This past winter was the best and worst I remember since my stroke. It was the best because I was able to take on various initiatives, and starting to feel like my old self. It was the worst because I was decreasing the amount of time I was spending on active exercise, and this was causing huge problems with my healing.
The muscles on my right side (leg, arm, but, etc.) were tightening; they were stiffening and causing spasms and increased pain in my leg and but. To avoid the pain, I often had to sit and avoid too much movement. I found myself falling prey to the popular saying:
A body that stays at rest remains at rest.
Sure I was getting the minimum recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise, for I made myself workout for about 30 minutes each day. However, I was also sitting every chance I got. Moreover, everywhere I went, people were aware of my disability and practically begged me to sit. I was probably sitting less than 3 hours a day!
The pain was my blessing. It got me to the doctor, and made me see the critical need for increasing moderate to vigorous exercise, general movement, and standing.
I began taking yoga to focus on loosening and strengthening my muscles. And perhaps even more importantly, I committed a good part of my day to standing. I don’t yet have the increasingly popular treadmill or standing desk, so I just put my monitor and keyboard on boxes (as seen on the right), so I can stand up and work.
After just 3 weeks, the pain has seriously diminished, and I see signs of the strengthening of my leg and arms. It was kind of cool to squeeze my butt and feel possible re-emergence of some firmness.
I am doing all I can not to become a statistic in health research, showing how sitting is killing our population. I am committed to using the affected muscles on my right side, for I am not ready to lose them. This body is not about to stay at rest, for I am not ready to remain at rest.
It’s Easter weekend. I am taking the opportunity to stand up and move about every chance I get. What about you?
Have a blessed weekend.