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:

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.

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.

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 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.

Ways to Naturally Relieve Scoliosis Discomfort

Hi my favorite readers! Having lived with scoliosis (curvature of the spine) for over 35 years, I have found there are a number of ways to naturally ease the discomfort level without taking prescription pain killers. Hopefully, you will find some of these useful for your situation. They range from physical activity, stretching, to meditation.

Physical activity.
Any activity that involves excessive jostling of the spinal column is a no go. Any activity that involves excessive pressure or stress on my spinal column does not work well with me. Hence, no jet skiing. I found that out the hard way. That activity involves way too much vertical spinal movement with hard landings for me to be comfortable. The same can be said about horseback riding.

* Swimming is an excellent physical activity to engage in to ease scoliosis discomfort. The water’s natural buoyancy supports body weight, taking pressure off the spinal column and joints. Some of my favorite exercises include:
· lifting my knee to my chest,
· holding onto the pool side while pulling my legs in, and
· simply using the water as a resistance against my legs.

* Stationary rowing is another good physical activity to engage in since it strengthens my back and upper body muscles. Movable rowing allows me to stretch my back, which helps my scoliosis. The same goes for snowshoeing.

* Stationary bicycling helps my lower back and scoliosis. I feel the stretch in my glutes and lower back. It’s not fun, but it works.

* As far as calisthenics go, I sometimes use ankle weights. I simply lay flat and do leg lifts. My leg lifts are to the side and straight up. I can feel my lower back muscles working. I know that helps my scoliosis. This exercise is also marvelous when done standing up in the water.

Stretching is fantastic for improving flexibility, hindering muscle stiffness and reducing pain. This provides an immeasurable benefit. Some of the stretching exercises that work will for me are the following:

* Lay on my back and lift my legs to my chest. I grab my knees and pull them forward until I feel the stretch in my lower back. This feels remarkably wonderful.
Laying on my side and bringing my leg forward to my chest. Again, I do this until I feel my lower back stretch.

* Lay on my back, and put my arms out sideways at shoulder length. I grab onto something to use as a foundation (like table legs, or bed sides). Then, I bring my knees to my chest. I then rock my legs side to side by holding my upper torso still. I do this until I feel a strong stretch as my lower back loosens up. Sometimes, for an extra stretch, I straighten my legs while on one side. This works great in easing any scoliosis discomfort. In fact, this is my personal favorite.

* Tai Chai provides me with a variety of stretching positions to ease my scoliosis discomfort. One particular movement involves clasping both hands and moving them overhead. Then, turn the upper torso to the right, bend to the right, and hold for a few seconds. Move back to center, and then turn to the left. The lower back stretch is wonderful from this movement.

* Another Tai Chi movement involves simply holding a ‘pretend’ ball in front of me- one hand above the other. Then, I bend to the waist level. The next movement involves keeping the bend while moving it to the right side. Same goes for the left. This move can also be done with an exercise ball. Tai Chai is a simple, yet powerful way to stretch out muscles.

* Speaking of exercise balls, these are fantastic for all-body stretches. I find that laying face down and then face up on one does wonders for alleviating my scoliosis discomfort. Laying face up with the ball across the center portion of my spine works equally as well. The stretch can be enhanced by raising arms overhead.

* Doing a simple toe-touching maneuver helps. By slightly bending my knees, I can slowly bend forward until my palms reach the floor. Holding this position until I feel my back muscles loosen greatly helps.

Finally, meditating every day for a bit is a great way to calm the mind while also loosening the muscles.

This article only contains suggestions based on my personal experience in alleviating my scoliosis discomfort. They may not work for you. I will not be held responsible for any negative consequences resulting from someone following my suggestions.

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. She holds an advanced university degree in business administration.

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22 Month Post-TKR Update

I’ve been getting comments from recent tkr patients who say they are sorry for undergoing the surgery. We (tkr vets) all understand the initial negativity. With all the pain and frustration, it’s easy to not see the big picture. I hope my update helps….

Wow, it’s been that long already. 🙁 There’s a saying that time goes faster the older we get. It must be true. Anyways, I thought I’d give an update on my tkr deal.

Joint pain. I have no joint pain in my tkr whatsoever. It’s probably because I don’t have a joint. (I’m chuckling to myself here.) This brings back memories of when I had my initial follow-up doctor appointments after my tkr. “Do I still have arthritis in my knee?” I asked.
“It’s hard to have arthritis when you don’t have a joint” was the chuckled response I received. If looks could kill, he wouldn’t be here today. Now, I can chuckle about it. At the time it didn’t strike my funny bone.

Walking aides. I don’t have to carry crutches around with me. I am not concerned about my knee locking up on me.

Walking. I can walk without pain. Period. That alone is worth the tkr and all the recuperation it takes. I absolutely love walking. (I was going to say “simply walking” but had to change the wordage since it’s not simple when you cannot do it. We have to build ourselves up to do it).

Drugs. I am not taking any medication. The only thing I do take occasionally is some aspirin.

Weight loss. I have lost 20 pounds that accumulated while I was unable to do continuous aerobic exercises.

Flexibility. My tkr leg can be fully straightened, which is no small feat. It feels great to be able to sit and stretch my hamstrings.

Flexion: I estimate my flexion as being 110-115 degrees. That’s better than before my tkr.

Stretches. I can do a variety of stretches and yoga poses which benefit my entire body. That was not possible until months after my tkr.

I can touch my toes (and floor) and have the stretch feel wonderful, not painful.

Body stretch. I can usually do a full body stretch (like a cat) prior to getting out of bed on most days. This was impossible until just a couple of months ago. It feels wonderful.

Pain. There is no sharp or dull pain surrounding my tkr from exercising.

Sleep. My sleep is much more sound than during the initial eight to twelve months post tkr.

Not negatives, just concerns:
Even though I am grateful for all I have, and do not want to come across as griping, there needs to be some items that are not totally positive. So…

Stairs. Stairs are not my favorite thing. When I’m going both up and down, a slug would win the race. Going upstairs seems to be more difficult due to my “good” leg taking more of the brunt (my body weight). Going downstairs is slow, but doable.

Nerve pain. There is still the nerve pain from a previous bone spur. That is always going to exist, so it’s not that big of a deal to me. Sometimes sleeping on my tkr side makes the pain worse, so I just shift positions. Remember that joke, “Doc, it hurts when I do this?” “Don’t do it” replies the doctor? (Changing sleep positions was NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE due to the pain level during the first year post-tkr.) The pain seems to get worse after my walking exercises. Strange how that occurs. It does not happen after riding my stationary bike.

Tightness. There is still some tightness in the front of my tkr. It usually takes me a couple of minutes to loosen up on my exercise bike until I can pedal 360 degrees.

Dressing. Dressing can be a drag or bummer. Putting on pants and/or socks, especially, is a pain in the patoot (slang for butt). My tkr does not bend enough to make the process easy. Same with pantyhose. Still, it’s not painful like before my tkr.

Shopping. Clothes shopping is a bite. Even though I’ve never really enjoyed clothes shopping (I used to make all my clothes in my school days), it is dreaded now. Trying pants on is not fun at all. Oh oh….I am griping.

Swelling. After exercising for longer than 45 minutes, my tkr swells up. The swelling is much less intense than previously, however. And, the pain is not there like during initial phases of tkr recuperation.

Well…I can’t think of anything else now. Hope this helps others going through the same thing.
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