© Jacquelyn Johnston, M.Ed.
I was recently at a seminar on arthritis when something struck me. Most of the attendees were obese. When the seminar was over there was line-up to have a word with the speaker, who was excellent. The speaker had inserted subtle hints throughout his presentation about the need to exercise. e.g.
- If you want to relieve the pain in your knees I suggest you go out and exercise
- If you want the pain in the hands to get better take at least ten minutes a day to exercise
- If you want the swelling in the hips to go down get into the pool and do some aquasize
- If you want to concentrate better…
The speaker listened patiently to the people in the lineup, who were asking him, one after another: “I don’t know why I still have this pain in the wrist. I’ve taken (drug x) for 3 years”…and when he asked “Do you exercise?” the answer was “No, but…”
Don’t know about you, but it sure looks like a clear case of no ifs ands or buts to me. It is well known that exercise is the first step to better anything in health. So is weight loss. It’s the secret to better joints, better sleep, a better immune system, better hormone production, better moods, better eyes, better lymphatic balance, better waist management, and a better outlook on life overall, which is key any kind of recovery.
And, sure as fate, weight management is step one in insurance against diabesity. Many of the attendees were either prime candidates for the combination of diabetes and obesity, both of which would have compounded their arthritis. Twenty pounds less and they would have stood a better chance of going down those stairs without wincing, walked to the refreshment table without limping, and opening those nasty jars without getting a hernia. The speaker did not ask them to run a marathon. He asked them to start with baby steps.
OK so you agree. You want to avoid joining the 17.5 million who were diagnosed with diabetes in 2007, it might be an idea to start now. But where do you start? Well, when does your day start? If in the morning, start in the morning, before you get out of bed if possible. If you work nights you can do this when you get out of bed in the afternoon, before you have a bite prior to setting out for your shift. Your joints are more likely to be warm and relaxed, so some pedaling in the air would be a good place to start. Stretching from the right side to the left, breathing deeply, getting on all fours and arching your back while pulling in those abs. would be a wonderful way to start. Your joints will thank you, as will your stomach, your immune system, your hormones, your waist, your outlook? Your lungs will fill themselves with oxygen, your heart rate will gradually normalize, and your brain will be gently coaxed awake.
You can then repeat the same exercises on the floor, or when you’re vertical. A good shower, and you’re ready for your day! Whether you’re looking to ease that joint pain or be more alert, think more clearly or get your metabolism going for the day, you’ll have made a good start. Your blood vessels will thank you for it. Go to my website and download the free report giving you ten proven reasons why you need to take care of yourself—lose some weight, get the cholesterol under control. Or just start out like the frisky squirrel leaping from branch to branch.