Oh, stop whining and rolling your eyes at me----you know that exercise is good for the mind, body and spirit (yeah, yeah, blah, blah.) I will be honest, I am not one of those people who hops out of bed in the morning yelling "I can't wait to get to the gym" ---- truth be known, I am not one to hop out of bed period. However, once I finally got my head out of my butt five years ago and started taking care of myself, I knew that like it or not, exercise had to be one of the components of a healthier lifestyle. Once I am at the gym or out taking a fitness walk, I'm fine, it's just getting there that's sometimes hard.
Some of my regular blog readers know that I was in a horrific car crash in 1992, I broke both legs, my right arm, crushed my pelvis, internal injuries. It was a mess, I had 15 surgeries to get put back together, the last three at the Mayo Clinic. My back and hip are still very messed up, staying in any one position for me is tremendously difficult. When I am blogging, I am up every 10-15 minutes to walk around, and my "movie group" friends will attest to the fact that when we go to the movies, I get the aisle seat so I can get up and move at least twice during the movie. When I exercise, I lay down afterward with an ice pack to try and settle the pain down, and I largely schedule my day around my workouts. Some days I can do more than others, and occasionally, if my back is having a good day---I blow off my exercises and go do something fun. I'm not whining (well, maybe a little)----I know what could have happened in the accident and didn't, and I've made at least a degree of peace that normal for me is a little different than it was before I got hurt.
Exercising increases my pain level. Simple fact. I am under the regular care of a pain management doctor who is, in my opinion as good as anyone I have seen at Mayo's Pain Managment Center or the Cleveland Clinic's. Dr. Hines has been my physician since before I started taking care of myself, and he has supported me through every phase of my life changes---he fully supports my bioidentical hormone balance (in fact, he and Dr. Carr know each other). The testosterone I take daily has allowed me to build some muscle tissue in my back, which increases the stability. Dr. Hines is my biggest cheerleader in my exercise efforts. We talk about it all the time, and we understand that there is a difference between injuring my back and my back hurting. Bottom line, my exercise program enhances the quality of my life---if I don't work out, I won't be strong enough to do anything else.
I am adamant to people that they need to check with their doctors before starting an exercise program---most of us by the time we hit the peri/menopausal period of our lives have at least one medical issue that necessitates us getting checked out and discussing an exercise program with a practitioner. Not everyone needs/can do the same exercise---I can't do anything that involved jumping or pounding on my hips, and I have found that using an eliptical machine sets off intense neuropathic, burning pain in my upper legs after less than 2 minutes of use (I don't use the eliptical machine at all now). Water aerobics was a great exercise when I first started working out, and it's great for anyone with joint issues. I still do it occasionally, but it doesn't really challenge me enough anymore. I love the water, and this summer I will get in a few gentle workouts a week in the condo pool. It's important to vary the workouts so you are getting both cardio and resistance/weight workouts ---- the resistance workouts are crucial to bone health.
OK, I'll get down off my soapbox now. I found this site on Women's Health Magazine----there are a lot of downloadable/printable workouts. I've printed off several, none of them I can quite do completely (balancing for me is also a big issue as my right side is much weaker than my left), but I can mix, match and modify for an at home workout (I belong to a gym, but occasionally like to do a workout at home). Browse through it, pick a few exercises you might like to do, and get out there and exercise!