Movement for Health, Mind, and Soul

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By Patricia Zick @PCZick

Despite recent challenges with nerve damage in my legs and hands, I continue to move through the pain. I do a yoga routine for twenty minutes some mornings when I wake up early enough. Three times a week, I go to a gym for women with weight resistance machines. They put me on a less strenuous routine, but I’m determined to build my strength back to where I was in October. I go to dance classes two evenings a week – one night is rhythm dancing and the second night is zumba. When I go to the gym on Wednesdays, I stick around for a thirty-minute Tai Chi class with simple movements and powerful results.

This morning I woke up feeling tired. I worked for a bit on some projects and did some things with social media, but by ten o’clock, I was beat and fell asleep for nearly two hours. I felt even more wiped out from the morning nap. I forced myself out of bed. I dressed, and I went to the gym and did my thirty-minute round on the machines. I felt much better than before.

I am determined to move every day, even when I don’t feel like it. I’ve seen far too many people fall victim to their aches and pains, which become much worse without activity. My attitude is much more positive when I keep moving. And I feel more at peace with the world around me despite some of the challenges I continue to face.

Here’s some good reasons from the Mayo Clinic for putting some movement into your day:

Seven Benefits of Regular Physical Therapy

  1. Exercise controls weight – My metabolism is slow so I don’t lose weight very quickly, but even though the scales don’t show I’ve lost much, I feel better and my clothes fit better. If you can’t get to the gym, try parking your car in the furthest spot at the grocery store rather than circling for the closest one and wasting gas. Use your own energy. Take the stairs in buildings rather than the elevator every once in awhile.
  2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases – According the Mayo Clinic exercise boosts the “good” cholesterol while booting out the bad. It’s also a benefit to the heart.
  3. Exercise improves mood – They also say exercise stimulates brain chemicals that help us feel happier and more relaxed.
  4. Exercise boosts energy – Today is a great example of my energy level boosting.
  5. Exercise promotes better sleep – The experts say it deepens sleep. I sleep very well, but exercise shouldn’t be done too close to bedtime or it will have the opposite effect.
  6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life – “I’m not going to argue with the Mayo Clinic,” she said with a smile on her face.
  7. Exercise can be fun – When I go to dance class, I lose myself in the music. I smile and forget anybody is around. Other dancers come up to me and tell me how much fun I look like I’m having. They never say, “You’re a good dancer,” but I don’t care. A woman told me recently that I made it seem as if exercise was fun rather than drudgery. I can assure you I would not be doing it for very long if it were drudgery.

This routine works for me. My doctors have told me to do as much as my body allows. If you’re under a doctor’s care, always ask about how much and what you can do. I talked to a woman at dance class last night who said her doctors thought she was doing too much after back surgery so she was going to have to scale back, but not quit completely.  It’s all an individual endeavor.

What do you do to remain active? Please let me know your tricks for moving even when you just don’t want to go.

8 thoughts on “Movement for Health, Mind, and Soul

  1. I admire your positive outlook. You have such determination & spunk. Wishing you a successful recovery with all that you are doing.
    My daily activity is walking for 30 minutes. Some days I’m eager to go some days not …but I put my shoes on get my headphones and go. Before I know it I’m back home and so glad I pushed myself. I love to garden so for me I need to keep walking it keeps my strength up.

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    • It’s so true that worst part of exercising is the getting up and going. I agree that once into whatever it might be, it’s over before I know it, and I’m so glad I made the effort.

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  2. One of my newest tricks for moving when I don’t want to is that I watch/listen to Paula Deen’s cooking show at my health club. The TV monitor is on the equipment that I use. People have bad-mouthed her recently for her fattening recipes (she loves butter) and she recently admitted that she has diabetes. But the reason I watch her is that she is so funny! Today she had Liza Minnelli as a guest and the two of them were a laugh-out-loud riot. Another new tip is that lately the experts have been saying we need 15 minutes of sunshine a day (to get our Vitamin D which is hard to get). The only way I’m going outside is if I have to go someplace. I won’t get dressed just to go get the mail; the mail stays in the mailbox until I have to go someplace. (Does that make sense?) Therefore, in order to get the mail (and the sunshine I need) I have to go work out. There are times when I work out, that I get a high that is probably similar to a runner’s high. That high is very delicious! It makes me feel like jumping for joy! That good feeling is very reinforcing.

    I’ve been working out for a long time now. I’m at the point where I feel worse if I don’t work out. By feeling worse, I mean disappointed in myself (which is not a good feeling!), lethargic, my weight might go up, and I just don’t feel like myself. I have found that pain is fleeting. It may take a while to go away, but it eventually does.

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    • So true and yes, all of your thoughts make sense. We had such a beautiful day here Sunday, and I soaked up the sun. I just came from my dance class, and I know what you mean. I feel fantastic right now.

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  3. Great post! I’m so sorry to hear about your nerve damage, but good for you for working through it. I’m sure it will pay off. I do yoga and Pilates each once a week (more if I can), I play tennis once a week, try a do a weight lifting routine twice a week and walk with friends whenever I can. I love exercising and it truly helps with all that you listed! Good luck to you!!!

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