DOWNTOWNJEN

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The exercise conundrum

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I've been caught in a conundrum lately. It's name is "exercise".

Yes - I've read all the SP articles saying you should find something you like and do that. I totally agree. I got bummed today seeing the "swimsuit ready bootcamp challenge" thinking - "wow - that would be fun", but there are a couple of other factors in my particular case that I have to take into account.

1. Dealing with 5 yrs of deconditioning due to a serious illness (mostly bedridden for about 2 yrs).

2. Eyes and vision severely damaged by the illness making some activities 'challenging' - for example, due to the extent of the physical damage to my eyes, it is not advised that I do anything that would put pressure on the eye including anything inverted (like some yoga poses) or that causes straining (like heavy resistance training). Then there's the whole vision issue - I just don't see that well. So anything that involves hitting/kicking/catching or things that involve controlling a vehicle (biking, sailing) is likely not in the cards.

3. Pain and fatigue issues. Over doing just a tiny amount can set me back days, weeks or months. I keep thinking that I can tell when I'm overdoing but a lot of times, I can't. For example, a walk too and from a local community college set me back 2.5 months. Why? Because I wore my purse while walking. It wasn't a heavy purse. It had a strap that you can wear across your chest. Apparently just that small amount of weight triggered a pain cascade that had me back in bed for a few days and in pain for over 2 months. Craziness. But reality.

So what to do for exercise? I'm not a huge fan of exercise for exercise's sake (kinda seems like a waste of time to me). So what can I do that is functional and creative and not outside of my ability level?

Gardening. I can garden. There's no end of things to do in a garden. Dig, weed, trim, plant, harvest , water, schlep stuff (rocks, dirt, you-name-it). Plus I get the satisfaction of having something truly kick-ass to show for all my hard work - an awesome garden!



I still hope to get to a Zumba class or a water aerobics class - but until I figure that out - Gardening is where you'll find me.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • LYNMEINDERS
    And what a credit your garden is as well.....

    I don't like exercise either however have hooked into walking and really enjoying it and certainly logging up the K's....took me a while to get into it though....
    All in good time for you I say
    3703 days ago
  • KLONG8
    I have garden envy bad!!! You're right, you can garden (boy, can you garden). Just try to keep moving. And if you have an opportunity, there are some yoga stretches that don't invert you. Maybe you can work some of those into your repetoire? Warrior 1?

    Good luck and keep working on it. You'll get there!
    3704 days ago
  • LYNDALOVES2HIKE
    Gardening is great exercise - I was just outside working in my own garden today so I guess we're on the same wavelength!!

    By the way - there are LOTS of resistance exercises that don't cause straining - my trainer believes in pushing it a little bit but not to the point of stressing or straining under the weights, in part because so many of us 'older folks' [aka geezers] have physical challenges, blood pressure or heart issues, etc. I do understand your limitations are more than mine and 'get it' regarding the pain and fatigue but thought I'd share that there are some resistance exercises that you could probably do, esp if you start out slowly.

    I'm not one to get into 'exercise for the sake of exercising' either, though, so prefer to do things that seem to have an additional purpose - I do like to walk and hike but my capacity is more limited than it used to be so I'm also trying to get up the courage to ride my bike more often! They are building some great bike trails by my house that should be ready in another month so I think I will definitely get out on my bike a little more frequently once the construction is finished!

    Have fun gardening!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3705 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3011801
    You were also walking.I dont know if you are still walking to Starbucks as well.Any exercise is better than none.Walking ,cleaning the house and of course gardening.
    3705 days ago
  • SANDYJAS
    Gardening is perfect exercise!
    3706 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5233545
    Same here.weightlifting.stretching walking.and beautiful garden at the end of it not to mention the fresh air lol carol emoticon
    3706 days ago
  • NANNAMOM60
    Your garden shows your love and hard work. I also suggest Heavy cleaning another avenue of exercise. It is listed under the cardio it is listed under home exercise.
    3706 days ago
  • CIVIAV
    No wonder given the picture you've posted! Just beautiful!
    3706 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8628660
    That's great!
    3706 days ago
  • BIGGIRL2082010
    Sounds like you're taking it at the pace YOUR body needs. That's perfect. Don't try to keep up with the Joneses where exercise is concerned - the last thing you want is for injury to sideline you! :)

    Take it slow, and before you know it, you WILL be doing more intense work. Just don't rush it!

    Cheers,
    Maya
    3706 days ago
  • NEW-CAZ
    Your garden is bootiful Jen so you must be getting some incredible workouts from working out there.
    Most people have a limitation of some sort and finding what sort of exercise suits takes time and errors. I hope you get to a Zumba class or water aerobics, both sound fun.

    You are lucky to have green fingers, your garden is a credit to you!
    3706 days ago
  • CLAREBEARSTARE
    Your garden is beautiful, it's a great place to get your exercise in. I live in an apartment and I miss having a yard to garden in. My boyfriend laughs because I have potted plants in all of our windows. Water aerobics sounds fun too, my gym offers the class but I always just go in and do my workout and forget about it. I will have to give it a try one of these days now that it's warmed up! :) Anyway, whatever you are doing seems to be working so keep it up!! emoticon
    3706 days ago
  • JILL313
    It's great that you realize you can still enjoy exercising in your garden. . .And your garden sure looks beautiful!! I assume you'll wear a big hat or do it first thing in the morning as I know it gets very hot there!! You have a great attitude and I admire that so much!! We all have limitations in one area or another. . so enjoy gardening as it is a healthy activity and you can be so proud of what you grow there!

    Hugs,

    Jill
    3706 days ago
  • GOLIGHTLY344
    That is a beautiful picture! Gardening is refreshing!
    3706 days ago
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