Tag Archives: exercise

Run for the cause: May 4th, 2014

23 Dec

At the same time in locations all over the world, on May 14, 2014, people will run to raise funds for spinal cord research. The founder of Red Bull, Dietrich Mateschitz, has created a charity named wings for life that is organizing the run and sponsoring research towards a cure for spinal cord injury. The only Canadian location for this run is Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. There are 40 other locations around the world.Save the date, And make plans to either run yourself or else sponsor someone who can.   More information is available here.

Running for those who can’t from Wings for Life on Vimeo.

At the mall

16 Dec

Yesterday for the first time I took my manual chair to North Hill Mall, pushed it up and down there. I completed two laps in about an hour, which might be about 1.2 km. Sure beats turning around every 40 m when I am doing laps at home! I may try to visit the mall by myself using the handy bus a couple times a week during the winter.

Kicking it

28 Sep


some of you may have seen previous video clips I have posted of me riding my FES bike. It’s hard to tell whether the machine is doing the work, or whether it is my legs that are pushing the pedals. In the attached video clip in this post, I demonstrate the power of functional electrical stimulation to move my legs. when I run a current of just over 40 milliamps through the electrode pads on my quadriceps, my leg raises and straightens fairly convincingly. When my legs are on the pedals during a work out, I am stimulating with 125 milliamps, so the kicking motion is much stronger and more powerful than what you see in the above video clip. Of course, while pedaling I also have electrodes on my hamstrings, so my legs are both pushing and pulling with each revolution. This is how I get good exercise!


And there ain’t no more !

30 Aug

I keep increasing the resistance on my FES  bike, and my legs keep responding and rising to the challenge. Today, during my sprint workout, I increased the resistance to as high as it would go, 20 Newton-meters, and increased the speed to as high as it would go, 55 rpm, and lo and behold: my legs put out 115 watts for a few seconds! I got the same result on all 5 of my sprints. I finished up with 7 minutes cool down at 40 watts. I can honestly say I never thought I would get to this point. It’s basically unheard of.

I will keep working out at least 3 times a week and try to gradually extend the length of time I can operate at this highest power level. Good times!

To all of you that helped raise funds for this device, once again I am deeply indebted to you.

Untitled 2

power to the pedals

25 Aug

I have been slowly increasing my power on the FES bike, but haven’t made any real gains since hitting 40 watts over a month ago.. Last Friday, I had an idea to try something new on the bike and simply increased resistance several large steps from what I had usually used. To my surprise, my legs were able to push against the higher resistance, with the result that on my second sprint I reached a new peak power of 71 watts, almost double my previous best!. Two days later, in another ride, I repeatedly hit 65 watts, so this seems to be more than a one-time occurrence. Apparently it’s rather rare for users to hit this power level, but what do I know, the end is not yet in sight!

By the way, about the arms, I found that by swinging  my arms while pedaling , I can get my heart rate up to 110 to 220 beats per minute. It will probably also strengthen my arms:  I can’t do it for more than a minute at a time without taking a break.

evening workout

16 Aug


in last night’s evening workout, I pushed my manual chair 640 m in just over an hour. slowly but surely I am getting a little bit stronger

going further

16 Jul

when pushing my manual chair up and down the hallways of my residents in the evening, my previous record of six laps in an hour.working hard at it, 2 nights ago I managed to complete 8 laps in an hour.that is 640 meters total distance, so my average speed is still less than 1 kilometer per hour!


On the pathway

29 Jun


I wanted to try pushing my wheelchair outdoors, so we went to this section of pathway near Edworthy park. A path straight and sloped slightly downhill, so it should be great, right? Not so much. The pathway has a slight sideways slope to it, and I’m not strong enough yet to be able to keep going in a straight line. I needed continual help with steering to avoid rolling off the side of path. After going 300 m, I decided to call it an evening.  This is the farthest I’ve pushed my wheelchair outdoors, so that is a good start.

I think next I will try pushing the chair in an indoor shopping mall. I may have more luck with that.

Amazing Amanda

28 Jun


One of the unexpected pleasures in my life after my accident is to have someone like Amanda come into my life. She has been a valued mentor as well as a shining example of determination. Though she was injured at the T5 level and her injury is classified as complete paraplegia, that is to say she has no sensation or function from nerves below her injury-level, she has made remarkable progress. In this photo, she is out for her daily walk! Some days she has walked up to 1 km distance. She does this with the aid of braces that stop her legs from collapsing and provide support for her trunk. By leaning slightly from side to side, she is able to get each leg to advance slightly. Why go through this laborious process? She says: if you want to walk again, then walk.

Amanda is also using my FES bike several times a week to build up muscles in her legs, so this gives me lots of opportunity to pose questions and ask for advice.

By the way, here is her bio.

Going further

27 Jun

Until now, I have been pushing my manual chair from my room to the dining room and back again. I am averaging about 6 minutes per lap, for about 30 meters in tone. Not very fast!

The total length inside the house is considerably longer: from one end of the hallway to the far end of the opposite wing is about 40 meters, as measured by my GPS.

On Wednesday evening, I started a new circuit, rolling from one end of the building to the far end and back again.  Now the laps are about 80 meters . In about an hour and a half, I completed 8 of these larger laps, for a total of about 650 meters. That’s a third further than I have previously rolled! My next goal will be to work my way up to pushing one kilometer. After a day or two of rest, of course!