NO Exercise is Detrimental

Writer’s conference – California, USA

Today I’d like to write about exercise and how important it is for all of us. I’m constantly working on exercise in hopes of reaching my long term walking goals. I go to the gym, use the treadmill, elliptical, arm, back, and leg weight machines. I keep notes on my cell phone to record number of minutes, repetitions, and time.

Doctors say we only need thirty minutes a day of walking, jogging, or some other form of activity to maintain health. However, in order to build muscle, improve drastically, or attain a specific goal it is good to be on a workout regimen. I walk with crutches after a bad accident that left me paralyzed as a teen.

I have taken physical therapy into my own hands because often times in physical therapy, I have found that my best interests were not at the forefront. Therapists often quoted science in response to my hopes, and they put limitations on my dreams of walking based on my injuries. The beauty about having faith is that when you do, you are able to defy science!

It’s amazing how good I feel, and I am improving on my own. I can complete activities that I couldn’t do before, and I have more energy throughout the day! Things that would take longer to complete are faster now. I recommend exercise for everyone. It keeps us healthy, and I look forward to it. I never miss an appointment!

God never gives up on us, we must not give up on ourselves. I believe all things are possible because I have witnessed it in my own life.

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A bit of health advice

Does someone you love suffer from a chronic illness? I’m sure you know at least one person that does. What are some common diseases? Cancer, diabetes, and heart disease only name a few.

How about you? Have you ever gone through something really difficult like this? I sure hope not. It is hard to watch someone you care for go through an illness too.

Besides my accident happening in 1994, my father was diagnosed with lung disease in 2009 (and has had many hospital visits). My mother suffered from a serious illness in 2007.

However, unlike my dad she has not been in and out of the hospital so much. Watching your parents grow old is not easy, and watching their memory lapse can be upsetting.

So I wanted to give a few health tips, and a little research on this topic in case you or your elderly parent could use a little advice.

  • “The best way to increase muscle mass and increase your oxygen intake is through exercise. The faster your metabolic rate, the easier it is to increase your energy and burn calories,” says HealthCoachTraining.
  • Research shows that walking on a regular basis reduces the occurrence of memory loss one would typically experience with age.
  • A study at the University of Kentucky showed that people who expressed more positive emotions, including gratitude lived up to ten years longer than those who expressed fewer positive emotions.

Doctors say only twenty minutes of exercise per day is sufficient. Getting your fitness in does not have to be a huge task. Walking for a little bit, riding a bicycle, or doing daily morning stretches would all be a great way to begin!

 

About Zina

Zina Hermez authored the book Not Without God: A Story of Survival and created the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions! on line website. Zina works as an English Language Instructor, and has been an educator for nearly fifteen years her thousands of students have been from many parts of the world, and she’s worked with all ages.

Zina writes articles on faith and overcoming disability and her stories have been featured in Christianity Today, Spinal Cord Injury Zone, SCI Access, newsletters, and medical journals among many other various publications. To learn more about Zina visit http://zinahermez.com.

 

Will you accept my challenge?

“If it were easy, everyone would do it,” I read in an author’s blog post once. Walking has not always been easy. I’ve completed maybe several hundred hours of physical therapy; I’m still not walking as well as I’d like. But I’m determined to rid myself of any walking device.

So. I didn’t want to admit. But here goes. My confession. I’ve not been so good with my work-outs lately. Ideally, I should be at the gym AT LEAST three times per week. I got there once last week. Yes. Once.

How am I supposed to achieve my walking dreams? I heard, doctors say you only need 30 minutes a day: of walking, running, weights, or machines. Easy enough.

So I’m rededicating myself…

To exercise. And I need your help. So I challenge you. Have you been exercising enough? Or doing physical therapy? Are you feeling as bad as I am, for what you are NOT doing?

I’m working more and every now and then I get distracted. I gotta get in the gym!

Soon I’ll be starting physical therapy again and I’m looking forward to it. I found a center nearby, they will even come to my home. Still working to lose the crutches and walk without them! My rehab. doctor says I only use them for one or two weak muscle groups.

Will you accept this challenge? Will you promise to work-out with me? AT LEAST 2-3 times per week, if you’re not already? We can hold each other accountable. A call. A text. If you’re in another state or country, an email, maybe?? Sound good? Sound like a plan?

If you don’t want to enter this challenge, the least you could do is pray for me. Prayers always help. So whatdya think?

Let’s give it a try!

My walking update!

“You can do anything you set your mind to when you have vision, determination, and an endless supply of expendable labor.” – Larry Kersten

“Zina, the quick step, the quick step!” Tim my physical therapist reminds me as we walk outside.
“I know Tim, I know,” I respond tired and sort of out of breath from walking for a while.

When I use one cane he says that. It’s a cue to get me to move faster. My legs don’t like to. So he uses the words “quick step” to remind me. We joke he needs to patent that. Quick step means simultaneously picking up the cane in my left, and my right foot at the same time. And it’s a reminder to not pause. I like to pause before I bear weight onto my right foot, because there’s weakness in my hip. But the quick step is a reminder to bear weight and let the foot roll through.

I tend to stop and just stand when I get really tired. I sometimes hold the cane with two hands. My left leg doesn’t always cross over my right. My left leg is stronger but my trouble seems to be holding up my right. If only my right were as strong as my left, then it would be easier to do. Walking with one cane would be more effortless. My goal is that it will be, one day.

He holds me with a gait belt sometimes as a precaution in case I lose my balance and fall. It happened once. It’s humbling, because I’m not a child and to any adult passing by, it’s obviously not easy to walk! People look. People smile. I smile back. What can I do. This is what I have to go through, to achieve my goal. I want to walk with nothing one day. Not an easy task with all the injuries I had.

But healing is a process. The walker wasn’t easy many years ago, and neither were the forearm crutches. Now it’s the one cane. So I remind myself, “persistence is the key to success.” It’s as if the left cane is working as an extra leg sometimes, to hold up my right. It’s amazing what muscles learn to be dormant, when we don’t use them.

I’m making progress…

I’m up to an hour of walking on one cane with only one break. I can walk up to several hundred feet. That is improvement for me. And next week we’re starting physical therapy two times a week, so I know I will improve.

It’s still not comfortable. It’s still not effortless. I can’t wait for the day when it is. And I can just take steps naturally, or normally. I’m up to 30 minutes straight on the elliptical. It feels good to be able to do that!

“Michelangelo didn’t sculpt the Pieta in a day. He spent years breathing life into the marble.” – Nancy Davidoff  A quote I wanted to share. It’s the same with the body and the muscles.. we need exercise to breathe life into them. The body has an amazing ability to recover itself, but you must not give up on faith.

A verse from the Bible that helps me:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Tim. 4:7

That’s what I hope to do!

 

 

Some things I’ve learned…

I set out to accomplish forty minutes of straight cardio a few months ago. Twenty minutes on the treadmill, and twenty on the elliptical in one session. I’ve been successful. However, I learned it’s one thing to get to forty minutes straight, and another to maintain it! I thought once I got to it, I would easily get to 45, 50, than one hour (which would be nice). But when I miss two or more sessions of exercise, it sets me back. I know it’s the same for all of us.

Sometimes people at the gym come in and get on the elliptical and do an hour, I’m so envious ; ) On the other hand, some come in and can’t even do ten minutes. It depends on how in shape you are. It’s nice to be able to use it like everyone else. It reminds me despite my injuries, I can do something everyone else does that requires physical energy, exercise. I’d like to reach the half an hour straight mark on the elliptical, but I know it will take some conditioning. Hopefully, I will in the next few weeks. Man, that will feel good!

It’s a constant fight, well fight sounds intense I should say challenge. To exercise a few times a week, eat right and cook fresh foods. Taking care of our health can be a job in itself, but I’m getting better at this. I’m determined. I think we all should be. How we exercise, eat, and sleep really affect the way we feel.

This month I’m off teaching for my second job, because we’re in transition from summer to fall. I’m working less hours and it feels good to relax. I have more time for exercise.

I put my wheelchair away last week, and didn’t use it much for three full days so I know my cardio capability is better. A few years ago, it may’ve been hard. I try to use it very minimally, less than 1-2 hours a day and only if I have to. With my daily activity though, adding exercise sessions, and all the other chores I do I sometimes feel tired.

I think that could be the number one best physical therapy though, discombobulating that wheelchair! It’s hard to be on my feet all day but when I do take it apart, I feel that much stronger. My right side feels taller where I have weakness and I’m standing straighter.

My physical therapist and I were talking this morning about meeting at public places and not the gym like we usually do. That way, I could practice by taking my one cane out of the car and walking in. The shopping store, church, or restaurants, places where I could walk short distances to start. He says he thinks I can do it, and hopefully after a few sessions I’ll gain the confidence. I have the strength, but because of my balance I’m a little afraid.  I think it’s about practice. I pray to get really good with one cane, than hopefully walk with nothing one day!

Still asking for prayer and hoping you are doing the same, working on your health. Thank you for standing with me.. thank you for your support. Let’s encourage one another : )