The exercise recommendations for Type O in the Cardiovascular Book are not appreciably different from the recommendations in Dr. D’s other books. What I learned – that is new to me – is that one of my definitions was completely wrong, and that being 15 years older now than I was when I started the BTD makes a difference.
I’ll start with a quote from the Cardiovascular Book.
“Exercise is the key to cardiovascular health and this is especially true for Blood Type O. You benefit tremendously from brisk regular exercise that taxes your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems. Your goal should be to develop as much active tissue mass as possible; this is the key to your metabolic fitness. Exercise is also crucial to a well regulated chemical release system. The act of physical exercise releases a swarm of neurotransmitter activity that acts as a tonic for the entire system. More than any other blood type, Blood Type O requires regular, high intensity exercise to maintain physical health and emotional balance.”
I took Dr. D literally about intense physical exercise when I started the BTD. I have not wavered from that…except…
I went through menopause after I started the BTD. At that time I read a lot about osteoporosis and how I now needed weight bearing exercise. I have seen my husband’s mother suffer multiple broken bones and daily pain because of osteoporosis, and I didn’t want anything to do with it. My problem was that I confused “weight bearing exercise” with “weight training.”
Where I had been doing 45 minutes to an hour of intense aerobic activity, I cut back to 30 minutes of intense physical activity and added 30 minutes of weights. I am not strong enough to do weight training in any way that would be considered intense. Whenever I pushed myself to increase what I was lifting, I invariably strained a muscle or a nerve, and had to back off to heal and start over again.
When I got my recent cholesterol test results and started reading the Cholesterol Book, I felt like I was in an impossible situation. I needed more intense physical exercise as a Type O, but I needed to keep lifting weights because I am a woman.
A week ago my Honorable Husband and I had lunch with our Strong Son and our Daughter in Love. SS you may remember is a Physical Therapist. I was telling him that my patella femoral pain was back, and I had started doing the exercises he had recommended when I first had it several years ago. I told him that I felt like my right leg, which had strengthened with the PT exercises, had become weak again. I lamented that the weight bearing exercise I was doing to help my bones, was not adequate to keep my muscles strong.
He asked me what kinds of weight bearing exercises I was doing and I told him what I did when I lifted weights. He rolled his eyes and said, “Mom when you lift dumbbells over your head how much do they weigh?” I said, “Not much, I do two 5 pound weights so that’s 10 pounds.” He said, “You’re right that’s not much, so which is more when you lift dumbbells or when you lift your body weight?” Of course the answer was body weight, but it was the eye roll that made me realize that he assumed I knew something that I didn’t know.
So I did what any modern woman would do. I came home and googled it. Here are two quotes from two websites:
The best exercise for your bones is the weight-bearing kind, which forces you to work against gravity. Some examples of weight-bearing exercises include weight training, walking, hiking, jogging, climbing stairs, tennis, and dancing. Examples of exercises that are not weight-bearing include swimming and bicycling.
Weight-bearing exercises—those that make your bones work harder against gravity, such as walking or climbing stairs—actually help your body grow denser and stronger bones over time and can reduce your risk of osteoporosis.
Suddenly I realized that when I cut back on walking, jogging, and climbing stairs – I was cutting back on my true weight bearing exercise and substituting weight training that I wasn’t able to do at an intense level. If I thought all of you already knew that, I would blush and leave it out of the blog, but when I told my two exercise partners what I had found out, they were astounded. They had confused the two definitions just like I had.
I’m still going to work with dumbbells – but I’m going to pump them when I walk or when HH and I are watching a movie on TV. I’m still going to use the weight machine at the fitness center, but not at the expense of time on the stair stepper or the more intense equipment.
I want to write about post menopausal exercise and weakening muscles, but this blog is long enough. I will save that for next time.
Eye rolling is certainly not intense physical exercise! But my son’s eye roll sure got my attention and has me back to emphasizing the kind of exercise that will benefit me most as a Type O