It doesn’t take much: a walk around the block, a couple of mini-morning salutations, some deep breathing. And good nutrition.
Late getting up, I prepared a cup of coffee and grabbed a slice of O&H kringle leftover from yesterday’s book club before logging onto my iPad. My taste buds savored the slice of sweet, moist, buttery pastry with joy before my stomach protested with nausea. I firmly believe that if I am to waste calories and nutrition on sweets, those treats need to be the best. O&H out of Racine, Wisconsin, definitely fits the bill. The problem was consuming a handful of sugar for breakfast.
Thus, I opened the Zoom for online yoga with Noreen feeling less than optimal. Learned from experience: a little movement can counteract all kinds of ill feelings. I persevered.
Although I can no longer do many of the poses because of bad knees, Noreen reminds her students that the practice is ours, for our bodies. So I adapted and kept moving.
Within a few minutes, the nausea was gone, my muscles were relaxing, and my mood was rising.
It doesn’t take much: a walk around the block, a couple of mini-morning salutations, some deep breathing. And good nutrition. With age, my body has little tolerance for a poor diet. So my number one concern today is, how can I ignore the call of those cookies my sister left for us?
ach time I do even the smallest activity, though, I marvel at the benefits, and file the experience in my memory to motivate me tomorrow. That and meeting friends for coffee may be enough to get me going.
A walk in the park
After a rather sedate weekend, I got myself out of the house this morning for a 1.5 mile walk in the central Phoenix neighborhood where I am lying low at my nephew’s guest house. I call it my she-shed.
The temperature was tolerable for a change, and the humidity did not tax me until the 1.2 mile mark. After cooling down upon my return, I joined Adriene for a few minutes of gentle yoga. The sweat oiling the floor prompted me to cut the session short.
Ready to roll
A good night’s sleep and light morning exercise set the tone for the day. I completed a couple of tedious tasks which I had been avoiding and am now making plans for the rest of the day.
Physical activity is truly natural medicine, strengthening the body and freeing the mind. The year of COVID with gyms closed and isolation from our support groups forced us to find new ways to move. Now, the summer weather in the southwest makes a casual walk ill-advised. Exercise requires intention and planning.
Each time I do even the smallest activity, though, I marvel at the benefits, and file the experience in my memory to motivate me tomorrow. That and meeting friends for coffee may be enough to get me going.
My impatience to heal drives me either to push myself and strain my knee or give up and recline for days at a time. The latter brings physical relief, but darkens my mood as I tire of TV, games, books, and general inability to complete activities. News headlines plunge me further into the depths, and I begin researching a move to Scandinavia.
Having discovered yoga prior to my hip replacement, I do not need convincing of the benefits of movement. I am not talking hot yoga, rather gentle/restorative/yin yoga which slowly leads the body into relaxed stretches. The relief is instantaneous.
Thus, when I am most down, I know to convince myself to start some stretches, either seated or with minimal weight on my left knee. Arm reaches, gentle back bends, forward folds bring instant relief as I sense the rush of blood and awakening of nerves throughout my body. Even so, I must talk myself into it.
And so I am understanding but saddened when I hear of people crippled by pain who have given up, waiting for a fix from the medical community. Now I am all for good medicine, but much pain (not all) can be alleviated with better daily habits. Number one of which is movement.
We all know this, right? So why do we choose cookies/chips over carrots? Wine over herbal tea or even water? Sitting over stretching? We pick up the phone to whine rather than breathing deeply.
The gist of this: if you are in pain, move! If just a little bit. Add some singing which will help with deep breathing and release endorphins. And encourage your friend on the other end of the phone line to do the same. We are in this together!