Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Getting going again

I've been distracted for three months by my back injury - the one causing tingling in my feet. I let my exercise routine go dormant, except for an hourlong class three mornings a week that's just for seniors. I cut down on my walking because wearing the walking shoes made the tingling worse.

Now that I've gotten the MRI results - older, aggravated back - I'm moving on. Getting going again.

I bought a couple pairs of "barefoot shoes". These are made by Merrill and I picked them up at REI. They're designed to imitate the stride used by people who run or walk barefooted. They've got a thin sole and a neutral/negative heel. They take a bit of getting used to - my calf muscles were sore at first - but I can wear them now to walk both inside and out. I'm using them.

I talked to my chiropractor about exercises that would help. He suggested I use a Roman chair exercise machine, available at my local gym - apparently it stretches parts of the spine in different directions - the top discs up, the lower ones down.

I made an appointment with Bob, a trainer I've used before. I told him about my SI joint, my tingling feet, my bp medication and my goals - to get stronger, improve my balance and assist my back/feet in their healing. He worked up a schedule for me. The exercises are primarily to strengthen my core and my legs and align my posture.

I've figured I can do the ones at home on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and the ones at the gym on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. At the gym I'll also use the elliptical trainer, which is great for strengthening the SI joint.

In the past, when I've started out on an exercise program it's been out of guilt or because I wanted to get fit or lose weight. This time it's different. I want to get strong and well again. I'm not ready to say, "Oh, well, I'm getting older. I don't need to do this any more." I'm responsible for my own body. I plan to live several more decades, and I want my body to be my friend.

This morning I did the floor exercises at home. I felt awkward and weak and I did them downstairs where my husband wouldn't be watching. It was a private beginning again. Then, this afternoon, I went outside and pulled weeds for half an hour, in my barefoot shoes. Just half an hour for today.

I've got a ways to go, but I feel better already. I've made the decision to get going again.


Rita said...

Awesome!! Sounds like a fantastic plan! Glad to see you back posting, too. :):)

Lynilu said...

Linda, are you old enough to remember "Earth Shoes" from the '70s" Your description sounds similar, the the pictures when I googled it looked similar. They were funny looking and took some getting used to, as you say, but I loved how they felt after a week or so. I hope this does what you need to put you back "on your feet." Good luck and happy trails!!

Meryl Baer said...

Glad you are back! Take the exercise one day at a time. As we get older it takes longer to heal and get back in shape. Good luck.

Deere Driver said...

Well good for you! I finally set up my MRI today for the shoulder. I too am no ready to stop.
We'll beat this old stuff!

DJan said...

One chiropractic adjustment and lots of exercise and my back is back to normal. Well, almost anyway. It does take longer when we're older, but exercise is the best thing for me. Thanks for the cute comment on my blog.

Sandi said...

Wonderful Linda! I'm cheering you on! I'm slowly upping my exercises, after months of not much of anything. It's really hard at times, but I'm starting to feel progress.

I tend to overdo, then give up. Hopefully, you will pace yourself, so you can keep on keeping on!

Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma said...

I loved reading this, and it makes me want to get going again, too. I need to look into the shoes to see whether they would help my achy feet.

Linda Reeder said...

Good for you. The need to be able to keep on going is what motivated me last January to start losing weight as well as to be consistent with my exercise routine. It has made such a difference in my mobility.
With the disruptions going on here, it's hard to monitor my food intake right now, and I had been letting my exercises go. Today I got back to the exercises, just in time because I was really starting to stiffen up again.
It's not a one time thing, but a life long effort and a change of lifestyle, but totally worth it.

Sally Wessely said...

This is good. I am intrigued by the shoes. I think I would like to try them. My granddaughter would be jealous. She wants some for her birthday on Friday. At nine, she thinks they are perfect 'hippie' shoes.

Did they recommend Pilates? I forgot to tell you that I have worked with a trainer using the Pilates Reformer to help my spine. It stretches, and it strengthens the core.

I have never heard of the Roman chair. I would like to know more about it. I will have to check it out.

If I know you, you will keep at this and feel much better. Keep on going, girl.

karen said...

Glad your getting on track. You've inspired me. Let us know what you think of the barefoot shoes. Lynilu mentioned earth shoes from the 70's....they still make them lynilu...I wear them and love them...but I'd love to try the barefoot shoes.
Hope all goes well with your back...and improvement comes quickly.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

"I felt awkward and weak and I did them downstairs where my husband wouldn't be watching. It was a private beginning again."

Why do we do that? We don't want to show our weakness? Or we are stronger in our private beginnings. I so appreciate this.

Grandmother Mary said...

Brava! Good for you for seeking advice on how to regain balance, fitness and strength and then taking it. We can do so much for ourselves and I applaud you doing it!

Dee said...

I'd like to second everything that's been said in these comments--about shoes, chairs, exercise, weight.

I so admire your determination in keeping your body flexible. I've overweight and out of shape (I sometimes can't remember ever being in shape!) and your posting today makes me want to pay attention once again to taking care of my body. If I do that, it will take care of me for the rest of my life. I know that. I know it. But, oh, getting started is hard.

Out on the prairie said...

Inactivity makes it worse on that back so keep plugging away.I find that it may be part of our age and something to live with.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

Good for you, Linda! Getting up and getting active again is usually good for back pain. When I worked in a clinic, I had a lot of patients with back injuries (and depression related to their injuries) and the ones who did the best were those who got up and exercised, even a little. Glad you're up and about again!

#1Nana said...

Keep up the good work! You might just guilt me into moving too!

Murr Brewster said...

It's probably just me, but I don't think I'd be interested in anything called "the Roman chair." It sounds punitive. But way to keep moving.

Tabitha Bird said...

Well go you!
Those kind of decisions can be so hard to arrive at. I wish you all the very best because I know first hand the courage it takes to step out in new ways. I believe in you.