Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Every Day is a New Day to be Fabulous!

"You don't have to be great to start,
But you have to start to be great."
- Zig Zigler

I had a request from one reader to share some tips on exercising with reduced mobility.  Reduced mobility could be caused by injury, obesity, disability, as well as many other reasons.
First off, let me make it clear that I am not a medical professional!  I am simply one person who has a passion for health and fitness.  One person who has faced many struggles in her own life with maintaining a healthy life.  And I happen to be one person who enjoys reading and researching.

These are tips that I found to start moving.  Remember, no one person knows your body better than you do.  So listen to it when it tells you it is time for a break.  Also, it is always recommended that you consult with your physician first before starting anything new.

Okay, now that my disclaimer is out of the way, here are some tips that I like to get moving towards a healthier you, even if you have reduced mobility, because I believe any one person can do this.
Start slow.  Think about what you really enjoy.  Let’s face it, if you have to argue with yourself to do it, you may not be very successful.  If you don’t enjoy it, the excuses are easier to come by.

Cardio is a great place to start.

For cardio I would suggest walking with a spouse or friend, and bring the fur baby along with you.  Keep the pace light enough that you can carry on a conversation.  Another great cardio would be swimming.  Swimming is a great option as it is easy on your joints and you would be surprised at how much effort is required.  Or, and this one I absolutely love, dance!  Put on some of your favorite tunes and dance around your house.  Better yet, take a dance class!  You can do that with a partner or solo.  Now, some people may actually enjoy my next suggestion, but it is not one of my favorites.  Cleaning house.  The stretching and bending as you dust and sweep is actually a great workout.  Not only that but pushing and pulling a broom or mop around offers great resistance.

When you are ready to add in some strength there are options even for those with reduced mobility.

Here are some exercises you can do from the comfort of sitting in a chair.  Make sure you are sitting nice and straight and that your chair is firm.  Do each exercise for a minute then rest for thirty seconds.
  • Arm circles.  Just hold your arms out straight to the sides and make circles.  You can do big circles or little circles.
  • Punches.  Just punch out in front of you, alternating left and right. 
  • Reach up with both arms, and then bring your arms back down.
  • Leg lifts.  Holding onto the edge of the chair, lift one leg at a time straight out in front of you.
  • Flutter kicks.  Hold your legs out straight and kick.  If you need to touch down on the floor and can only come an inch, that is perfectly fine.
Do a round of each of these five exercises three times.  When you get stronger, add some weight or resistance bands.

The last, but probably most important, part of a healthy lifestyle is one that Mr. Crow reminded us ALL to do.  Stretching.  Go read his article "The Art of Stretching".  Try some form of yoga or tai chi.

A couple of things to always remember:
  • Drink LOTS of water, I have a water bottle with me everywhere I go!
  • If it hurts, stop.  Being healthy does not require you to hurt yourself.  There is a difference between a “burn” and pain.

This is YOUR journey.  You do it the way you want to.  Your goals are real and important.
No Excuses!
(c) Rachel Rennie 2015