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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring into Healthy Habits ~ Part Two

You can read Part One here.

and I would say a Woman's too!!!

Walking is one of the simplest and least expensive methods of exercising. No equipment is required and you can do it anywhere. Yet, most people (myself included pre-accident) take the ability to walk for granted; opting for elevators instead of stairs, parking as close to entrances as possible or taking the car for short distance. 
For me personally it has been bitter sweet, with not being able to really exercise at a gym, like I use to, walking would seem like a natural solution. Nope, between my ankle with screws, lower back pain, breathing challenge and misaligned hip/pelvic walking more than 10 minutes or so has become challenging. Especially with the ankle giving out unexpectedly. 

Some solutions I have discovered; whenever a store has shopping carts, I will use it to provide support as I walk along; Mr. Dolce (our Yorkie) rides proudly in his doggie stroller, which also provides support for me and enables me to take walks; when I'm feeling good I will venture out without any walking aides ~ but for very short distances (out of car to inside where I'l be sitting or using some of the creative solutions) or walking Mr. Dolce on his leash, on our property.  The Treadmill is also great for doing mini walks throughout the day, what's important is that we get up and move, be it 2, 3, 5, 8, 10 minutes etc.

Perhaps one of the best aides are the walking poles I discovered last summer. Walking poles originated in Finland, are quite popular throughout Europe and are gaining popularity in Canada and U.S. The poles focus on engaging the upper body while walking, this addition of the torso muscles enables you to walk at a slower pace yet receive a more challenging overall workout.

Walking 30 minutes per day is considered good for your health. WHAT I HAVE NOTICED since 30 minutes in one walk is too much for me, walking 10 minutes intervals 3 times a day seems to have the same benefit.

Additional Benefits:
Brain Power:  Walking at an easy pace at least 1.5 hours per week, helps with cognitive function.
Reduce Symptoms of Depression : For as little as 30 minutes a day, 3to 5 times per week over a 12 week period is beneficial in helping to reduce symptoms of depression.
Decreasing Body Fat: Walking for just 30 minutes a day can help improve fitness and decrease body fat. Remember for those of us who are not all to do 30 minutes straight, breaking it down to 3, 10 minute daily walks, will give you the same result.
SIDE NOTE: According to researchers in the U.K. walking for 15 minutes lessens chocolate cravings.

I have always been a huge fan of Yoga, and couldn't wait to get back to it. Despite not being able to use my right arm for much support, with the help of my Yogi, have managed to find ways to modify poses and still get the benefits. WHAT I HAVE NOTICED, my attention to my breathing increases, going at my own pace may take a little longer to achieve results, but they are there. Great for toning.

Additional Benefits:
Pain Prevention: By helping to improve your alignment, increasing flexibility and strength, can help prevent some of the causes of back pain.  
Breathing: Most people breathe very shallow into the lungs, no t giving much thought to how we breathe. Pranayama, yoga breathing exercises help teach us to focus our attention on the breath, utilizing our lungs better. Consciously bringing oxygen to the entire body. certain types of breath may also help clear nasal passages and calm the central the central nervous system, which has both physical and mental benefits.
Mental Calmness: Concentrating on what one is doing has the effect of bringing calmness to the mind. Yoga introduces us to meditation techniques, which also help to calm the mind.
Self Confiodence: Since Yoga often requires you to make small, subtle movements to improve alignment and posture.  This can lead to improved posture and greater self-confidence.

Stretching has been part of my daily routine post accident, even before I came out of my coma. My sister would massage my one arm and legs. WHAT I HAVE NOTICED: Starting the day with stretches that I have been taught over the past few years, makes a HUGE difference in my mobility and gives a little exercise to my muscles.

Additional Benefits:
Reducing and Preventing Back Pain: If your back pain is not a result of illness or injury, there is a good chance morning stretching will help. By reducing tension in your spine and muscles, stretching helps to relieve and prevent back pain. 
Increased flexibility: For persons such as myself with limited and low level of physical activity results in tightened muscles and reduction in flexibility. Stretching in the morning encourages lengthening and relaxing of muscles, which aide in improving flexibility.
Improved circulation and energy level: Morning stretching helps to increase blood flow to your muscles, more blood to your muscles equals more energy in the morning.  Our brain also benefits as the increase of blood flow, sharpens concentration in the morning.
I have found some morning stretch exercises that are similar to the ones I do in the morning, you can click here .

Small steps and modifying an activity can help you get in shape and maintain over all health.

Do you stretch to get your day started? Is walking part of your daily fitness routine?


  1. You are doing a great job of exercising and walking. I walk about 30 minutes 3 or 4 times a week, and agree with you about its benefits. Have you considered exercise in a warm water indoor pool? I do that 2 times a week, and it feels wonderful. The water supports you so you can't fall. Keep up your good work on your recovery journey.

  2. Come the warmer weather, walking is the only exercise that is easy to do eith Ava in tow. I walk to the kids school daily plus take her on a nice long walk each morning. I enjoy swimming too just hard to get into the pool fir snykind of real swim other thanin the wknd when L can watch the
    ittle one.

  3. Oh yes, I walk three miles a day and ride a bike for 20 minutes too. But I also realize how easy it is to take that for granted. I retched my knee two days ago and haven't been able to exercise because my knee is popping. I feel terrible because it has become so ingrained in my daily routine that when I don't exercise I feel bad. I use to do yoga and am thinking about getting back into it.

  4. Wonderful series! I'm a huge fan of walking. I have TWO english springers that require lots of exercise - daily - so I'm out rain or shine. Walking is so easy on the joints and I find it my morning walk routine really energizes me for the start of a new day.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  5. Since we got our dog I have been out walking at 530 in the am and again after work, my daughter joins me after work and it is a nice time to talk. I am sorry you have pain with walking, but I am glad you have found solutions for yourself! This is great info.

  6. Such good advice, Celia. Walking has always been my favorite exercise. I need to get started again and have been dragging my feet...literally. ;)
    Thank you for sharing, and thank you so much for stopping by.
    Enjoy a lovely weekend.

  7. Dearest Celia,

    What a valuable post again! So sorry for your problems beyond the 10 minute walk. It must be challenging for keeping up with Dolce! Great that he understands the importance of his doggy stroller to you; so he sits proudly and serves two in one.
    Sending you sweet greetings with sunshine and warmth,


  8. Walking once a day keeps my joints at play.
    No lie.
    Walking is a powerful activity.
    I have to walk 2 miles a day...so says my neurosurgeon.
    And I use carts at the grocery store too.

  9. oh, walking is wonderful and we walk all the time. I need new walking shoes, however, and I think that is what I am going to do tomorrow!!! CELIA DEAREST, thank you for coming to visit me and the fairies. LOVE TO YOU and I pray you are progressing daily! YOU LOOK SO BEAUTIFUL! Anita

  10. I always enjoy my walks the troble is i keep stopping to take photos. :)

  11. There's nothing like a fabulous walk on a pretty day! I love that you don't let your injuries stop you and still make sure to find times for regular walks!

  12. Hello Celia
    I went back and read part one. I must give you credit for finding ways to overcome the issues from your accident.
    I exercise 5 days a week in our basement gym, and walk the dog every morning for 30 minutes. Yoga I try to do every other day and enjoy it.
    The part about you visiting a dietician has convinced me I should too as I've been wanting help with my diet for awhile. Going to a naturopath Dr. was a real boost to my digestive problems.
    You go girl!


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