Wednesday, January 05, 2011
are you fit to care / exercise
Getting in shape tops many New Year’s resolutions but in over 20 years as a caregiver / carer it was never even on my radar.
Up until 4 months ago if you had told me I would belong to a gym – well, in texting speak ROFL.
Before 4 months ago, multiple transfers in a day could cause me such back pain that not only was my life affected but Patti’s outings were often suspended.
Christmas Day I transferred Patti a dozen times, most of which involved lifting her in and out of a vehicle. Yes I awoke stiff and stooped the next day but nothing that a couple iboprufen didn’t erase.
Perhaps it was spandexphobia or anxiety of being surrounded by bodybuilders but a gym seemed alien to me. That is until I found Planet Fitness.
Their un-gym atmosphere is as appealing as the $10 a month cost.
Transferring Patti or anyone involves different muscle groups. As a carer / caregiver your body tells you which muscle groups ‘feel’ the sorest.
Their 30-minute circuit workout is a user friendly series of stations with level and pulley machines for each major muscle group. Adjusting weight while working through the cycle, I can strengthen what I need. Plus there is a cool traffic light which signals you when to start and stop the exercise and switch machines.
While the circuit workout has phenomenally benefited transferring Patti, the two miles of power walking on a treadmill during my visits has energized wheelchair pushing. Previously I would train every Spring prior to a MS Walk by pushing Patti increasing distance, speed, and incline of terrain. Since Planet Fitness we zoom around miles of wheelchair accessible trails regardless of time of year or terrain.
By bringing along my audio book each visit doubles as a healthy book listening ‘hour’.
It took me two decades to figure out that athletes train their bodies just to play games. People actually depend on the bodies of caregivers / carers.
Caregivingly Yours, Patrick Leer
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