*I am not a doctor. Consult your doctor before starting any workout program.*
When I was first diagnosed with fibro, this was one of the biggest challenges I faced. Every doctor I visited and every book I read said, “Do yoga.” For me, going to a class was out of the question. I was depressed and full of anxiety in relation to how others saw me. My spirit was in the fetal position unable to handle anyone’s criticism, no matter how compassionate. To me, no one understood the pain I was going through. I checked out numerous DVD’s from my library and got seriously frustrated. I couldn’t make it through the warm-ups on those DVD’s. I gave up. I told myself I wasn’t going to get anywhere exercising. I told one of my doctors that I didn’t have time to exercise. What I meant was that I had limited time in my day. If I had the energy to do anything, it wasn’t going to be exercise; it was going to be something for my hubby or kids like housework or doing something with them.
Here’s what I figured out in doing housework; I was working out! Every load of clothes I separated, every time I loaded or unloaded the dishwasher, I was exercising. When I was warmed up, I would stretch out the muscles that were tightening. I started to tweak the way I did some chores as I noticed that doing them more often made them easier. Getting things done makes me feel good. When I notice something out of place or dirty and I take care of it, BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE, instant mood booster. It was through housework exercising that I first started losing weight and inches. (Getting off of narcotics and Lyrica and Cymbalta helped also.)
I also finally found a workout DVD that I could do. That’s right. One DVD is all it took to start getting my body back. Healing Yoga for Aches and Pains started me on my path to wellness. There are a lot of moves on the ground and sitting down. I did hurt my back once when I got a little too enthusiastic with my stretching. Go slow and don’t worry if you feel like you’re not really working out. The best workouts don’t feel like workouts at all. My favorite part is the last, where you are laying on the floor with your legs resting on a chair and just breathing. That move always leaves me feeling centered and ready to conquer anything.
Now that I’ve been building my muscles, I’ve been trying some regular workout DVD’s. I’ve always liked dance workouts and games. We traded in all my dance games when I thought I’d never be able to do them again. Now I want them all back. I really like Zumba. There are tons of options in the Zumba workout DVD’s and I’ve checked out a couple of them from the library. My favorite dances are the salsa and the Mexican dances. They have a special name but I can’t remember it and both times I tried to search for it, I even confused Google. Ha! There are some that I don’t like, so I skip them. At first, I couldn’t figure out the Calypso moves. They were too fast and there was too much hopping that I couldn’t figure out. The last time I did a Zumba DVD, I tried the Calypso steps and was able to do them! Made me feel great. I love that they have choices between just dancing and having the instructors tell you what to do. I started out learning all the moves. Now I can do the dance party. Just a warning, Zumba is addictive. I find myself thinking of Zumba moves whenever I listen to music. I always dance around the house, but now I’m Zumba-ing around the house. My 5 year old loves it and is doing it too.
I’ve also tried a Hula DVD, Island Girl Dance Fitness Workout for Beginners: Hula Abs and Buns. It is easy and low impact. The most difficult move is a lunge move but you can always skip moves that you find too difficult or that might cause you pain. I love this DVD because you learn an entire dance while working out. By the end, you combine all the moves in a dance. I am a fan of workouts that make me feel like I’ve accomplished something at the end.
After being turned off by all the corny belly dance DVD’s that I tried, I finally found one that I like. There were several belly dance DVD’s that I couldn’t get through the first move they were so corny (Here’s looking at you Goddess Workout). A huge high-five to my kids for not cracking up at the corniness of The Goddess Workout: Intro to Belly Dance before I did. The DVD I did today was Belly Dance Fitness for Weight Loss featuring Rania: Hip Hop Hip Drop. They go through the moves slowly at first and then speed them up. You learn an entire dance with this one too, combining all the moves into a dance at the end. If you don’t like Hip Hop music, don’t worry. There isn’t any Hip Hop. I’ve just requested Belly Dance Fitness for Weight Loss featuring Rania: Cardio Shimmy. If you find something you like, look for other things like that to keep your workout interesting.
As with everything else in wellness, it is a learning process. If one thing doesn’t work, try something else. Also, just because something worked once, doesn’t mean it’s going to always be for you. My example of this came through a DVD that I used to own pre-fibro and decided to try because I remembered how much I liked it before. 10 Minute Solution: Pilates used to be my favorite thing to do. I did the 10 minute ab workout 2 or 3 days ago. My abs are still screaming. Pilates is definitely not for me at this time. Maybe I’ll go back to it later, but right now it is not for me. The belly dance DVD helped with the soreness in my abs, but I’ve learned my lesson there.
If you are doing a workout and there is a part of it that you dread to the point where it keeps you from working out at all, then don’t do it. Find another option. If you are bored by any of your workout, don’t torture yourself through it. Don’t give up, find another way. Try, try, try and try again. I even ran today. I was in my pajamas and trying not to get hit by the sprinkler, but I ran. It didn’t even hurt. I’ve even been thinking of going for a run with the kids. Forget walking!
I don’t write this to hurt anyone else’s feelings or make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. That is for you to decide. If you think you should be doing more, then do it. Encouragement!
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