Your Body: Are You Using It Or Losing It

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.

meditationI 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 populardawn standing desk 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.

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