Last month I celebrated the 10-week goal post ACL reconstruction (and my birthday), by returning to F45.
For those of you not familiar with F45 it is an exercise program based on high intensity interval training (HIIT) I’ve been participating for 2 years. I love the challenge and the variety. Every day is different. HIIT involves short bursts of intense exercise alternated with recovery periods. This type of exercise has many benefits including increasing your metabolism for several hours, improving blood sugar regulation and improving hormone levels.
The first day I went back the workout had a resistance (heavier weights, less cardio) focus. I was careful and opted for lifting 75% of my pre-surgery weights. So far so good. I was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t have any delayed onset muscle soreness, which means I either worked way to light or all the home-based exercises I had done paid off and I hadn’t lost much condition.
The next day I returned for a cardio based workout. As I am still not up to high impact activity, I had to modify all the exercises that involve jumping, hopping or running. This is where insider knowledge is very helpful. Sometimes coaches will offer low impact substitutes, not always. My advice is never be afraid to ask if you think an exercise might not be the right one for you. There were dozens of lunges in this particular workout and although I thought I had taken it easy (i.e. not doing jumping lunges) I knew a few hours later that I’d pushed my limits. The icepack was on my knee again and I took the following day off from exercise.
Another 4 weeks on and I’m steadily making progress. Still using the ice pack after an exercise session. Still avoiding jumping. In my daily activities I am aware of a tight feeling around my lower leg just under my knee joint. I was excited this week to discover I can now do traditional quadriceps stretch i.e. pull my ankle up towards my buttock. This means I am bending my knee a lot further.
This is the week we had tickets to fly to Italy for a ski holiday. We’ve postponed this trip and I’m doing my best to frame the change as a positive one, focusing on what I get to do rather than what I’m missing out on. A last minute decision sees us going to visit our daughters, something I am now looking forward to very much.