GO ME GO!
I HAVE WALKED 101 DAYS IN A ROW!
That’s so cool. Thank goodness I had a Physical Therapist a couple of months ago who I really clicked with. She encouraged me to “Keep On Keepin’ On” no matter what. She told me the most important advice she could give me is to walk–even just a little bit–every day. Yes, EVERY DAY.
She pointed out that with lupus and multiple sclerosis WALKING is the BEST thing I can do for me. Even just a few minutes every day will help. The point is the repetition with my muscles and with my body in general. Pretty soon my mind and body will be programmed to make it a habit and it will all work out. Otherwise, the muscles are encouraged to stiffen up and in turn I will not have the flexibility, strength, stamina or endurance and it will continue that way. She understood both illnesses well enough to tell me that she knew there were days I felt like walking WAS NOT A GOOD IDEA. It kinda did feel like she was reading my mind. Perhaps I’m too tired or have too much going on or my legs just hurt so the red flag goes off in my head that I BETTER NOT WALK TODAY AND JUST LET MY LEGS REST. BUT the point is to WALK.
She also made it a point not to bite off more than I could chew right away–that it was really okay to ease myself into it and to even do a few minutes if that’s all I could do. There was no need to push too hard or walk for an hour every day or to walk too much all at once. It’s cumulative. The body will remember, the muscles and nerves will remember. Sure it might be hard at first to mentally be committed and my legs might yell at me for using them “too much” but to keep at it. Take it easy. WALK. No judging of myself.
So while I was still in treatment with her I attempted this idea called “WALK”. Sure I did too much at first and walked too much and wore myself out. Of course I did. I’m me. She pointed out that as humans we are all programmed to think we have to take it all on. She’s worked with pretty healthy people too who also bite off jump in right away and wonder why they can’t walk the next day or a week later.
ONE STEP AT A TIME.
So that’s what I’ve been doing and it’s worked. And I can say that it has finally clicked in. I’ve heard over the years that someone with MS (specifically) should try to exercise every day and do something–whatever that is–and that walking was a great idea.
IF I CAN WALK AND HAVE THAT PRIVILEGE THEN TO WALK IS A PRIORITY…
I do have to change it up a bit. I have a fitness walking video I use at a home, sometimes I do a dance walk type thing–hey maybe I can patent it is the Nahleen Dance Walk, I walk around the apartment (so boring but gets the job done), I walk outside, I walk where I have errands, I walk the mall, I walk a park, I walk in a museum, I walk before or after a doctor appointment.
By now I know you get the point.
And the payoff is really great. Not only do I know I benefit from stretching every day (been doing this for years–thank goodness), BUT now I walk every day. I have always loved to walk outside. It helps to relax me to see nature with the sky and flowers and birds–you name it. There’s even some fresh air to breathe. It’s lovely. So this is all really good for me to add it to my daily routine. I’ve noticed my legs ache and are less stiff, my joints don’t hurt as much, my legs are stronger, I have more endurance and can walk more distances and a lot of times it’s not my legs that bother me much–it’s the rest of my body.
I’m so so glad I listened to this very special woman. She has really changed my life.
ONE STEP, ONE WALK AT A TIME…