Sunday, October 5, 2008

Shoulder Improving; Dance As Exercise

After my doctor visit, resulting in the torn labrum diagnosis, I spoke with some friends from my martial arts school who said this particular doctor is something of an alarmist. So I have been planning to visit another orthopedic doctor, but haven't had time to see one yet--the financial crisis is having me working six days a week and long hours each day. (My own view is that we're going to see what the Great Depression would have been like had regulators back then known more and acted faster.)

Due to this work demand, and due to my desire to also spend time with family despite all this work, I also haven't been able to make many of my classes. And in class, I've been mostly avoiding using my left shoulder whenever possible--not doing two-handed push-ups, for instance.

The good news is that the shoulder is getting better, whether due to this benign neglect or in spite of it. I actually recently started doing two-handed push-ups again, and my shoulder didn't hurt. I'm not going nuts and doing tons of push-ups, I don't want to push the envelope. I stopped Saturday at 50.

If things continue this way, I may not need that second doctor visit (or a $300 co-pay for an MRI) at all.

This past week I was only at two hour-long martial arts classes. The week before, only three hours. That's not enough to improve, and not enough to maintain a very high state of cardio, but It's enough, I hope to keep the rust off me.

And some of my off day time with family involves fun, moderate exercise.

On a couple of Wednesday nights, for instance, my wife and I have gone to dance class. The first 45 minutes we work on salsa--which really gets your feet moving--and then next 45 we work on a different dance--tango one night, waltz the other. According to this interesting calorie calculator, half an hour of salsa would burn (at my weight) 210 calories, and half an hour of waltz or tango would burn 140 calories. (I'm not calculating the whole 45 minutes because of instruction time.)

While this is only moderate exercise, there's a lot of evidence that moderate exercise leads to huge health gains--indeed, this article in Science Daily says there are huge health benefits to regular moderate exercise. I wouldn't use dancing to prepare for a tournament or black belt test, but if your goal is to be healthy, regular moderate exercise, from what I read, is really great.

Plus, dancing is fun.


Beyond Shodan said...

Earlier this month I had shoulder surgery for supposedly the same thing. I also got my injury during training although I am ten years younger than you. As it turned out, the MRI was incorrect. Originally it stated I had 3 tears but thankfully all the muscles were intact. However the surgeon did a "cleanup" which entailed removing debris and shaving down a bone spur on the shoulder. My recovery will be 2 to 3 months and am currently in physical therapy. I plan to visit my class just to hangout to remain current and hopefully will be participating by January.

Good luck to you.

BobSpar said...

Thank you, Beyond Shodan, I hope your recovery is swift!

Hack Shaft said...

During my second sparring class after surgery, someone commented that my opponent and I looked like we were dancing a lot.

I'll accept it as a comment now!!!!