Call me crazy, but I quite enjoy shoveling snow! I love the fresh air, the exercise and I even enjoy the snow; white and fluffy as it is! Of course, if I had my choice, I’d be lounging about on a beach somewhere in the South Pacific! Unfortunately, that is not an option at the moment, so best to make the most of our Canadian winters!
A few years ago I discovered that I could overcome shuffle-walking by counting my steps. I had to count continuously, but as long as I did, my walking improved. I also figured out that when I found myself shuffle-walking, if I stopped, reset my stride, relaxed my hands and told myself to take a big step, I could walk normally; even if only for a few strides. I still do this!
I took up martial arts in 1989 after being inspired by a motivational speaker at a company conference. In 1996, after receiving my black belt, I opened my own karate club along with two partners. In 2007, I started teaching on my own. Martial arts has been a big part of my life for the past 28 years. and now that I am retired, I still practice every day.
My favorite form of exercise these days is walking! I walk for an hour almost every morning! It is an integral part of my healing protocol!
In the four months leading up to the end of April, with everything going on in my life, I did much less exercising, particularly push-ups, stomach crunches and wall sits. The result has been a significant deterioration in my abdominal muscles, to the point where they are folding up underneath my rib cage. I have also been experiencing lower back pain, particularly when performing tasks.
By now, you’ve probably seen the ABC News piece on how cycling can help people with parkinson’s. It is very encouraging and inspiring! Experts don’t seem to know why people who have such a difficult time walking can easily ride a bike. I think it’s all about muscle memory and doing something that puts you in a state of joy! Think about when we were kids and the exhilaration we felt while riding a bicycle! It can’t help but be a good thing!
Morning! A time of eager anticipation! A time of great foreboding! Excited anticipation of my morning walk! Tremendous foreboding of getting dressed for said walk!
People are now beginning to understand the importance of exercise in restoring health, particularly as it relates to neurological conditions, like parkinson’s. Indeed, exercise benefits us in many ways. Not only does it strengthen muscles and vitalize cardiovascular health, it stimulates and strengthens all of the internal body systems, including the immune system.
One of the things, I believe, that has helped me manage well, living with a neurological disorder, is staying joyfully active. I walk almost every day. teach and practice martial arts four nights a week, practice Qigong everyday, play a little golf during the summer, ski during the winter, ride my bicycle and do pushups and wall sits regularly. It’s not hard core and I don’t overdo it, but I enjoy it. Then Mari sent me this video on Stephen Jepson. In his seventies, Jepson takes joyful exercise to a whole new level and as a result, he is my new inspiration!
I thought you might enjoy this video!
Have an awesomely active day!