There’s going to be a lot of feasting going on over the next week or so. I’m looking forward to it, but I already know there’s another habit I’ll really need to get back into when the new year rolls around.
The last half of this year hasn’t been good for me in terms of exercise. I exercise sporadically enough as it is, with the bulk of my “workouts” being walks. For most of this year, I walked a LOT. Toronto is a very walkable city, and I found myself walking at least half an hour every day.
The library? Twenty minute walk there, twenty minutes back.
I was just about to invest in a Fitbit when I pinched a nerve in my lower back early in September. It took about two weeks to heal, but during those two weeks, my body decided to learn some bad habits. Beyond the six week mark, I continued to have lower back pain – not overly severe, just enough to make me give a second thought whenever I wanted to walk anywhere farther than a block.
Apparently, that’s a long time for a back ache to linger. It’s enough of a concern, there’s a special government program that deals specifically with back pain that lasts longer than six weeks. My doctor referred me to the program, which set me up with a physiotherapist. It was free, so I didn’t complain. I was given a series of exercises to build back the muscles that were no longer working the way they should. There were, apparently, a number of them that’d decided to stop doing the things they did best. The physiotherapist had me lie on my side and lift one leg, and she showed me the hip muscle that should have moved but didn’t – my calf muscle was doing all the work, and that was a big no no. And my butt muscles? Apparently they’d decided to hibernate.
Anyway, walking was out, other than any necessary short distances. I had to reteach my muscles to do what they do best. So for the past few months, I’ve been using a Metropass, which lets me ride public transit anywhere I need to go. And doing the prescribed exercises somewhat sporadically. But the good news is, that muscle that didn’t move when it should have? It’s moving! Not a whole lot, but it’s getting there.
I’m determined not to have this happen again. So in 2015, I’m going to start exercising again. Not just walking, but really exercising. I haven’t decided yet what I’ll be doing, but I’m hoping to make it an every day thing.
I have a ton of exercise DVDs which I never seem to put to much use. And my friend Janel has, in the past, offered me the link to her playlist of YouTube exercise videos. My daughter swears by someone (can’t remember her name offhand) who does ten minute exercises on YouTube that are really tough. So many choices! Surely out of all this exercise bounty I’ll be able to get back into shape.
What are your exercise plans for the new year? Do you have any favourite exercise DVDs or YouTube videos?