I just finished doing something I’m a little ashamed to admit I haven’t done in months.
Not much, mind you.
I used to work out regularly. Thrice-weekly hour-long yoga sessions, twice a week hour-long sessions at a gym on an elliptical and with the free weights, daily half-hour walks.
Before that, I was a dancer.
I say that now, and people look at me skeptically. I certainly don’t look like a dancer any more. Ahem.
But this year, I’m determined to do things differently.
I’d love to lose some weight – excess weight is bad for fibromyalgia, and it’s bad for people with degenerative disk disease, and it’s bad for people with scoliosis. And I have all three.
Plus hypertension – it’s also bad for that.
And a family history of heart disease – you get the picture.
But the weight for me is just one part of the picture.
I have this long-held belief that if I could just lose the excess weight, my pain levels would decrease dramatically.
I don’t know for sure if that’s true, but it feels true. And it’s worth trying, for many reasons (see: all the above).
So the last week or so, I’ve been hashing out some things I can do differently that might put me on a more productive path, health-wise.
The plan consists of gradually stepped-up movement plus a series of simple adjustments to my diet. NOT resolutions – a new way of being.
And I really wanted to start the new year on the right foot, so to speak.
Initially, I’m focusing just on increasing movement, in simple and relatively small ways.
While my coffee heats up in the microwave, I do 28 wall pushups.
While I’m sipping the coffee on the porch, instead of sitting down, I stand and do 15 front and back leg lifts, each leg. Or 20 side bends to each side, or 20 stomach isolation moves from belly dance.
And I do these several times a day. At least that’s the plan. (Hey, we just started.)
I’m tracking my progress on a page in my Circa agenda for the year. (If you haven’t experienced the awesomeness of Circa, allow me to introduce you.)
I’m focusing on the doing, not the results. But I do plan to measure myself with a tape measure on the first of each month, and record those in the agenda too.
The plan is to take these exercise breaks five times a day for the first two weeks. On January 15th, I’m going to add in a fifteen-minute walk every day. On February 1st, I’ll add in some morning yoga, about 15 minutes or so. Then every two weeks, I’ll step up one element of this three-part plan.
By increasing my effort slowly & gradually in this way, I’m hoping to avoid serious flare-ups of the fibro, and form the exercise habit.
In addition to my “guinea pig” experiment, I’m hoping this approach will lead to a marked improvement in my health, wellbeing and pain levels.
What are you doing for yourself in 2014? How can I help?
Photo credit: danielmoyle via photopin cc