Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Many people will say, "oh I can't exercise" or "well, I walk a little bit but can't do much more" and they truly do have physical limitations. Limitations are not roadblocks; we almost always can find detours when it comes to exercise as well as other goals; we can lower hurdles so that we can still move forward. Yet of those who view physical limits as stop signs in life, many often don't realize that if they have access to a pool of water, they can in fact move so much better with low-impact pool time! And some who think, 'yeah, that'd be great', many don't dig to find how to locate a pool. Money is the usual Big Factor here. My thought? Keep trying. You won't know what is possible until you commit to the effort.
If you've known me for even a short time, you know that exercise in a warm-water (physical therapy) pool is key to my exercise plans: without it, my 'land' exercises just aren't as doable because movement becomes pretty dfficult. I refer to my pool-time as my "lifeline to normalcy".
The low-impact movements in water gently strengthen muscles and joints in good health so that moving on land becomes easier.
I always loved water. Used to swim "like a fish". In the early to late 60's my local outdoor swim-spot featured JFK's Presidential fitness challenge. Other sports had challenges, but included in the program was a challenge to swim 50 miles. Every summer for 4 years I swam between 75 and 100 'logged' miles in 1-mile or more increments. I loved every minute! In my 20's and 30's I'd swim at the lake where my parent bought land and later built their retirement home; and of course, again: I loved every minute in the water!
-- The Presidents Council on Fitness (etc) is no new movement. www.fitness.gov/be-active/
It still challenges young people, too:
I can only be in water at or above 90 degrees. So p.t. pools are 'it' ... and actual swimming still isn't possible. But that doesn't mean I can't MOVE in that water! Especially when the music is just right: peppy! The minimum workout takes 30 minutes and is not enough; an hour feels good. But the workout that leaves me grinning with endorphins flying and having an all-over healthy feeling is a two-hour session that covers all levels of the activity I crave: slow warm-ups with stretching, strength, cardio and then slowing down.
Exercising in water - no matter which temperature you like/need - is incredibly flexible: it is for almost everyone. I've exercised next to children with juvenile R.A. and some with cystic fibrosis; young men with brain injury who are parapalegic (at the phys rehab hospital); people with multiple sclerosis; people in their 80's and 90's; athletes with sports injuries. Yup: water exercise is pretty flexible.
This week my pool schedule was set for Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
We are expecting snow Wednesday night through Thursday.
Could I get to the pool - which is very close but still... - or not on Wednesday and Thursday?
I called the p.t. office this morning and changed my appointments:
I went yesterday, and now will go again today and Friday.
The sky can do its snow-dump all it wants on Wed and Thursday.
But my pool time won't suffer!
It's like heaven on earth. My life-line. A joy.
Having seen how water exercise changed abilities and outlook of many people, including myself, I'm pretty obvious in my advocacy of moving in water.
Appreciation is pretty kewl stuff.
Monday, March 10, 2014
I love music.
Some people use prerecorded exercise music when exercising, but I would rather pick and choose my own tunes. Am always open to new ideas for anything from slow and relaxing to tempest tempo.
Music can lift a sad mood or make a glad one even more joy-filled.
Music can sooth nerves on a stressful day, give reprieve from the chaos.
Music can ... do so much!
Being open to the new keeps appreciation of all types at a better level for me. I don't like or dislike a song because of its label: the sound or lyrics will do that. Hmmm ok, so twangy country, hip-hop and rap don't reach me, but... who knows? someday maybe one will? I can seldom remember a group or song title off the top of my head, because I'm one of those 'creative thinkers' that didn't get a cataloging capability at birth. I just... enjoy. Artistic people need people like me: we cannot DO the music or the art, but we savor what we find to be good, appreciate talent or views expressed.
This morning a morning talk show had a group perform a song that made me think: 'wow, that is perfect for walking!!' From my perspecitive, this song is ideal for teenagers and baby boomers alike. See what you think:
"Believer", by American Authors
I think I'd put it right after my difficult-day warm-up song:
Saturday, March 08, 2014
I'm in Day Two of one miserable cold.
When I have to relax for health reasons or when in flare I call it 'down time'. That doesn't mean I feel 'down'. It means that I'm not up and active, just taking it easy so that I will be myself again sooner. Down Time. So that's what I'm doing today: making use of my down time. I don't just stare at the walls. But I fill my hours with enjoyable, relaxing passtimes! Turn what could be a negative into an 'opportunity'!! Feeling under the weather then has positive aspects and doesn't feel quite so unpleasant. This approach works for me.
However, let's hope that no one comes to my door, because I'm one scarey-lookin', blotchy-faced, red-nosed, dangly-haired 60SumThink vision. You know the look? You turn your head the other way when washing your hands in the bathroom sink... so that you don't see yourself in the mirror. Yup. Hope no one comes to the door. They'd not be expecting Halloween ghoulishness during this time when everyone is so anxiously awaiting the melting of snow! And I'd feel responsible, maybe even liable!, for any resulting shock-induced heart attacks.
What I like about colds is that while you feel crumby for a few days...then: poof! the cold is gone! So I'm waiting for the poof.
I'm not complaining... though I do fear for the safety of anyone who comes to my door. You see... Unavoidable down time has its merits. Relaxing, thinking, making lists of things I want to do asap. Maybe it's okay to be slightly 'under the weather' at times!
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Sometimes we slip or what we plan is hard because we just do not ENJOY what we plan to do to meet our goals.
When staying on track gets hard, it's time to think outside the box.
I constantly revitalize this long journey of mine. Otherwise, I might keep trying what is not working! And what works last month does not necessary work THIS month as the many goals and components of the journey interact.
Think of the dog that is trying to fetch a ball... that fell into a dirty pool.
The dog wants the ball.
The dog does not want to do the obvious: jump into the dirty pool, paddle to it to retrieve it.
What can the dog DO?
Why... think beyond the norm, right?
Here's the dog's solution:
Having trouble getting from where you're standing to reach what you want?
Think like the dog!
Outside the box in which you're sitting now.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Today I didn't really want to do my usual exercises, but turned on the radio station and got going. Sundays are loaded with lots of peppy oldies and little dialog, so my attitude changed and I loved just plain moving my parts.
Then, I took a few minutes to think forward while looking through my book of exercises geared to my fms/mps (fibromyalgia and myofacial pain syndrom). This is a looseleaf binder of exercises -- intended as a sort of lifelong exercise bible full of current and "possibility" movements.
Sometimes I get stuck in the basics and forget to look beyond it to those possibilities, so this morning was a good time to look beyond today. Looking forward to the possible and to the dream levels jump-started my momentary feeling of frustration. Yeah, the day really started off on a bad level. But! Optimism and hope won out. All that was needed was to spend some time thinking about 'where' I've been, what I HAVE accomplished... and what I absolutely intend to reach in terms of my goals.
I want MORE.
I want to do more.
Feel more - that inner feeling one gets, comparable to the runner's high!
I want to be able to MOVE my parts better;
to feel the wonderful feeling in the abdominals when you are walking.
These are glorious goals, don't you think?
I am so glad I was active because I can easily remember that FEELING.
The feeling one gets when all parts are in good shape... and moving at a clip.
It's absolutely fantastic.
My activity/exercise methods have restrictions, my goals of movement and weight loss won't be easily reached (hey, it's already taken 7 years to overcome some other tough hurdles!) but I will continue with my fms/mps-friendly exercises and continue to reach forward. Digging further into the back pages of that book of lifelong exercises!
Because I really WANT that good feeling in my gut when I take a walk at a pace not yet possible. It can happen. It will.
When obstacles and hurdles stand between us and our goals,
we have to focus to know them down.
One by one.
It takes patience.
It is doable.
And every achievement is worth celebration!
Life is unpredictable; hurdles can be tossed into our pathways, and we can adjust.
Keeping the goals in mind instead of dwelling on the hurdles lets us jump higher than we'd once imagined possible.
Hurdle-jumping can make extreme sports look like pansy-stuff sometimes, y'know!
I'm no Olympian, but I'm going for my own kind of gold medal.
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