Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Help Yourself (to Exercise)

If I have to find something positive in being disabled and temporarily unemployed, I can say that I have time to learn things and improve myself. (Actually, I keep busy just so I don't lose what's left of my mind.)

The focus of my latest self-help project has to do with regaining my balance. The effects of the steroids I was on for so long were easy to combat. Eating right and staying really active is helping get me back to my "usual" shape and size. What the neuro-sarc has done to my balance and flexibility is a whole other battle I have to get through.

The exercise I do for my figure is helping a little with flexibility but not as much as I'd like and it's done nothing for my balance issues. I'm not sliding down stairs or walking face-first into walls like when I first got sick, but I've become chronically clumsy. I had to return a gift of a super-cute pair of boots because the heels were too high and thin. (I did manage to get an equally cute pair with heels not as high and a little thicker. There's a story that'll make you smile.) For now, though, I wanted to share some pages I ran across online - whether you want to lose weight, tone up or have better balance or whatever.

I came across a video teaching basic Yoga moves for "beginners." Couple problems there. For one thing, I'm wary of messing with Yoga because of my religious beliefs*. Even if the religious aspect didn't bother me, one thing did: the woman showing the poses obviously had bones made of some alien substance. There is no way on this planet I'd ever get my body to move like hers. "Beginner." My ass. For those of you with gristle in place of solid bone, knock yourselves out. Really, go right ahead.

Yoga, Pilates, Zumba. It all seems so intense. I'm looking for something I can do without hurting myself or someone else. So... I decided to check out something more specifically designed for someone with my problems.

These stretches seem good for helping to increase my flexibility. Nothing too complicated for me even though I got a cramp looking at that first slide. "Stretching safely," is what it says, but I almost knocked over my dresser when I fell over trying to get my leg in that position. Guess that's why the dude in the pic is leaning on the treadmill for support. Pro: slides are courtesy the Mayo Clinic. Con: no way to view all slides on one page. Hate that. (Be sure to check out the other links on the page for more exercises.)

I really like the idea of the balance exercises. That is just what my klutzy butt needs. (Not too harp on it, but I'm so awkward that my not-yet-2-year-old nephew is steadier on his feet.) My goal is to work my way up to running on a treadmill at the gym without hanging on for dear life. It's really embarrassing. Pro: once again - Mayo Clinic! Con: I couldn't stop giggling at the slides. In #1, the dude looks like he's seducing a crowd of gullible followers. In #2, old boy looks like he's learning or teaching the Electric Slide.

My favorite form of exercise is something anyone can do. Some of us do it badly, but, hey. I'm talking about dancing. You don't have to follow any special moves or rules or anything (except maybe not doing it in the nude in public).

I think one of the reasons I was able to get back into most of my (almost) skinny clothes is because I dance all the time. Am I a great dancer? Yep. In my head, I make Beyonce look like Jerry Lewis. Actually, I'm not a bad dancer, but I am too shy to really let loose in public. But around the house... Boy, let me tell you, I can move. I can't help it. If I hear music, I have to move to it. So, if you don't get any other kind of exercise, turn off the TV (a benefit right there) and get the music going. While you're cooking, cleaning, washing clothes or just wasting time on the internet.

Whatever you do, just move. Move while you can move, dance while you can dance. There are so many people who can't walk, move or dance at all. Celebrate your ability.


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