Friday, July 29, 2011

Feeling Better Through Exercise

In the past few months, I have had unprecedented lower back pain. The pain is especially bad at night, and it is often difficult to turn or get out of bed. Plus, once I’m awake it’s hard to get back to sleep, especially since I can’t move. During the day, with stretching and moderate activity, the pain is not as bad.

Since I’ve been back from my trip, my lower back has hurt more than usual. I suspect it may have something to do with the very long flight. I decided it was time to see if more targeted exercise would make a difference before seeing a doctor. So here is what I do now: I start every day with a gentle yoga routine, which really helps make me feel better right away. I also do some yoga stretches when I wake up with pain at night, and it makes a big difference because I am able to get back to sleep. Finally, I got back to my Dailey Method classes, which combine barre work, core work, stretching, and orthopedic exercises. I felt better after the first class.

Hubby and I also went on a nice walk the other day. Instead of our usual hilly hike, we walked in the bay. It was a nice change of scenery. The walk was truly good for body and soul.

Questions: Why do you exercise? How does exercise make you feel better?
Be well,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why Goals Are So Important

After being gone for three weeks, I’m slowly getting back into my normal routine. I certainly have a lot to get accomplished in the next few weeks, and I also have to get back to a “normal” eating and exercise routine. One of the ways for me to not get overwhelmed is to make “to-do lists” and set specific goals. So here are my goals for the next four weeks:
  1. Prepare fall classes (I made a very specific schedule with “mini goals” to get this done)
  2. Work out every day (my definition of “work out” is very loose, but I do have to “seriously” move at least 30 minutes a day)
  3. Do at least two “serious” strength workouts a week
  4. Take vitamins and supplements every day (totally forgot about them while I was gone)
  5. Plan meals
  6. Eat lots of raw fruits and vegetables and juice again
  7. Research fall activities for the toddler and sign him up
One of the reasons for my trip was that my dad and I had set a goal when he was first diagnosed with cancer. He had started to cross the Alps by foot last year. He was following a path called “Traumpfad” (dream trail),  which leads from Munich to Venice. It takes about 30 days and is physically quite demanding. He did the first ten days last year. When I first spoke to him after his diagnosis, I remember saying to him, “If you are well enough, I’ll go with you in July.” I bought my plane ticket right away. At that time, it was more than doubtful that we could go on this adventure together, but I knew I had to visit and be near my family during this time.

Luckily, my dad was doing fairly well at the beginning of July and we set off. Unfortunately, the weather and my dad’s knee did not cooperate with our plans, and we had to come back after only three days (we had planned nine). Nevertheless, setting the goal to hike in the Alps together was one of the best decisions. It gave us both something to look forward to, to plan, to read the same book and talk about almost on a daily basis. Planning this trip gave us both the hope we so much needed. Here are some pictures from our adventure:

Questions: Do you have any goals at the moment? If so, what are they? My dad and I already have the goal to hike in the Alps again next July. Wish us luck!

Be well,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Some Exercise While Wifey’s Away

[Guest post by hubby.]

This was back when wifey departed for Germany.

With wifey away, the toddler and I have continued doing exercise. For the toddler, it’s mostly through play.

For most of my life, I knew the importance of doing exercise, but I was so bad at it for various reasons, including unhealthy viewpoints and lack of consistency. I think it’s finally come together, and yes, of course, the credit goes to wifey – she never pushed me; instead, she motivated me to exercise consistently through her actions, by modeling the way.


Question: When did your exercise routine and patterns finally come together?

One last thing:

Look who’s back (since literally less than an hour ago)…

110723 SFO Arrival 007