Thursday, March 22, 2012
What do you enjoy doing for exercise?
Mobility challenges make walking, climbing stairs, and standing without aid - pretty miserable. So...I looked for other ways to get in movement while sitting in my chair. My chair has adjustable legs, so I am able to raise or lower the height, which helps standing up a bit easier.
When I first began exercising I was using a CD from the Arthritis Foundation. It worked my upper torso including: neck, shoulders, arms, fingers, and legs. It provided more ease while opening jars, turning knobs, getting into & out of vehicles, ease of driving and many more.
Since much of my day exists around sitting, I knew that I would need something to improve my legs and the circulation in them. The bonus would be to diminish some of the engorgement from my Lymphedema.
I first became homebound Oct 2010 and began toe & heel tapping to the beat of music. Not being able to get down my steps, out to my vehicle and enjoy the Holidays with family spurred me onward to keep trying. And by New Year's day this adventure had turned into a habit, something you can do without even thinking about it!
But then I think I got a bit cocky or maybe it was when warmer days of Spring came, movement became a bit easier and like a dork, I quite exercising.
And we all know that when you stop exercising ~ you slip backwards, challenges become more difficult and by the end of 2011, when my parents died, it took all my energy to attend their funeral.
I was facing another winter of being home-bound, grieving my parents and then my significant-other bought a motorhome and headed to the southwest without me. He was too anxious to find warmer temps that he didn't want to wait to make the MH more accessible to getting in or out of.
He left shortly after the New Year and once again I began my toe & heel tapping to the beat of music. A 3-minute song was exhausting!!
Mid January I was able to get some 'hang time' between my foot and the floor. From that day forward marching came into my life. In the beginning - 60 steps per day left me totally exhausted. I was getting 8 to 12 hours of sleep daily, but was determined to regain some mobility.
From July to November 2011, I had fallen 4 times because of loss of balance. By mid-Feb, I started noticing subtle changes and my balance was improving. It helped to spur me forward towards pushing myself a bit more each week.
The last week of Feb, I was handling 80 to 120 steps per day. Rising from a chair was becoming a bit easier, but it made no impact on walking ~ I'm still moving, slower than a turtle. But I think it's more important to overlook what you are unable to do and concentrate on what you CAN do.
I march in increments of 10, my week begins on Sunday and since I often sleep weird hours, I keep track of my steps from midnight to midnight. By March 10th, I was averaging 210 steps per day.
While marching to the beat of music, different songs pop into my head. While I haven't been able to march through a complete song ~ YET ~ I keep pushing myself a bit more every day.
Yesterday, a friend asked if I had tried marching while standing up? I closed my eyes and saw myself marching to Seventy-Six Trombones and a smile emerged upon my face.
I think that many of us get discouraged because when we start making changes we demand instant results. We quickly forget how long our bad habits changed us into the blobs we are trying to reshape.
Baby steps are slowly creating subtle changes in my life. While I don't often recognize a change when it happens...I'm slowly having more AHA moments. It feels wonderful and provides a sense of accomplishment, makes me sit taller in my chair, puts more smiles on my face, improves my self-confidence and has me thinking about the future.
So, start polishing off your instruments.....I'm looking forward to having the ability to standing up and marching to.....Seventy-six Trombones!!!