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Category Archives: exercise

Is Your Fitness Tracker Recording All of Your Steps?

 

 

IS YOUR FITNESS TRACKER RECORDING ALL OF YOUR STEPS_

After years of having my family push me around in a wheelchair, I am thrilled to be able to walk wherever I want.  Although my chronic pain from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and degenerative disc disease is well managed (and I mean extremely well, click here to read about my pain management plan) I have not been cured.  I still have to pay close attention to my body’s limits.  Being in less pain than I was when I was diagnosed doesn’t mean that I can do anything I want, I am constantly testing and setting new boundaries.  The most important part of creating, remaining within, and pushing my boundaries is tracking my steps.  However, I have found that even with a Fitbit, not all steps are counted when I am pushing a grocery cart or a rollator along a smooth surface.  By the way, I am not fussing over a few steps here and there, I am talking about being off by hundreds and thousands!

I put this to the test one day at Disneyland.  My daughter walked across a flat surface wearing her fitness tracker on her wrist.  Her step count was 500 steps.  I walked the same distance on the same surface while pushing my rollator. My step count was 75!! I found that it picked up steps on rough or bumpy surfaces, but was useless on ones that were flat and smooth.

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I earn a small commission when you make a purchase from them.  The pennies earned offset the expense of operating this site and for providing prizes for my fitness buddy and Disneyability groups on Facebook.

Not having steps counted is a problem for many reasons. I need to know my boundaries.  I can’t push past them every day without getting knocked down.  Knowing how many steps I can take in one day or within an hour helps me plan my outings.  It helps me plan for periods of rest or to have my wheelchair in the trunk in case what I have planned is too much for my body.  It also helps me see the progress I am making.

To solve this problem, I began wearing my Fitbit around my ankle.  I compared the recorded steps to wearing it on my wrist without pushing anything and there wasn’t a difference.  Now, whether I am pushing my rollator, a wheelchair, stroller, or grocery cart I know that my steps are being recorded.

If you are like me, your ankles are probably larger than your wrist and your fitness tracker won’t fit around them.  Here are some solutions that will help you keep an accurate record of your steps.

 

 

IS YOUR FITNESS TRACKER RECORDING ALL OF YOUR STEPS PINTEREST

 

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The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddy Step Challenge

 

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Welcome to my step challenge!

Exercise is an important part of my pain management plan.  Inactivity only increases the pain I experience from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and degenerative disc disease.  To keep myself accountable, I created a fitness buddy group on Facebook.  We are a diverse group of people of various ages and physical abilities.  We encourage and motivate each other to reach our goals.

Don’t worry if you missed the cutoff for our current competition, the next challenge will follow shortly.

How to participate

  1. Anyone can take part in the challenge, but to be eligible to win prizes you must be a member of The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies. Click here to join.
  2. You will need a fitness tracker.  Below is a list of fitness trackers to fit every budget, plus free apps you can download to your android or iPhone.
  3. Commit: You must commit to reaching x amount of steps throughout the challenge. The amount of steps for the challenge starting on Oct. 1, 2018 is whatever you choose, but the amount must be decided on and declared in the group by 1:00pm PST Sept. 30, 2018. For example, if you choose to commit to 6,000 steps a day, five days a week, you would declare that your goal is to reach 60,000 steps. Goals are to be realistic and in accordance to your ability.  Do not set a goal that increases your risk of injury or a health setback.  The minimum goal for the challenge is 20,000 steps.
  4. Posting: You must take a screenshot or photograph of your step count at the end of each evening and post it on the daily challenge post which in the group page.  You will NOT be eligible to win if you fail to post your daily results.
  5. Prize: Prizes will vary from one competition to the next.  See announcements in the group to find out what the current prize is.  To be eligible to win you must be a member of the group, reach your goal, and post your results daily in the weekly thread.  Winners will be drawn from those who meet all the requirements of the current competition. The number of prizes available will vary upon the number of participants, how many divisions, and the funds raised from The Disabled Diva’s Product Picks group (earnings from affiliate links fund the prize pool). Prizes will vary from fitness merchandise, gift certificates, and cash (delivered via PayPal). Cash and gift certificates will be issued in U.S. currency, however winners do not have to be residents of the United States. Details of current prizes and requirements to receive them can be found in the group announcements.
This post contains affiliate links. Meaning that at no cost to you, I earn a commission when you make a purchase from my links.

 

Whether you choose to join my group or not, I hope you will find a way to make exercise part of your daily life.

Fitness Trackers

pedometer

PINGKO Best Pedometer for Walking Accurately Track Steps Portable Sport Pedometer Step/distance/calories/Counter Fitness Tracker, Calorie Counter

Free Apps for iPhone and Android phones

If you own an iPhone 5s, 6, or 6s, or an iPhone that has been updated since iOS 8 you already have an app! Check out your iPhone Health app, it’s the white one with the little red heart.

Android: All available in the Google Play Store

Fitbit: You don’t need a bit to track your steps use the “MobileTrack” feature and track your steps with your phone.

Google Fit: Use your phone to track steps and set your walking goals.

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Swimsuits & Shifting Focus

This post contains affiliate links.  The pennies earned offset the expense of running the blog and website.

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I pay too much attention to wanting to be thinner and feeling sad I can’t drop any weight. I should be thankful I can move it and do some cool activities!!”

This is a quote from a friend who hikes, does triathlons, skis, and has a blast playing actively with her kids. Yet, she was feeling sad that the number on the scale wasn’t going down and that she wasn’t thinner. I think most women share her frustration. I know I do. Our bodies do amazing things, yet we’re unsatisfied with them because they aren’t smaller. Because they jiggle. Because they have stretch marks, lumps, rolls, or loose skin. Because they don’t look like they used to. Because they don’t look like that actress or that other mom who always looks cute. I hear this from women over and over, of all different ages and levels of fitness. I’m sure men have the same struggles.

So, how do we shift our focus? First, strive to appreciate what our bodies can do. By re-training ourselves to focus on body functionality, we can regain a more balanced perspective toward our bodies. Even if you can’t go up the stairs without getting winded or have to use a wheelchair, your body still does amazing things. Your smile lightens the hearts of those around you; your arms give comforting hugs. When we make an intentional effort to appreciate what our body can do, the aesthetics matter less. Also, continue to challenge yourself to see what your body can do, which will grow your self-confidence AND body confidence.

Re-frame your thoughts. When you shimmy into that swimsuit to play with your kids, think, “We’re going to have so much fun today!”, instead of, “Ugh, my huge thighs are so ugly!!”. This is a struggle for me every time I put on my swimsuit, but I’m always glad that I chose to join in the fun, instead of letting my negative thoughts and self-consciousness get in the way. It’s hard to choose to have a positive frame of mind, but it makes a huge difference. When you notice that “mama belly” that just won’t go away, think, “WOW, what a gift that I got to carry in there.” Also, recognize that some things are simply genetic, natural, or unavoidable with age. Saggy skin, stretch marks, cellulite, some lumps… These are just part of life; while they may be somewhat improved by various things, acceptance is key. You don’t have to be perfectly happy with every aspect of your body. However, you can still be respectful and appreciative of your body, grateful for the amazing gift that it is, no matter how it changes as you age and/or deal with health struggles.

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Remember that people you see on TV, in ads, and on social media are generally airbrushed, filtered, photoshopped, covered in make-up, and posed in the best lighting and angles. Many of those folks have teams of people that get them ready, exercise for hours a day, have personal chefs to provide healthy meals, and/or are just genetically blessed with flawless skin and a certain body type. 

Consider taking a break from the scale. If you just can’t stop thinking about that number, stop weighing yourself for a while. Focus on how you feel (physically and mentally), striving to take good care of your mental and physical health, and appreciating what your body does for you every day.

That reminds me… Another thing you can do to help shift your focus is to take good care of your body with regular movement, eat mostly healthy food, tend to medical and mental health issues, get adequate sleep, and don’t forget to use it for FUN. Maybe you can’t burn up the dance floor like you used to, but your dancing days don’t have to be over, even if you have to groove while seated on a chair.

Finally, choose your influences carefully. If the media you consume or the people you hang out with tank your body image, adjust accordingly. Redirect your friend when they start criticizing their body (or someone else’s). Limit your time with them if they are consistently spewing negativity. Stop reading that airbrushed “health” magazine. Surround yourself with people and influences that build others up and put you in a positive frame of mind.

Your body is amazing. How will you thank it? What will you do to shift your focus?

Join our Facebook Groups:

Spoon Rest

Fitness Buddies

Alternative Pain Fighting Forum

Product Picks

Baby steps are better than NO steps!

*This post contains affiliate links.

stop beating yourself up

I posted the picture above in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies Facebook group this morning, because it is something that I have to remind myself of often.  Whether it be in regards to eating healthier or exercising, lack of progress feeds my insecurities and makes me wonder if what I am doing is really worth the effort.

I didn’t get where I am overnight!

One thing I have to remind myself of daily is that I didn’t get where I am overnight.  The weight I gained came from years of inactivity and comforting myself with food.  Sure, I could easily blame it on my chronic illnesses, but the truth is that fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and endometriosis aren’t to blame, I AM!  For years I allowed pain and fatigue to control every aspect of my life and as each year passed by, the further out of shape I became.

Getting real with myself

I have struggled with weight since high school.  Prior to my invisible illnesses deciding to pummel my body with daily pain, I was at a healthy and acceptable weight.  It took a year of watching what I ate and daily exercise to reach my goal, so it would be unrealistic of me to think I could shed the weight I have gained since the fall of 2003 in a few weeks or months.  Another thing I have to consider is that I am 15 years older!!! I will be turning the big 50 this fall and let me tell you my metabolism is nothing like it was when I was in my early 30’s.

 

 

Accepting and rejoicing the progress I have made

I began getting serious about becoming as healthy as I can possibly be in January of 2017. Ten pounds is all I lost from that time until January of 2018.  TEN POUNDS!! At first I was pissed off by the number, but then I realized that those were 10 pounds that I didn’t have to lose this year! Not only that, but I developed better eating habits and my body stopped craving foods that aren’t good for it.  I also began craving physical activity.  This is something that I have never done, not even when I was younger.  Overcoming cravings, yearning to move my body, and losing 10lbs is progress that I never expected to achieve, nor would I had I done nothing at all.  So far this year I have lost 5lbs.  That’s 1.6666666667 pounds per month.  I could let this number get me down or I can be proud of myself for losing them.  I choose to be happy, because my eating habits and physical activity are continuing to improve.  While I may not be seeing significant results on my bathroom scale, I am seeing it in the mirror, in pictures, and by how my clothing fits.  I am down a pants size and am no longer embarrassed of having my body photographed.

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Baby steps

I began my fitness journey with baby steps.  I didn’t force myself into following a restrictive diet.  My dietary changes have taken place one at a time.  In time I will be following the diet that is perfect for my body, because I am taking small steps to allow my body time to adjust.  Had I decided to go full speed ahead and overhauled my diet to be what I want it to be right from the start, I would have quit.  Same goes for exercising.  I didn’t begin with walking 4 plus miles a day or using my rowing machine for 60 minutes at a time.  I had to take baby steps and began with 5 minute increments a few times a week.

My advice for you

Consider these three things if you are struggling to find a fitness routine that works with your disease:

  1. Search for physical activities that you are able to do, NOT what you wish you could do.
  2. Listen to your body and do what you can, when you can.
  3. Baby steps are better than no steps! You will never make any progress if you aren’t trying.

And when you’re feeling discouraged, remind yourself that:

  1. You didn’t get to where you are at overnight, significant progress will take time.
  2. You’re health is important! Having a chronic illness is not an excuse for not caring for your body.
  3. A bad day is just that, let it go and move on.  If a setback or flare requires that you reduce your activity or dictates that you have to start back from square one, that is okay!!!

Whether you have a chronic illness or not, The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies are here to motivate, encourage, and support you in your quest to improve your health.  Click here to join us.

Finding an exercise program when you have one or more chronic illnesses can be difficult.  I suggest you check out Get Autoimmune Strong, an exercise program created for those who suffer from chronic pain.  The creator of this program is fellow chronic pain warrior, Andrea Wool.  The techniques and exercises she shares in her program have improved my personal routine.

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Tired of your chronic illnesses running your life? Take back control and make pain your bitch! Click here to download your copy today!

 

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies

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*This post contains affiliate links

If you are like me, you may find it easy to talk yourself out of exercising or find a million reasons for not completing your goal.  While on vacation last week my bestest friend of 37 years and I made a pact to hold each other accountable in our quest to reach 10,000 steps per day.  Since posting about this on social media I have received messages from followers who wish to have an accountability partner.  To help us all I created a new Facebook group called The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies.

The purpose of this new group is to encourage, support, and motivate each other, whether we have a chronic illness or not, in our quest to care for our physical health.  This group is for anyone who has set a daily or weekly fitness goal and wants to have a place to share their success or be uplifted when their health or life circumstances get in the way of reaching it.  There will be no shaming and no goal is too small.

Click here to join today!

Wondering how I went from having to use a wheelchair to walking everywhere in just one year?  All credit goes to my amazing drug-free pain relief device called Oska Pulse.  This fantastic piece of technology has decreased the pain and inflammation I experience from fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and endometriosis like nothing I have ever tried in the past.  Click here to follow my journey from the beginning and click here to learn even more about how PEMF therapy may help you.  And as always, use promo code DIVA to save $55 when you are ready to give it a try!

OSKA_Product_diva

 

Movie Movement Mania

Movie Movement Mania

How we turned a popular drinking game into a healthy activity the whole family can play!

movie mania (2)

 

*This post contains affiliate links

In our quest to have a fun girl’s night that included some exercise, Donna, Abi, and I invented a game that is perfect for everyone. We took the popular drinking game where everyone has to drink whenever certain words are spoken during a movie or television show and replaced drinking with movement! This game is perfect for all ages, no matter what their physical ability is.

How to play:

  1. Choose movie that at least one person is familiar with.  Depending upon your energy level, you may also choose a favorite television show instead of a movie.
  2. Have those who are familiar with the movie/show choose words that are spoken throughout it often.  I chose five words from one of my favorite movies Nacho Libre.
  3. Every time one of the chosen words is spoken, everyone must move their body for an agreed upon amount of time.  We chose 30 seconds of movement for each word.  Our movements included running in place, lunges, stretches, and leg lifts.  Choose your movement based on your physical ability.  Other forms of movement could be jumping jacks, arm curls, stepping, sit-ups, pushups,  standing up and sitting down, ankle/wrist/arm circles, waving your arms in the air etc….  Participants can use weights, resistance bands, kettle balls, etc.  If you have workout equipment like a rowing machine, stepper, trampoline, elliptical, or treadmill you could have everyone rotate stations after each word.

green flower learn and watch free

Make sure everyone has water to stay hydrated and have a healthy snack on hand to enjoy afterwards.  To decrease the chance of increasing your chronic pain, prepare your body by applying a topical CBD oil on your muscles and joints and treat your problem areas ahead of time with PEMF therapy from Oska Pulse (promo code DIVA will save you $55). Oska Pulse combats inflammation like nothing I have ever tried and the best part is that it does it without drugs. After playing I ran a few more PEMF therapy sessions on my knees and used “I am Peace” vape from BioCBD+ to relax my muscles.

Unlike the drinking version, this game is healthy and family friendly.  It can even be done in bed by modifying the movements with stretches and exercises that can be done while lying down or sitting.  Moving your body is important even if you don’t have a chronic illness, so why not make it fun too!

 

 

Winter Wellness Woes

Groundhog,_eating

*Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links

Well, good ol’ Punxsutawney Phil has spoken! Whether the groundhog is right about winter or not, most of the country has at least a little bit of wintry weather ahead. When you’re stuck inside, it can be harder to get the movement that your body needs.

Here’s a link round-up of some great ways to get moving indoors!

 

6 Low-Impact Moves

Gentle Yoga Sequence

10-Minute Booty Workout

“Curvy” Yoga Poses for All Body Shapes/Sizes

Low-Impact Beginner Cardio Workout (Quiet & No Jumping!)

Stretch While You’re in Bed!

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Which link or move do you like the best? How do you stay active when the weather is crummy?

 

 

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