I wrote this brief post in 2015, long before my story truly began. Since then, I have learned that mobility issues and chronic pain can place a damper on your best intentions to exercise. It has redefined my entire conception of wellness through movement. In my previous life, while I was not a fitness enthusiast, I was always active. I ran around with my kids, I signed up for 5ks for causes I cared about, and thought nothing of bounding up flights of stairs instead of the elevator. These days, a flight of stairs can be my undoing and I rarely have the strength or energy to walk up the street. Part of my health care plan is to “exercise as tolerated”, so I needed to get creative. Instead of yoga, which requires more balance than I currently possess, I have opted for gentle stretches on my bed or while using a chair for support. I have checked out videos from my library for exercises geared towards those with arthritis. Even on my worst days, when the pain feels overwhelming, I make sure to I stand up once an hour and take a few deep breaths (when I am awake, of course). This is what currently works for me. You may find that your tolerance for activity is higher or different from mine. So, ask your health care team for suggestions, find what works best for you, and do it!
Flexing My Muscle,
I am not a fitness enthusiast, at least not in the traditional sense. You will not find me in the gym or in an exercise class. To those who enjoy these activities, you have my utmost admiration. However, I know myself well enough to realize that this is not for me. As a health professional, I know that physical activity is an important part of living a healthy life. It improves heart health, lowers the risk of chronic illnesses like diabetes (II), reduces stress, and makes us feel and look great. The thing about exercise is that it only works if you do it. If you find that you hate exercise, try something new until you find something you love. Life is too short to be miserable!