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Thursday, June 14, 2018

A Leg Up



I'm almost at the end of four full weeks getting up at 7am (or 6:45am if I'm already awake) to walk every morning.  I want to say that I come back refreshed and mentally ready to start my day but honestly, I just get back and am happy it's done. HA!  I feel no boost of anything yet that everyone claims you get when you move early in the day.  I'm not brimming with energy, mentally clearer or any of that jazz.  Maybe I'm a late bloomer, and that'll kick in next month?  You know, when it's super hot and muggy outside.  I will say though that I'm proud I'm doing it and I know that has to seem pretty silly for those of you moving and grooving every day.  But baby steps, right?  For some of us, that's literal.

You all know that I've been having serious leg issues for the past 5 years.  I'll go through phases where I'm knocked down completely, sometimes needing to pull off of weight-bearing exercises completely and other times, needing to modify to low impact.  It has been a very frustrating roller coaster and felt so limiting.  It's no coincidence that our weight loss has stalled from that point on.  I know there are other changes I can make to inch that along but I depend on exercise to destress me and make me feel like I'm working toward something.  I was quite leery when I made this goal to myself wondering how the feet would take it.  While we didn't do formal exercise on our vacation, we did walk quite a bit and I found my feet were doing okay...well, for my feet.  So I made the commitment to do the morning walks for more steps to upgrade my status from "slug" and see how things went.

An unexpected side effect from the walking has been the improvement of my legs.  When the Mr asked if I wanted a leg massage last week, I gladly accepted.  I'd just given him one and he winced quite a bit, just like I always have.  But when he did my legs, I didn't have a single spot that made me wince, groan or even hurt.  I still roll and stretch after regular workouts but I expected to have a few spots.  My legs have been a lot less sore in a debilitating way after workouts too.  Again, this might sound like a "duh" moment to some but when you have something that hurts to do, the last thing you want to do is something that seems like it could aggravate it more and has actually done so in the past.  I think it has been more the consistency than anything to help build up the muscles that just don't usually get worked with a work at home job.   I've gone from under 400 steps daily for basically the past 10 years to an average of 5000-7000 steps with my walks and workouts five days a week.  I think that's quite an improvement.  I've also noticed an improvement in feeling from the knee down.  I regularly have to use a heating pad on my legs depending on what stage of chit show they're in.  Most times, I couldn't even feel the heat on my lower legs.  I would sometimes have to check to see if the heating pad was on because I couldn't tell.  The past week, I can actually feel the heat on my legs much better which I'm assuming is due to increased circulation.

I'm not gonna lie, there are days where I do feel sorer than others afterward, but it's nothing now that a little stretching can't help with.  If this can help balance my leg muscles so I can actually function without worrying about things going all wonky,  it would be a miracle.  (I'd probably also kick myself for not doing it sooner.)  I know it's about timing too and it's something I couldn't have even committed to before the trip just because of how ridiculously sore/crippled I would be even being out on a Saturday for lunch and say an hour of shopping.  I'd be so sore, twitchy and have throbbing arches that I was beyond frustrated.  I think it's a matter of timing and recognizing that after I made sure to stretch out my shin muscles in addition to all of the other stretching and rolling I do, that my shins weren't compensating as much for imbalances.  If this new routine allows me to get a leg up on things, I may actually be able to implement a more solid plan that will evolve based on my ability and not an injury.  That sounds like heaven to me right now.

What program change has given you more physical stamina to work your big picture plan?

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4 comments:

  1. I am so happy for you and proud of you for taking the steps (quite literally) and I am glad to be able to walk with you the days that I can too. If I can't then you know I am walking at work at least and I have committed to that as well. So glad your legs and feet are taking this and those muscles are going to be too strong to ever be a burden to you again I hope!

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  2. That's an amazing improvement on your step count. Go you!

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  3. That is awesome that you are feeling improvements to your legs and feet!! What a wonderful feeling that is!

    Mine has been the beginning of swimming again. I've started with one day a week for two hours and am builing up to three days a week at two hours for a total of six hours a week. I notice my lung capacity feels much better and the huffing and puffing I'd normally have are rarely there anymore outside the pool. My core muscles are gaining strength because I do specific core strengthening exercises in the pool that I couldn't even dream of doing outside of it. My butt feels whipped afterwards, but in a good way and I'm able to go to work and don't drag throughout the day as much.

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  4. Wonderful! It is amazing how sometimes it is doing the little things consistently that really make a difference. I too have been working on increasing my steps per day. I have been setting my stove timer every hour and then walking for 8-10 minutes around the house or outside if it is nice. At the very least, I have to get up to shut the timer off :)

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