by David Younger, Austin, Texas
Over the past ten to fifteen years, I have developed an arsenal of products that I use to stay as healthy and active as possible.
When COVID started, I bought two inexpensive lung exercisers on Amazon. I use the FIGERM breathing trainer twice a day, in the morning and in the evening. I do a set of 30 long inhales and exhales and then I do two sets of 10 stacked breathing exercises where I breathe in 5 times without exhaling and then do one long exhale. At night, I also do two sets of 10 long inhales and exhales using the Expand-a-lung breathing fitness exerciser. You can control the resistance on both of these devices. I think it is really important to do what we can to maximize the elasticity of our lungs due to the possibility of weakened diaphragm muscles and the fact that most of us have limitations when it comes to intense aerobic exercise.
I started using a vibration platform about ten years ago when I was working with a physical therapist in NYC. They were originally designed for astronauts to maintain muscle strength, bone density and lymph flow. You stand on the platform and you can control the speed of the vibrations, which make your muscles involuntarily expand and contract.
My most recent acquisition is a recumbent stepper. I use it every other day and I have built up to half an hour each time. I use a belt around my thighs to keep my legs from spreading. I absolutely love this machine. It has made me feel like I can exercise again. I first tried it at a physio lab in a hospital. The seat swivels to allow for ease getting on and off.
I bought a one-person infrared sauna about six years ago and I have used it religiously every other day. I use it after I exercise and it is great for a good full body sweat and has different programs for detoxification, weight loss, cardio, and a few more. It is supposedly really good for inflammation as well.
Finally, we moved to a new house in Austin a couple of years ago with a pool and I got a lift to be able to get in and out easily. In the warmer months, I use the pool a few times a week to move around and do things I normally cannot do on land.