How To Fit Exercise Into Your New Year’s Resolution

Hi everyone. The New Year is here and many resolutions involve getting in better shape. I regularly hear how there is no time to exercise. Here are some tried-and-true tips on how to fit exercise into your New Year’s resolution:

Isometrics
These maneuvers involve simply tightening your muscles. Tighten one muscle, like your butt, and hold for a few seconds. Release tension and relax. Repeat with other muscle groups.

Isometrics are particularly helpful when recuperating from a tkr – total knee replacement. Tighten your thigh muscles (quadriceps) to rebuild strength lost by incisions made.

Planks
These dandies give you an all-body workout. Start out by doing only one minute and gradually build up your time and endurance.

Get onto the floor with your arms and legs extended. It’s the position used when doing a push-up. Place your body weight onto your hands and feet. Straighten your elbows. Hold in your stomach (core) muscles. Breathe normally as you hold this position for one minute – or less – to start.

When done correctly you will feel your arms, stomach, shoulders, back, and leg muscles all working in sync.

Stretches
For an excellent back, neck, and leg stretch, stand and gently bend over to touch your toes. Let your head hang freely. Stretch as far as possible. Hold this position for as long as comfortable.

For an easy leg stretch, sit with your legs stretched (extended) in front of you. Keep your heels on the surface, toes pointed toward the ceiling. Gently move your upper body forward until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings (backside of your knee/leg). Hold this position for 10 seconds.

Gently and slowly return to your starting position. Repeat as needed.

Walking
Walking provides a cardiovascular and musculoskeletal workout. Do it at your own pace. Remember to wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes and socks.

Motto of story: Never let lack of time be an excuse for not exercising. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. There is always a way. Just find what works for you. The above-mentioned tips on how to fit exercise into your New Year’s resolution are still working for health-conscious individuals.

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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physical-related concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.







Early Morning Stretches For A TKR

Hi everyone. I have received some inquiries lately regarding ways to reduce stiffness upon waking in the morning. Seems many of you are like me and need to start using some early morning stretches for a tkr. These are also good for anyone else. So…here are some of my faves that may work equally well for you:

Forward Ankle Stretches
While still laying in bed, gently move your feet so your toes are facing the ceiling. When done correctly, you will feel a stretch in your hamstrings (back of leg).

Hold this favorite of early morning stretches for five seconds. Slowly return to original position.
Repeat as many times as desired.

Toes Away Stretches
Work your upper ankle region by gently pointing your toes away from you. Feel the stretch in your arches, ankle, and tibia areas. Hold for five seconds. Slowly return to original position and repeat as needed.

Ankle Circles
The title is self-explanatory. While still laying in bed, start making circles with your ankles. You can do one at a time or both simultaneously. Do this slowly and gently to avoid undue stress.

All-Body Stretch or Cat’s Meow
Have you watched a cat wake up? The stretch is something to behold.
Do your own by laying on your back in bed. Start by lifting your arms overhead while pointing your toes away from you.

Slowly and gently turn your torso to the left. Hold for a few seconds. Repeat this maneuver to the right side.

When done correctly, this will feel like a natural maneuver that gets the blood flowing.

Hope these exercises are as beneficial for you as for me. Feel free to share any feedback below. 🙂

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AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns.

This site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 40+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.







Guest Post: Holistic, Natural Ways of Keeping Healthy

total knee replacement and holistic, natural living tips

Hi everyone. As you probably know, I am always on the lookout for quality information from outside sources to share with you – my valued readers. It seems I have found one in Jon Reyes, a freelance writer who enjoys sharing his passion about living a healthy, holistic life. The article is as follows:
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Holistic, Natural Ways of Keeping Healthy

When we talk about holistic methods to being healthy, we mean taking a ‘whole body’ approach. Instead of focusing on just the physical side of things, for instance, all aspects are considered, such as mental and social health. Ideally, this will best help improve and maintain your quality of life.

First and foremost, it goes without saying you need to exercise, exercise, exercise! Health authorities recommend everyone participate in some kind of exercise, preferably a few times a week at varying intensities. Physical activity significantly benefits the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, muscular strength and flexibility. It also benefits your skeletal strength and movement. At its most basic, exercise keeps your heart beating, your lungs breathing, your muscles working, and your joints moving.

If this few times a week exercise commitment is not realistic, then lessen your sedentary time. Get off the couch. Stand behind the chair and do some leg lifts. Stand on your toes. Do some isometrics. Even if it’s just extended standing, or moving from room to room – do it. Start moving.

Recently, experts have bne toutingh the many benefits offered by yoga. Some of the noted benefits include: improved sleep, metabolic functioning, and immune system enhancement. This just names a few. Importantly, yoga significantly reduces levels of stress. It lowers your body’s level of the hormone cortisol. Cortisol is the hormone responsible for the ‘fight or flight’ response. In addition to all of the above, yoga will noticeably iumprove your flexibility and range of motion.

Studies have shown that doing yoga as part of your total knee replacement recuperation significantly alleviates pain and stiffness in joints. Results start showing up in just a few weeks. Yoga can also speed up our recovery rate, providing you do not overdo the maneuvers. There is also plenty of evidence supporting the fact that pre-op (exercise before your operation) can help to reduce pain symptoms and reduce your length of stay in the hospital.

Saunas are fairly widespread, being commonly found in health & fitness centers. This seems to be rather contrary, considering you don’t really hear much about what they do, and why you should, or shouldn’t, use them. There are a few instances in which you shouldn’t be using a sauna; these are upon experiencing chest pains, or after suffering a recent cardiac event (like a heart attack).

Start using a sauna to help rid the body of toxins that may be present. Beneficial in itself as it eases the strain on organs like the kidneys and the liver. Also as a result of the detoxifying nature of saunas, those suffering from chemical addictions may experience relief of those symptoms.

Other sauna benefits include lowering blood pressure (of those with hypertension), easier breathing for asthma and bronchitis sufferers – as well as alleviation of tiredness and pain in people struggling with chronic fatigue and pain.

In terms of your mental wellbeing, there is a branch of psychology that has recently grown in popularity. It is known as mindfulness. Mindfulness is a state of mental awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness is achieved by concentrating on feelings, thoughts, and messages from the body that help keep you focused.

Studies show that mindfulness exercises can improve cognition, reduce levels of stress, relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression, while also enhancing your sleep quality. Let us not forget that this cognitive training will help you deal with everyday problems/concerns, as well as more difficult issues.

We’re sure it hasn’t escaped your attention that we have talked about sleep more than once. A lack of sleep, or a poor quality of sleep, has been heavily linked to poor mood, deterioration of memory, lapses in cognition, and a lowered metabolic rate. The lower your metabolic rate, the easier it is to gain weight.

These are just a few of the adverse health conditions that result from not getting the right amount, or right kind, of sleep. Fortunately, there are ways to easily remedy this. You can exercise (again), avoid too much caffeine or alcohol, and/or do some mindfulness exercises.

Finally, this is the point at which we move on to talking about the importance of diet and nutrition in keeping healthy. Even the most enjoyable of foods tend to negatively affect health if consumed too often. As with anything, moderation is key! Eating the right amount of the right kind of foods is important, since poor diets are linked to a wide variety of adverse health effects.

Poor diets are associated with increased rates of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, immune system deficiency – among others. You can employ some simple changeds to rectify any dietary deficiencies you may have. The first is making use of conscientious portion control. Second, slow your eating pace. And, finally, replace unhealthy snacks with more healthy counterparts.

With so many holistic, natural ways of keeping healthy – what are you waiting for? Get started today. The sooner you start, the better you will feel.

AUTHOR INFO: Thank you to Jon Reyes who wrote this article. Jon is a guest author from Clearwells and is a respected, expert voice in a plethora of health related subjects. He has over 10 years of writing experience under his belt.

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Eight Year Post-TKR Update

Hi everyone. Has it already been eight years since my total knee replacement, otherwise known as a tkr? You bet it has. February 2008 was when I had this surgery. So..it is time for an update.

KNEE FLEXIBILITY. My knee flexibility is still around 90-93. It is due to previous scar tissue dating back 30 years. The degree is about what it was prior to my tkr. I have written about this in numerous posts throughout my site. It is of no concern to me.

LIMITED PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. Due to the hindered flexibility, I am unable to ride a typical bicycle. Or, let me say that I can do it, but not at the speed to keep the bike and me upright. My body tilts to the right since my left tkr knee does not bend fully. Am I painting a proper picture? I hope so. I can use a stationary bike, but it certainly is not a pretty picture. 😕

TKR CLICKING. Just within the past two months have I noticed a regular clicking of my tkr. Before this, there was sporadic clicking during my initial stages of recuperation. Now, it happens daily. It is a curious event. There is no pain. Sometimes there is a sound, other times not. I guess ‘bizarre’ would be the best word to describe it.

TKR SWELLING. Only after being on my feet or sitting for an extended period of time do I notice any type of swelling. I simply elevate the leg, rest, and maybe apply ice.
By ‘extended time’, I mean about three to four hours. It does vary.

TKR PAIN. Pain occurs on such a minimal level, that I feel embarrassed to mention it. Again, when overdoing it, my tkr may be painful. I take an aspirin, elevate, and ice.

OPPOSITE HIP PAIN. I have noticed an increase in pain involving my opposite side hip recently. It may be due to my shoe lift being the incorrect size. It increases when doing stairs.

STAIRS. Speaking of stairs, if a slug and I were taking the stairs at the same time, the slug would finish first. I take my time while holding the rail. Going up is more painful than going down. Going down, however, is more difficult.

That is about it for now. If I think of anything else, I will be sure to update this eight-year post-tkr update.

Hope this helps those of you going through the same thing. If you find this post interesting, kindly share it with others. Thanks!

AUTHOR NOTE: Booktoots’ Healing helps total knee replacement patients find support throughout recuperation and beyond. Its mission is for patients to understand they are not alone in their ordeal with either a tkr or other physicality concerns. The site is owned and operated by Marie Buckner, a published author and tkr patient who has been living with various physicalities for over 30+ years. She enjoys sharing her experiences to help others going through the same thing.






Don’t Forget Your Stretching

Hi my favorite readers! We all know the necessity of strengthening our muscles and bones, so it’s easy to forget that stretching is just as important.

Stretching exercises come in handy to relieve the pain after strengthening your muscles. You know those days when you’re not really in pain, but have a feeling of discomfort? This is especially true after periods of walking for any amount of time. You did your weight-bearing exercising (walking)…now do some stretching to help your muscles recuperate. It’s actually known as cooling down and you’ll feel fantastic while doing it.

Here’s a simple way to stretch your leg muscles, that I always find particularly helpful..

While standing, move one leg forward about 12 inches. Straighten the leg as much as possible. Tighten your stomach muscles and lean your upper body as far as possible over your straightened leg/knee. Feel the stretch along the backside of your leg. To increase the stretch, lift your butt towards the ceiling a bit. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds, or as long as it feels comfortable.

Do the exercise at a comfortable, relaxed pace and do not overdo it. Seems like common sense, but it is important to remember.

Find helpful and interesting? Kindly share with others….Thanks!







Keeping Your Mouth Fit

Hi my favorite readers! I just shared an article about an isometric exercise to use to keep your mouth muscles healthy and fit. We need to exercise ALL our muscles, not just our legs. (Just thought I’d throw that in…)

Copy and paste this link to be taken to my music site titled “Marie’s Flute”. Enjoy!
http://www.mariesflute.com

Don’t ask me why the link is not working directly from this page…

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Aquatic Ellipticals

Hi my favorite readers!
Exercising in water provides so many benefits, not the least of which is being able to move about more freely and less painfully than on land. Most exercises, or movements, you can do on land can be done in water. Here is one that I like to do to help stretch my leg and hip muscles. It’s called Aquatic Ellipticals.

Get into deep water where your feet cannot touch the bottom. This allows your body to be entirely supported by water. This completely takes pressure off your joints.

Use your arms to tread water, keeping your head above water. Treading mainly means moving your arms back and forth to stabilize your lower body and keep from drowning.

While you are using your arms to tread water, straighten your legs. Start moving them back and forth, each individually. The movement reminds me of being on an elliptical rider. Do not bend your knees. Make it one continuous movement to receive the optimum benefit.

You may want to pretend you are actually on an elliptical rider by moving your arms like you would while using the machine. Believe me…doing this in water is MUCH easier than on land. When your left leg is back, your right arm will be forward, etc. Do whatever feels comfortable for you.

Move your legs in this style 20 times, or as many as you are comfortable with.
I count one movement as when my tkr, total knee replacement, leg extends forward.

When done properly, you will feel your hip, thigh and butt muscles working. That’s in addition to your arms getting a good workout. That’s the benefit of water exercising, you get an all-body workout no matter what area you focus in on. This can help living with a tkr much easier and less frustrating.

Find interesting? Kindly share..Thanks!







A Shocker 19 Months Post TKR

Something interesting happened a couple of days ago, 19 months (WOW! ALREADY!?) after my tkr. As part of my exercise routine I like to lift myself up onto the balls of my feet. I hold onto my stationary bike as I do this. Or, I’ll simply hold onto the kitchen table. I hold onto a firm surface to balance myself. Prior to my tkr, this was easy to do. It’s a great workout for my calves, ankles and hamstrings. However…

I did this exercise with my non-tkr leg and lifted myself onto the balls of my foot easily. Then, I went to do the same thing with my tkr leg. Wow. To my surprise, I could barely lift my heel up. And, I’m not overweight. It wasn’t more than ¼ of an inch, actually. And, it took all my energy to get it to move this far. I was shocked. It’s not like I haven’t been exercising for the last 18 months since my tkr, either.

Anyways, I kept at it while taking numerous breaks. I needed to take breaks since it was really working out my hamstring and wasn’t too pain free…if you get my drift. It was like a rehab exercise that just pooped me out. I noticed that after I was done doing this exercise, the front of my tkr knee was swollen. Bizarre.

So, yesterday (the day after my mind-altering discovery), I did the exercise again. I could lift my heel up about ¾ of an inch. It was much easier to do. The lift, however, is still not as dramatic as my non-tkr leg. I’ll keep working at it since it is a great exercise. I really feel my muscles working and I like that.

Thought I’d share this with others going through the same thing.

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My Tony Robbins Blog Post Update

My original post was dated June 4, 2009 about the Ultimate Edge program giving me the tools to lose weight and get in shape. At the time, I lost 10 pounds and wrote about it.

It’s 2.5 months later and I have an update. I’ve lost 20 pounds and feel great. 🙂 In addition to my daily exercise program, Tony Robbins gives a suggestion about drinking a healthy protein-packed greens beverage. At first I couldn’t see how it would benefit me. Then, I was in the store and saw the beverage product on sale. So…the price was right. I bought the drink in powder form.

I started drinking this greens drink after exercise. And…it does work. Besides increasing my energy, it decreases my appetite for unhealthy foods. I have to figure out more about why it works so well.

The drawback? It smells like the ocean (salt water) if you let it sit for any length of time. Not too appealing, but it still tastes better than I thought.

Hope this helps others…

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New Search Feature

Hello everyone,
After receiving numerous requests for specific information, I’ve added a Search box to help make it easier to find things. It’s located on the right side bar.
And, my posts are classified according to category topics. So, if you look at my left side bar, you will notice a click down menu for Category. I’m still working on reclassifying some posts, but the majority of them are ok.

So, hopefully, this will help maneuvering around my site easier. Cheers!