, no jumping, nothing with my head hanging down). I have found it impossible to get back into any sort of gym activity.
I am just too nervous about it.

I'm also hypothyroid so my metabolism is slow. Exercise is VERY good for me - I need to build up more muscle to have my system function better.

Cycling is the exercise I ENJOY. Anything else is duty.
Where we live, there are a stunning amount of cycling paths - paved ones along the major canals, dirt paths along the river, and trails in the woods, dirt roads through the farms - lots of opportunities to ride in car-free places!
When we go out, our minimum ride is 45 minutes, and our longest rides to-date are 52km. In the past few weeks we've done runs of 35km and 42km - we haven't hit the longer run yet. Maybe this week. I'd actually like to get beyond the farthest place we've been... that in itself isn't the problem. It is the return trip! smile


I have a mat and small weights which I can use at home - and I need to use more often!

I also read up on the mobility exercises Ron mentioned and I've started on those. I particularly like the ones for neck arms and shoulders.


I walk to work all the time - and that means 3-4 15 minute walks times 2 per day, most days of the week - some days a bit less. For some of my work cycling is more logical - we're talking 3-6 km one way.

The trouble is that I would much rather sit at the piano than do sit ups and weights!

I have the book Ron mentioned "Younger Next Year". I found it quite inspirational when I first read it. I think I should re-read it.

So....hmmm, if the FOYD, MOYD threads help keep me on track with piano - perhaps this one will encourage me to get rolling more with PE. .....That would be a good thing. smile

I will report back in a few days!


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#2132639 - 08/14/13 05:19 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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Wow SwissMS, what a view!


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"Don't play what's there, play what's not there."
#2132642 - 08/14/13 05:22 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: SwissMS]  
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Originally Posted by SwissMS
This is what is outside my front door:


Wow, that's quite a view!

I also used to ride horses, when I was a teenager. The basic dressage/jumping skills for my riding license, then just some trail riding. Now I'd love to get a small cart horse, but roads are just too steep here!


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
Martha Argerich... is an incarnation of the artistic metaphor of the "eternal feminine" that draws us upward. (Sergio Sablich)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia
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#2132646 - 08/14/13 05:46 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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SwissMS you were posting while I was writing - I missed your pic! Wow..... that's quite the view to wake up to! Gorgeous!


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#2132651 - 08/14/13 06:07 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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My wife and I have always been runners. We've each done one marathon, a few half marathons, and countless 10-k and 5-k races over the decades.

On the bike, we've also done BRAG (Bicycle Ride Across Georgia) a few times - it's a week-long bicycle vacation across the state - lot's of fun - usually about 350 miles.

And there's hiking - I volunteer to maintain a mile of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia. I plan to hike Maine to Georgia one year...

But my sport of choice is orienteering - running with a map and compass through the woods. I make maps for our local orienteering club, and that keeps me really on my toes.

Being fit and staying active definitely helps stay alert and focused at the piano!

Sam

#2132657 - 08/14/13 06:34 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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For exercise I pat myself on the back, jump to conclusions, wrestle with dilemmas, knock my head against a wall, run in circles and sometimes kick butt... laugh

Seriously, in my wild and crazy middle age I participated in triathlons, biathlons, marathons and various and assorted road races - now my wife & I bike on local rail-to-trail paths and I work out at a fitness center and play golf, which is truly a "good walk spoiled" as Mark Twain was remarked (only in half jest), where occasionally I get some bonus exercise by wrapping a club around a tree...

But, the workout I enjoy the most is the one at our local ice cream parlor and involves only the eager use of a spoon...



Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

Current favorite bumper sticker: Wag more, bark less.
#2132672 - 08/14/13 07:30 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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rnaple Offline

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Rocky Mountains
Gee... Lots of responses.
I'll try later to respond to each and every person since I'm the OP.

I really hope that this thread helps people who haven't done any exercise. Don't want to be no athlete. Not interested.
It's just that we are basically physical beings. To exercise somehow, helps us exist. Don't have to let people see you. Don't need no criticism from wannabe's. You can always do something.
I can't stress how important Mobility work is. It isn't even exercise. It makes deep changes in you. Leaves you wanting to move. It is no wonder why people who don't exercise, don't feel like it. Their bodies chemical reactions have adapted to that. The endocrine system. Your body adapts to whatever you expose it to. Make changes slowly so the endocrine system can adapt.
Gee... Piano is so difficult to play well. We need all the health we can for out bodies to execute that.

A Russian saying: Movement is life and life is movement. And dance is a celebration of life.



Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2132682 - 08/14/13 08:23 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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Originally Posted by rnaple

I'll try later to respond to each and every person since I'm the OP.


You really aren't required to respond individually to each post.

Besides riding my bike, I am a bit of a pro cycling fan. [img:center]http://www.graymalkin.gs/jens[/img]

Last edited by malkin; 08/14/13 08:25 AM.

Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2132710 - 08/14/13 09:40 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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I ride my tricycle (Catrike Expedition) or two wheel recumbent (Bacchetta Giro) to work everyday. I used to ride upright bicycles but they would put parts of me to sleep that I didn't want to be asleep. :-)

My commute is 10 miles round trip, rain, sleet, snow, or, like today, GORGEOUS.
Church is 16 miles round trip, the grocery store (trailer for the trike) is 14 miles round trip. Plus the riding for fun gets me around 6000 miles/year.

I haven't owned a car since 2008, and I've found that money is 'thicker' than ever without insurance, parking, gas.

In my younger days I pursued martials arts, earning a black belt. These days I practice Yang Style Taiji (martial arts for old farts). An epiphany occurred when I was 42 and nursing cracked ribs and a badly bruised hand from sparring the previous night. I asked myself the question 'when I'm 70 do I want to be able to play Bach or do high kicks?'

so the focus changed to a gentle, yet still mentally difficult martial art. :-)

I have found the 30 minute commute each morning ideal for mental practice and organizing the day's work - it's the best part of my day, and the exercise is built in! I do not use earbuds, and my TV time is 30 minutes of the local news in the morning. computer time (shhhh, I'm at work!)....

I practice in 15/20 minute chunks, with 10 minutes of yoga (a gazillion 10 minute shoulder/back routines on youtube) or taiji as breaks. So exercise is built in to practice time as well. Plus an intense 30 minute weight routine - upper body - 3 times a week rounds out the exercise.

Forrest



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#2132733 - 08/14/13 10:45 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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i used to lift when i was 19 till earlier just recently, im 24 now. I've switched from working out at the gym to playing tennis, so im a beginner piano player and a beginner tennis player laugh

Last edited by Sweet06; 08/14/13 10:45 AM.

"Doesn't practicing on the piano suck?!?!"
"The joy is in the practicing. It's like relationships. Yeah, orgasms are awesome, but you can't make love to someone who you have no relationship with!"
#2132741 - 08/14/13 11:01 AM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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" It is no wonder why people who don't exercise, don't feel like it."
That happens when you get older. You really have to make a decision. To do or not to do. That is the question . . .and the excuses come thick and fast!


"I am not a man. I am a free number"

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#2132779 - 08/14/13 12:10 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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Speaking of dance - that's part of what I do. I contra dance twice a month - it' not much, but it helps. I can tell you it really helps with piano! I have a pretty good sense of rhythm, and when I'm the one starting off a set from the band I dance in my head and (as we say of people who have gotten old enough that "smooth" is really important) in my shoes - which means the rhythm is in my whole body but you can't see me move laugh Sometimes I get out front of the band, if the caller is still talking it through, and just walk/march around in time so they can see what the tempo is going to be. Dance FTW!

I had been looking for range-of-motion exercises like my mother did with the Arthritis Foundation, since I know it's important to be able to do things like look over your shoulder for cars in your blind spot, and it's harder as you get older, when Ron first mentioned the mobility exercises. Perfect. I started in maybe Feb and still haven't added legs yet laugh But I swear I'm taller now, and I do feel better. They're worth doing, for me.

And I walk a lot. A couple of my clients are within walking distance, as is the library, the post office, a branch of my bank, and Trader Joe's. Walking distance, due to time, is about a mile and a half one way. I walk longer distances sometimes just for fun.

I used to be quite active - ski racing, rock climbing, tennis - so I miss being in shape. But I know that nutrition and exercise are their own rewards, so I'm back to doing both.

And just the habits of focusing during piano practicing, and exercising, and eating well, and, sigh, keeping the house dusted laugh , are great for keeping the old body/mind connection in working order.

Cathy


Cathy
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#2132780 - 08/14/13 12:12 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
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double post - sigh

Last edited by jotur; 08/14/13 12:15 PM.

Cathy
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Practice like you are the worst; play like you are the best - anonymous
#2133011 - 08/14/13 09:54 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,237
malkin Offline
4000 Post Club Member
malkin  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 4,237
*sigh* Salt Lake City
Today practicing, I noticed that my hands felt some discomfort. At first I thought I was straining a little, but then I realized it could be because yesterday I was gripping the handlebars too tightly on a little bit too fast of a downhill and bouncing across a little rough road surface. The light at the bottom of the hill was green--I wanted to make it!

I used to be the biggest coward on 2 wheels; now sometimes I am surprisingly bold.


Having power is not nearly as important as what you choose to do with it.
– Roald Dahl

#2133097 - 08/14/13 11:43 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,199
rnaple Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014
rnaple  Offline

Silver Supporter until April 24 2014


Joined: Dec 2010
Posts: 2,199
Rocky Mountains
woodog.... Gee those are nice bikes. One thing that has held me back in using my bike more is it getting stolen. You must have a good setup to make sure they don't get stolen when you get where you're going.

Jotur....Gee Dance... That is one thing my mobility has led me to. Enjoying movement. I'll let you in on a little secret. Those break dancers? They get that from this mobility and range of motion training. The Cossacks were the original break dancers.

Sweet06.... That is one thing I have always done in my life. Learning new things. Over and over. Always something new. It's a great way to live....learning.

Malkin.... I realize I don't have to respond to all. I probably won't. I'll try now and then to be a good host. Good on bike riding. That's a good one.

Oh Trapper... You forgot about the swimming in golf. It occurs about the time the guy remembers he put his keys and wallet in his bag. The bag and clubs he threw in the lake. smile

SamS... That's great what you do. They say the legs are half of the heart. I learned there is something called: Speed Hiking. One guy who wanted to get good at it got into running ultra marathons. I understand he is really good. Orienteering sounds great. You ever read: A Walk Across America? Interesting book. He starts doing the Appalachian Trail.

Cas....That's it. Just do it. That's what it's all about. Whatever and however. There was a Gym in Sioux Falls where the motto was: "No Excuses". The owner lived up to it. One of the few Gym's I could bring my clubbells into. My membership there was one of the few bright spots in that town. I remember being there early on Christmas morning. About 4am. A "Santa Clause" came in there to work off his drunk so his wife wouldn't remove body parts from him on Christmas. Now I got a good exercise room in my apartments. Also my own apartment serves most of my needs.

SwissMs... Nice Picture. Would love to see Switzerland one day. Understand it's so beautiful. It gives motivation for hiking. Just getting out there.

Sinophilia... Always interesting to hear what people do. Good to know you're doing. Have you considered running in Five Fingers? They are Italian. smile That's all I wear now. Run minimal. It's done me a bunch of good.

Carlos... Tennis is great exercise. Good for ya!

earlofmar... You know what I think of Ultra's. Back after I almost died. I ended up doing my baby Ultra 18 months later. Had done marathons. Anybody in the Medical Industry I mentioned that to said: "You sure chose the right sport!" You know the eating, drinking, and running all at the same time does a heck of a job of training the endocrine system. Good going with the bike now. Gotta do something.


I have to admit. This thread is helping to motivate me. I confess that I've been leaning on exercise I've done in the past. It's effects have been so good, so deep, I've felt good. But Piano is motivating me to get serious again. My progress with my body to do what I want at the keyboard is just too slow. It's entirely physical. I know that. I gotta get those changes moving faster. I have the knowledge.



Ron
Your brain is a sponge. Keep it wet. Mary Gae George
The focus of your personal practice is discipline. Not numbers. Scott Sonnon
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#2133427 - 08/15/13 03:27 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: jotur]  
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chopin_r_us Offline
2000 Post Club Member
chopin_r_us  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 2,080
London
Originally Posted by jotur
double post - sigh
Look at it this way - more exercise than a single!

Ma great-grandpappy was a sodbuster in SD - lived into his 80's. My guess is he didn't play the piano though.

#2133495 - 08/15/13 05:46 PM Re: Piano and Exercise....the PE thread [Re: rnaple]  
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,137
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012
Monica K.  Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 18,137
Lexington, Kentucky
I was a pretty devoted runner in the late 80s and throughout the 90s. It was a way of blowing off the stress of graduate school and, later, the tenure track. I did mostly 5K and 10K races at that time, but I ran two marathons before my knees gave out, with a PB of 3:33:18.

Then I got married and pregnant, had a miscarriage scare, and just like that became an ex-runner. frown With a family and work, I had no free time, let myself slide physically, gained 25 pounds. frown frown

But not long ago, right about the time I decided to take early retirement, I realized that I don't have unlimited time on this planet, and I'd like the time I do have left to be as high quality as possible. So we joined the local YMCA, and I started going 4-5 times a week, working out an hour to an hour and a half each visit. Most of it is spent on the ellipticals, but I throw in a bit of weight training as well. I've lost most of the weight I had gained the past decade, and I am definitely feeling in better shape. And, I've become acquainted with popular culture through watching TV series on my Kindle Fire while I work out. I've worked my way through Grey's Anatomy, Parenthood, Justified, and I'm currently on season 3 of The Shield. smile



Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica
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