Saturday, July 17, 2010
I haven't checked the details of this info on my fitness tracker, but I'm close enough to the facts and sure enough of them to share them with you.
Several months ago I was in the hospital recovering from asthma...that was in the early days of my Spark membership. My goals then were to take 200 steps a day!! (yep, you heard that right! and half of the time, I couldn't DO it!) When I was discharged, I asked my pulmonologist what kind of exercise he thought I'd eventually be able to do. He said "Absolutely NONE."
Then, in May, I was in the hospital for three weeks having a hip replacement and recovering from the infection I picked up there. I was discharged after those three weeks using a walker. (I got home June 14th)...By my next surgical checkup, I strolled in, walking unassisted, and received applause from the surgeon and his nurses. They were amazed at my quick progress.
About a week to a week and a half ago, I decided to get serious once more about my Spark program. I was scared to death to exercise...wasn't sure what my new hip could tolerate, was fearful of breaking hip precautions, was not sure if my breathing would hold up to it...was in TERRIBLE shape (literally atrophy) due to well over a year of being crippled by a bad hip and psoriatic arthritis. And most of all, worried about the effects that exercise would have on my "newest" problem: 3 herniated cervical discs that have kept me all but bedridden since I got home from my hip surgery. Even the experts at Spark cautioned me about maybe wanting to think twice before I undertook an exercise program.
But I started really slowly and cautiously. I know what kind of pain to watch out for: sharp, electrical or stabbing pain as well as increased numbness or tingling in my arms and hands. First, I just walked...three houses down from where I live was all I could manage. But every day I walked and pushed myself to go further.
I began to do short chair yoga video clips online at Youtube. I found that the stretching actually seemed to HELP my hurting back and neck. I found that as my abs and shoulder muscles got stronger, my neck hurt less and was less prone to sharp pain caused by weakness and sudden movements. I think my new muscles are actually "bracing" the injury. I finally purchased a DVD of chair yoga which is much more challenging (I use the chair video because still, with my new hip, getting up and down off of the floor is quite difficult) and managed to do that whole thing.
I did an indoor video which I'd borrowed months ago from a friend called, "Walking Fit" which is done by "walking" in place (which is a sneaky word for what is really aerobic dancing)...Yesterday I did that for 17 minutes! (One whole workout). The reason that is amazing is because I have horrific asthma and never EVER thought I could do 17 minutes of aerobics.
And TODAY, I put my iPod on playing all four movements of Beethoven's 9th Symphony. (which proved to be a good thing because I failed to check the time when I left and that way, I was able to calculate how long I'd been walking). I really DIDN'T want to walk this morning. It was hot; I'd had a bad night with pain and slept very little...but then I thought, "Why not? I have nothing else to do." And out I went.
I walked, not really focusing this time, on my surroundings. Not noting landmarks etc. (but still keeping an eye out for bears... you have to understand that I live in the Pocono Mountains in PA....
and EVERYTHING is UPHILL)...Soon I saw a street coming up, I suddenly wondered where I was...was this really only the FIRST street I usually passed? No, it was probably the second (about 3/4 of a mile from my house)...But NO, it was the THIRD (over a mile and a half from my house!!). And I wasn't even tired...not really. I decided to go a bit further. I walked to the firehouse and then decided to turn around. I actually RAN (well, more like jogged) part of the way back. People, I have not run, NOT ONE STEP, since I was probably 18!! And maybe even longer than that!!
I made it home, Yeah, I was sweating, but not horrifically out of breath...and best of all, my muscles which had been causing me to limp all week from their soreness, were FINE!
Thank you Spark People for motivating me to do this; for giving me the DESIRE to regain my health and strength!
And thank all of you sparkers for your constant encouragement!