During the Gold Rush era there was a story about a prospector who struck gold after digging only a few inches in dirt. Excited by the potential for easy riches, he used his find to finance all the equipment that eras technology had to offer. Using all of the equipment produced gold almost at once. However, it wasnt enough to even pay for the equipment that he purchased on time. To make matters worse, the gold stopped coming altogether soon afterward.
Destitute, he sold the equipment for pennies on the dollar in order to get out of debt. The fellow that bought it was thinking of reselling it at a profit, but got the itch to try it out. Not knowing where to start, he returned to the area the prospector was working and, after digging just a few feet down, uncovered one of the richest veins of gold the area had ever seen. If only the prospector had had the strength to go on a little further.
Relating that to today would be like finding a cellar hole during the frozen winter and waiting for the first thaw. When spring finally arrives, you quickly forget the three to four months of doing nothing, but reading and rereading Treasure Facts, looking at last seasons finds, and waiting for the first real spring day. Not to mention several holiday meals that would feed a small country.
Anyway, there you are. Sweeping away under the first warm sun in months when, low and behold, you get your first real signal. You begin to kneel (it doesnt seem as easy as last time) and start to dig with that familiar excitement growing inside you. There it is. The first Mercury dime of the season. This is a good sight.
Placing the coin in your pouch, you get up to return to the search. You notice that it took a little longer to get up. As you continue making finds of a similar nature you notice you are seriously beginning to sweat. The sun is no longer a friend to be welcomed, but a fiend sapping your strength. You call it a day with barely enough strength to pick up a Barber quarter on the surface.
Just then, a fellow hunter glides onto the scene with enough spring in his step to launch the shuttle. Hyperventilating, you show him your stuff and the area you searched. You explain what a task it was and that you couldnt go another inch. So he does. He moves one inch from your last dig, gets a signal, digs, and pulls up a rather large jar of gold coins.
We can all hope that this never happens to us or we can take steps now to ensure that we never lose a find due to fatigue. What follows is the first of a two-part program to help you hit the spring ready and, more importantly, able to detect until youve found enough rather than running out of gas. Almost any one can follow this routine and, unless you want to, there is no equipment to buy.
The way it is designed is to allow you to take the exercises in part one and do them until your next issue arrives. At that point you will be able to add to your routine and continue until the weather breaks in your area. Lets begin.
If you have been inactive for any long period of time, or if you are a beginning detectorist, you may want to check with a physician before beginning this or any exercise program.
Stretching is actually the beginning of the exercise process. By moving parts of your body with resistance, the blood and oxygen flow begins to increase. Oxygen is the fuel that creates energy which, for our purposes, is the opposite of fatigue. You should stretch before every workout for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. You should also consider making streching a habit when you are in the field detecting.
Here are a few tips about stretching that will prevent injuries and loosen you up quicker. Forget the expression No pain, no gain. It isnt true and we arent doing this in preparation for the Olympics. Just stretch as far as you can comfortably without pain. As you continue this program you will find yourself able to go further. This is one way to measure your progress.
Second, never bounce. Bouncing during a particular stretch does nothing to enhance the exercise and can even cause injury. Last, dont count. It doesnt matter how many times you can touch your toes. It is more important that you are properly streched out and ready for your work out. Do all of the exercises and stretches the way the program is laid out. Each movement in the program will be timed.
1. Upper body bend. Extend your arms over your head and bend to one side. Do this for 10 seconds and switch sides. Repeat once.
2. Hamstring stretch. Spread your legs apart. Bend and stretch toward your toes on one foot for 5 seconds, to the middle for 5 seconds, and to the other foot for 5 seconds. Repeat once.
3. Calf stretch. Stand 3 feet from a wall (closer if you need to). Extend your arms to the wall so that you are standing on one set of toes. Place the other foot behind your ankle and stretch so that you are pushing the heel down. Do each foot for 10 seconds and repeat once.
There are actually two parts to your daily routine. One part is aerobic, which gives you endurance. The other is conditioning, which gives you strength and prevents injuries. First aerobics.
Walk. Period - the end. Walk. More exercise value, as far as detecting is concerned, can be gained from walking than just about any other portion of this program. The key is proper walking for our hobby. To beginners in the program the answer is very simple. Just walk. Dont power walk or race walk. Just "walk" walk.
For the first week you should walk at a normal pace for no more than 20 minutes each day. The only thing that needs to be considered are your shoes. There is no need to take out a loan against your best detector for a pair of walking shoes. Any shoe you are comfortable in that gives good support will do just fine. For the next two weeks you should add 5 minutes to your walking time until you are able to do 30 minutes per day. The fourth week you should look to increase your distance each day while staying within those 30 minutes.
Conditioning will give you the strength to pry out the rocks that get in your way. It will allow you to continue sweeping for good signals long after the old you was all swung out. Since this is the first half of the program, there will be no lifting or weight usage. For now all you need to do is get your body used to the movements. As with the aerobic routine, we will be using time as opposed to the number of repititions.
Most of the movements involved in our hobby use the back. Poorly conditioned backs are probably one of the leading causes of careless hunting. Protecting the back from injury can add hours to your treasure hunting and consequntly increase your finds. Poor support is one of the primary causes of back pain and the largest group of back support muscles are found in the stomach. Lets start there.
Sit-ups are often the most hated of the exercises for those who are a little out of shape. Yet, when done properly, they are quite simple and will generate the results you want rather quickly.
Sit-ups is actually a bad name since you should never come close to sitting all the way up. This exercise will work no matter how little you get off the ground. You are doing a proper movement with your arms crossed on your chest, the small of your back planted on the floor and you raise up by the shoulders as far as you can. You then lower yourself down without crashing and repeat the movement. Keep repeating the movement for up to 30 seconds in duration. Its okay if you cant do it for the full 30 seconds. Do what you can and increase your time until you can do it for 30 seconds. Once you achieve that goal, remain at 30 seconds for a full week. Then add 5 seconds to the routine each week.
Alternate knee kicks combine a good workout for your stomach as well as some aerobic exercise as a bonus. Lie on your back, resting on your elbows, legs out in front of you a few inches off the floor. Bring your right knee as close to your head as possible without causing any pain. While returning it to the original position repeat the movement with the left leg. Conduct this process for a period of 20 seconds.
Door knob pull-ups can strengthen the upper back as well as the biceps and all you need is a door. Stand with your feet on either side of the door and grasp the door knob with a firm grip. Bending your knees, sink down and back until your arms are fully extended. From there, pull yourself up to the starting position. Repeat this movement for a period of 20 seconds and increase by 5 seconds per week.
The most important part of this program is that the movements be done properly rather than how many you can squeeze into the time allotted. As your strength and flexibility increase you can try more rapid movement.
Just remember that if you go too fast, the muscles receive very little benefit. If at any time you feel the least little pain, STOP. Rest for a few days. Reduce the workout to the previous level and begin slowly. The whole idea is to make your hobby more enjoyable, not to punish your body until spring. (Next month part II).