Saturday, June 3, 2017

Staying Healthy in Retirement-Figuring Alternative Exercise (And Good News!!)

So, friendly readers, I may have briefly mentioned my good health news earlier. But if I forgot, I have in fact kicked the rear of my diabetes diagnosis.  Yes, that's right, I no longer have diabetes. For the medically knowledgeable, I took my A1C from an eight to a 5.4.  I have no idea what that means, except that it's good news.  I have been told I can put away, and dispose of, that medication. Now, don't get me wrong, I still have chronic pain that will never get better and I am not in the kind of shape I would like to be in a perfect world. But I faced this disease head on, mainly with just small dietary and exercise changes (and for ten months, without medication), and came out happy on the other end. **I am the first to admit that I am unique, that others have worse or hereditary conditions and that we each have our own results.  


Unfortunately, as with many things in life, there is good news and bad news. The bad news is that I have not been exercising. Or I guess I should say I have not been walking-I still do my leg and arm strengthening exercises. Why have I not been walking?  Well, it's surely not because I don't want to.  A large part is fear, my friends, pure fear. My fall was extremely painful, and I know how lucky I am that there was no real damage other than welts and bruises that lasted six weeks. I mean, I have no intention of retiring to my home. I have a cane for when I need  and a rollator for when I need it for accommodation, and keep on rolling on.

Exercise walking is different than shopping or casual tourist walking though, at least for me. With the former I walk leisurely, and sit and stop at benches or on the rolling walker or other seating opportunities. When I walk for exercise, it's certainly not fast but it is steady. But I walk alone, by choice, and even with a phone with me, I feel insecure. This has not been making me happy.  For me, walking is about mindfulness and meditation as it is health.  I always walk alone, and this is my time to check out the world around me and let my mental computer "free think". So I miss it.

My other problem is of course that my leg is falling apart. In addition to the knee degeneration I have (at a much worse level than most), I also have it in the ankle and thigh of my right leg.  They have not come up with a whole leg, or a knee/thigh/ankle replacement yet that I know of. And so I suffer. In fact, at my last doctor visit, she told me that when I was ready to move to narcotics (instead of Tylenol arthritis) for pain, to come and see her. I'm going to see her this week.

I figure I'll be sitting more than standing!

Back to the topic at hand though, it hurts to walk full out a great deal of the time. And, for whatever reason (I am not a medical person), it hurts more to stride than it does to, say, do small aerobic movements in place in front of the TV. So I need to exercise, but daily walking is no longer a solution and neither is Zumba gold except for rare occasions. What to do? And what to do without joining a gym with special trainers?  How can I keep it up with just my home and my extremely affordable rec center membership?
I love, love, love this pool. the foreground is obviously a small spa, and the large area os for exercising  and classes. And the temperature is between eighty and ninety depending on the need of the swimmers!
First, starting this week, I'm going to be taking Silver Sneakers.  Yes, I'll be one of those gals spending more time in the chair than behind or in front of the chair, believe me. Second, I am going to try and force myself to walk in the heated therapy pool of my rec center at least once a week (I am not a class person, and the free hours of this pool often conflict with my volunteer gigs. I'm going to try and work around that for the fall).  And once in awhile on the better days, I have a half hour walking program on my TV.  Now, do all of these changes fill my aerobic needs? Probably not. But it's what I can do, so it's what I'll do.  Because the alternative would just not be my style.
My backup on the good days- a 30 day walking workout done in place.

And meanwhile I'll work on those strength exercises and stretching, use my chair yoga DVD and yes, even get a massage.  Because-you can get just a leg massage. For an hour. Or a half hour.  Now, if I could just get my medical insurance to pay for that one!!!!!

23 comments:

  1. Good for you Barbara. Sometimes my medical insurance (Medicare) will pay for massage if it's in conjunction with physical therapy. Just a thought. I'm working on a half hour of weight training right after I get out of bed in the morning. Hopefully it will keep me from forgetting to do it. :-)

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    1. Hmm, well I know they pay for other alternative therapies like hypnotism, but I will try it. I also even have exercises to do in the bed. I just need to do them.

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  2. That is great news about the diabetes. Just to clarify are you saying you went without diabetes medication for 8 months while you made changes?

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    1. Yes, although I would not recommend it, it may have been closer to four months. Metformin made me sicker than a dog even after many months I was tkaing immodium at the same time. So one day I just threw it out. Of course to accomodate for that I became for extreme for like a month. When I went to my half year appointment to see the dr, she told me I had in fact gone down, but she wanted better results so she gave me something called Glipizide.

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    2. Okay thank for the clarification. I doubt this would work for me. I already exercise and watch my diet and take my meds but still not much improvement if any. I think my major problem has been stress and lack of good sleep. I'm working on these factors now. Continued good success with your diabetes. Ifyou have it in remission you need to continue to take care and keep it at bay.

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  3. I used to be an avid hiker, walker, cyclist. Now not so much. I have found that swimming laps is the only thing I can do right now where I don't hurt, nothing gets injured and I feel like I really got in a good workout. I guess we just have to keep changing it up as we go as to what we are able to do. I miss my bicycle so much though. That has been the hardest thing to give up. Good luck!

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    1. It can be really tough to give up what you have been doing, I tell ya.

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  4. I use Sit and Be Fit DVDs or Chair Dancing DVDs. Not a perfect solution but what in this world is?

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    1. Yes, I have used those, but I need some weight bearing expercise as well to build up the muscles in that leg. There is no perfect solution, I just do what I can.

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    2. Yes, I have used those, but I need some weight bearing expercise as well to build up the muscles in that leg. There is no perfect solution, I just do what I can.

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    3. I think weight bearing exercises while seated would work for you overall and some exercises for legs while seated. The pool sounds nice too but for anything outside the home I think it gets harder to do for most people unless they are really disciplined about getting to the pool. This might be a lovely add on though.

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  5. I am noticing that my walking is slowing down. It is taking longer and longer to walk what I used to walk in 15 minutes. My hips and ankles hurt more, but I still am pushing through. However I see a day shortly where I will have to do something else, or cut my walks to nothing.

    God bless.

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  6. I admire you for kicking diabetes in the butt by small diet and exercise changes. Well done girl! I love exercising in a warm pool, that sounds like an excellent choice for you.

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  7. May I suggest that instead of walking in the pool you jog up and down in the deep end with a noodle between your legs...you ride it like a pony. This way you get lots of aerobic movement but not the pain of joints against a hard floor. This really helps strengthen my back muscles too. Aloha

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    1. This is a wondeful idea and one I would not have thought of. I am also trying to do leg strengething sizes in the water, but we will see.

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  9. Congrats on your D.M. win! Sounds like you have a good plan in mind to continue an exercise program. I need more self-discipline to regularly exercise as I tend to be spasmodic about doing so.

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  10. Congratulations! What a wonderful piece of news to see this morning!

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    1. Oh, I am terrible. I need to start doiong my strength exercises in the morning, after breakfast rather than saving them until the evening, as Inever, ever do them.

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  11. Congrats on the good news Barbara! Like you said, there are many people that have it pretty bad and end up not being able to take advantage of some of the options you have. Best wishes

    Jordan @ New retirement

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  12. Retirement is really a great happeneing as that time you fimally got free form your official services. But in free time it's must to practice workouts regularly so that you could maintain your fitness.

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  13. Quite an informative post. Fitness is something that has no link with a particular season. If you want to stay fit and active, it's must to work hard and patiently. Also, a healthy eating is essential to get proper nutrition and strength.
    xtreme no supplement :)

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  14. Retirement time is really amazing time to spend with family and friends. But after getting retired free form job, Its necessary to take care of health and fitness also and get proper diet.

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