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Tag Archives: exercise

5 Best Practices for Safe Walking

5 Best Practices for Safe Walking featured

If you would have told me two years ago that I would be writing about walking, I would have laughed until I cried…… But that is exactly what I am doing!  Two years ago I was thrilled to be able to walk through the grocery store, walking for exercise or fun wasn’t on my radar yet.  But that isn’t what today’s post is about, click here to find out how I went from barely moving to running circles around my family and friends, today I am going to share to stay safe while walking.

*Disclosure: This post includes affiliate links. Meaning that at no additional cost to you, I receive a commission when you make a purchase through my links. The proceeds earned fund the giveaways I host in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies and Disneyability Group on Facebook.

1. Be aware!

This practice covers several areas.  The first being preventing personal attacks.  Try to walk in daylight hours or on well lit streets.  I recommend carrying mace/pepper spray, a stun gun, or at the very least a rape whistle/alarm.  Know your route and identify possible escape routes by pulling up and studying the area on Google Maps.
Shady people aren’t the only things you need to be on alert for.  As I learned two weeks ago, pinecones are evil! Seriously though, watch for debris on your walking path. While you may not have much of a chance of slipping on a banana peel, your odds of tripping on uneven pavement, rocks, pinecones, bottles, cans, trash, leaves are high.  When walking at night use a flashlight to see hazards before you step on them!

2. Make yourself visible

If you are walking between dusk and dawn, you need to make sure that people are going to see you.  I don’t care how much or little traffic your walking route experiences, all it takes is for one driver not to see you and boom! So do yourself and those that love you a favor and dress in bright neon or white clothing.  Not willing to give up your dark workout clothing? Then wear a reflective vest or arm/ankle bands.

3. Go inside!

When the air quality is less than desirable or if the streets/sidewalks are wet or icy, walk indoors!  You don’t have to join a gym or purchase a treadmill, you can walk your local mall for free!  Other options, although you won’t be able to walk fast, are to visit a local museum, art gallery, or indoor flea market.  If weather conditions make it unsafe to drive, walk in your house! Walk in place on a mini trampoline, in front of your TV, or just walk from room to room.  Best part of walking at home is knowing that if you get too tired you can sit down and rest.
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Mini Trampolines and Treadmills make working out at home a breeze!

4. Make it a group activity

If possible, get yourself a walking buddy! You could get together with a group of friends or neighbors and turn your exercise time into a fitness happy hour! If you must walk alone, bring your dog. They are great at fending off strangers. Even small neurotic chihuahuas provide protection. Don’t have a dog? Ask to walk your neighbor’s. Having someone else to be accountable to will get you out the door regularly.  Walking with someone always motivates me to push harder than if no one was watching.

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5. Track your steps

 If you are like me, you may have a tendency to overromanticize your physical accomplishments if you don’t have proof of what you did staring you in the face.  There have been times when I thought I racked up thousands and thousands of steps, only to later discover that I barely accomplished a small percentage of what I thought I had.  Tracking steps makes you aware of what you are really capable of.  When dealing with chronic pain, this knowledge can help you plan future outings.  If an event is going to require more walking than you typically do in a day, you will know whether to cancel or bring along a mobility aid.  When you track your steps and chronic pain, you will find a range that will become a warning for you to stop before running yourself into the ground.  This will decrease the number of days you spend recovering from pushing yourself too hard.

 

 

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The Disabled Diva’s Turkey Trot Tournament

If you missed my fitness buddy step challenge in October, you missed out on a lot of fun and encouragement.  There is something about a friendly competition that makes it easier to move our bodies!!!  Having a chance to win a prize doesn’t hurt either!!

Our next competition starts November 1, 2018 and ends at midnight November 20, 2018. You can join at any time, but know that those who start from the beginning will have more opportunities to win entries for the prize.  This month’s prize is a $20 Starbucks e-gift card.

How to participate:

  1. To compete you must be a member of The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies on Facebook.  Click here to join.
  2. After joining you must declare your daily step challenge on the tournament post which is located in the announcements on the group page.
  3. You will need a fitness tracker to record and share your daily steps.  Don’t have one? Click here for options that will fit any budget.
  4. You must post a screenshot of your steps from your app or tracker at the end of your day and no later than 8AM PST the following morning.
  5. For each day that you meet or exceed your goal you will be given an entry to the drawing for the prize which will be held on Nov. 21, 2018 live in the group.  You have the opportunity to earn 20 entries!!!

Click here to join today and let’s get trotting!!!

The Disabled Diva'sTurkey Trot Tournament fb2

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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

 

Track Your Steps

 

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Track Your Steps

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.

Tracking steps is great for losing weight, challenging yourself, and to learn how to recognize your limits.  In my fitness buddy group I host monthly competitions.  Truly the only person you are competing with is yourself, but everyone who participates is entered into a drawing. Click here to join our current step challenge.

Below is the drug-free pain relief device that has made reaching my daily step goal possible and fitness trackers to fit every budget.

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

If you are pushing a rollator or stroller, you may find that your fitness tracker isn’t recording all of your steps.  Click here to discover my solution!

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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Is How You Practice Self Care Constructive or Destructive?

Is How You Practice Self Care Constructive or Destructive?

There was a time when I thought that self-care was just doing something that made me happy or comforted me during a flare.  Turns out I was wrong!  While self-care can be pleasurable, there is a lot more to it and it’s not always pleasant.  Today I share why we need to focus on all forms of self-care and not just the ones that make us happy.

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What is considered self-care?

Self-care is defined as the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health and the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Self-care may look different from one person to the next, but we should have the same end goal of improving our physical and/or mental health.  Ways to do this are through personal hygiene, exercising, eating healthy, pacing ourselves, resting before we completely exhaust ourselves, napping when needed, following a schedule, adhering to a treatment plan, listening to our bodies,  etc.  Some other ways of practicing self-care are to care for our mental health by allowing ourselves a night or afternoon out with friends/family to laugh and let loose a little.  While not often fun or exciting, dealing with issues that are creating extra stress and anxiety in our lives is a must.  The longer we let things go, the more impact they have our lives and health.

One of my favorite forms of self-care is to spend time at the beach.  Sitting in the sand and listening to the waves crash soothes my soul and body.  Going for walks and eating healthy meals used to feel like a form of punishment, but in the past year and a half they have become my number one form of self-care.

What isn’t self-care?

Self-care is not a punishment! If it feels like one, it may be time to reevaluate why you believe it is.  Instead of thinking of cutting out or reducing how much comfort or junk food you eat as a punishment, consider what that food is doing to your body.  I found that the foods I was finding comfort in were actually contributing to my pain and fueling my chronic illnesses.  Once I was able to accept that I was responsible for some of my downtime and pain, I was able to see choosing healthier options in a different light.  I am not suggesting that I never indulge, but that when I do I call it what it is: an indulgence, NOT self-care.

Self-care isn’t about creating more pain, anguish, stress, or health problems.  Another reason that comforting myself with food isn’t a form of self-care is because it often leads to weight gain.  Gaining weight won’t help my chronic illnesses, in fact it will just add more stress as I attempt to rid my body of it.  To be clear, I am not saying that weight loss will cure me, but that instead my body will be under less stress.  I don’t care if you have one or fifty chronic illnesses, consistantly choosing to eat poorly and adding more health issues is never the answer.

Self-care isn’t about avoiding confrontation just because it is uncomfortable.  Self-care is standing and speaking up for yourself when necessary.  Self-care is caring for, protecting, and improving your mental and physical health.   Don’t stop caring for your heart and lungs just because your ovaries, kidney, muscles, or joints decide to be assholes.  You need all the strength you can muster up to face your chronic illnesses every day!

How to know if your form of self-care is constructive or destructive

The best way to determine whether or not your form of self-care is constructive or destructive is to observe what happens afterwards.  If you spent the night puking in the bathroom and can’t lift your head from your pillow after an evening out drinking with friends, it is safe to say that you weren’t practicing self-care.  There is nothing wrong with going out with friends if you are up to it, but you don’t have to drink alcohol.  Wouldn’t you have rather enjoyed laughing with your friends then going home for a good night’s sleep and be able to get up and do something else the next day?  Did your favorite comfort food force you to spend the afternoon on the toilet?  Unless you were severely constipated, there is no way to call it self-care.

Not everything you do will improve your life at that moment or at all, but a sign that what you are doing is a form of self-care is that it didn’t make your life worse!  Sure maybe standing up to your doctor or removing an abusive person from your life may feel stressful or painful for a moment, but in the long run your life will improve. Eating a healthy meal may not decrease your pain, but over time you will feel better than if you were consistently eating foods that fueled your chronic pain.

Take some time and think about how you are practicing self-care.  Can you identify what needs to change?  If not, try keeping a journal detailing how you practice self-care and your results.  If you see a pattern of destruction following some of your favorite forms, it may be time to make some changes.

Don’t know where to start?  Check out my eBook Make Pain Your Bitch: How to Dominate Your Chronic Life.  In it I share many of the changes I made in my chronic life and challenge you to acknowledge and make changes that will better your life.  Click here to order and download your copy today!

Join my Facebook Groups!

Alternative Pain Fighting Forum: Where we discuss natural and alternative ways to reduce chronic pain

Fitness Buddies: Support and encouragement on our wellness quest, because having a chronic illness is not a reason to not care for our bodies.

Spoon Rest: Support, laughs, and friendship.

Product Picks: Products that will improve your life, comfort you, or just make you smile.

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Toxic homes, weight loss, cannabis, and finding an exercise routine!

*This post contains affiliate links.

Toxic homes, weight loss, cannabis, and finding an exercise routine!

It is going to be a busy week!!

First….. Only 7 days left to watch The Cannabis 101 Summit!
Click here to start watching now!

 

Over in The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Pain Fighting Forum on FB I shared which cannabis strain is aiding me in my weight loss efforts and will be chatting more about it this week. I also went live to talk about marijuana edibles last week.  This week I will be popping in to talk more about weight and cannabis, plus to further discuss the Cannabis Summit.    Click here to join the group to learn more!  

Toxic Home Transformation Summit begins Monday June 25th!!
Click here to register
Then join me to discuss the talks on FB by clicking here

Do you struggle with creating and keeping up with a regular exercise routine? Join me in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies fb group before Thursday where I will go LIVE to discuss ways to find a schedule that you can adhere to!  Click here to join.

I look forward to learning and chatting with you all week long!!

Cynthia,

The disABLED Diva

 

The Disabled Diva’s Pain Management Plan

 

 

The Disabled Diva’s Pain Management Plan

 

 

 

 

 

If you follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram you have surely noticed the improvements that I have experienced in the past year.  I have been receiving a lot of messages from followers asking about my pain management plan, so today I am sharing it with you.  There is no ONE thing that has taken my pain levels back to what they were before my chronic illnesses took over my body 24/7, it’s a combination of natural and alternative therapies that work together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

For those of you who don’t know me, I was diagnosed with psoriasis in 2001, fibromyalgia and psoriatic arthritis in 2003, endometriosis in 2004, reoccurring abdominal adhesions in 2005 due to endo and surgical scarring, and degenerative disc disease in 2011.  I followed pharmaceutical protocols until 2012 when my health deteriorated to the point of not being able to walk, sit, or stand for more than 5 minutes without experiencing excruciating pain.  I was also in the emergency room several times a year for extremely painful urinary tract infections.  By 2012 most of my life was spent in bed.  That fall I tried medical marijuana, liked the relief it gave me, decided that I wanted to go that route, but not until I rid my body from all its pharmaceutical toxins.  A funny thing happened after my detox, I experienced a reduction of nerve pain and never again experienced another urinary tract infection.

Once I had detoxed from all my prescriptions I began creating my own pain management program.  To be clear, I am not suggesting you do the same, only you can decide what is best for your body. Click here to find out how I addressed my pain and symptoms one at a time.

*Disclosure: I am not a medical professional and I am NOT issuing medical advice. I am just sharing how I treat my chronic pain. This post contains affiliate links, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the companies.

 

 

Medical Marijuana (MMJ)

I began by using marijuana infused edibles.  While they took longer to take effect than smoking, vaping, or using tinctures, it stayed in my system longer which provided longer lasting periods of relief.  Finally after years of not being able to sleep for more than 4-6 hours a night, that was if I was lucky, I began sleeping a full 8-10 hours every night.  The only exception was when pressure from an incoming heatwave or storm increased my pain.  After a few weeks of using MMJ, I regained use of my left thumb and pointer finger.  Those joints had been so swollen that I hadn’t been able to bend them for years.  After a few months I was able to make a loose fist and a year later I could finally make a tight fist.  Nerve pain was no longer a daily issue, instead it only occurred when experiencing an extreme heatwave or storm.

MMJ did something else that was pretty amazing.  Unlike opioids, MMJ didn’t mask my pain.  Instead it eliminated the reactionary and widespread pain I had experienced since the beginning and reduced the pain felt from my pain sources to a tingle.  This made it possible for me to recognize the sources of my pain, know what areas needed to be addressed, and what I should avoid doing to not aggravate those areas.

 

I also treat my pets with CBD. Click here for my list of preferred brands.

By the fall of 2015 I was able to drive myself to the grocery store, shop at one store without using a wheelchair, and occasionally walk short distances at Disneyland.  By the end of 2016 I could walk through two stores without needing weeks to recover.  The only condition that I didn’t experience any relief with was with my abdominal adhesions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I continue to use MMJ to this day. However, unlike the early years I no longer need it during the day and only use it before bed.  While I still like how easy it is to micro dose with edibles, vaping has become my favorite way to medicate.  I do however use various CBD products occasionally during the day to combat anxiety and depression.  I also use topical CBD oils and lotions.

I review various MMJ and CBD products in The Disabled Diva’s Alternative Chronic Pain Fighting Forum on Facebook.  My favorite CBD vape, topical oil, and capsules are from BioCBD+.

Review of BioCBD+ Capsules

Review of BioCBD+ Topical Oil

Review of BioCBD+ Vape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Food Intake

In 2016 I began recognizing how certain foods were increasing my pain and inflammation levels and began making changes.  The changes I made at first were minor, but helpful.  Last year I began tracking everything I consumed and noted how I felt.  This made it possible for me to recognize even more foods that were causing harm.  I started 2018 determined to get serious about what I ate.  My diet consists mostly of fruits, vegetables, nuts, smoothie bowls, and granola.  I still eat out occasionally, but try to make the best choices when I do.  Funny thing is that by recognizing how certain foods were causing more pain and making sicker, I lost my craving for them.  What I ate was never the cause of my chronic illnesses, but my former diet did make them worse.  I no longer comfort myself with the foods that I used to crave, because there is no comfort in knowing that I am creating more pain and inflammation.  Losing weight is another benefit, again while not the cause of my diseases, losing weight has helped reduce pain and gives my doctors one less thing to blame.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PEMF Therapy

I was introduced to PEMF therapy in November of 2016.  I was skeptical at first, but even though I only used it a few times a week I still experienced pain relief and increased stamina.  It wasn’t until I heard that my device may be able to reduce the pain and symptoms from abdominal adhesions (they were strangling my bowels) that I began using it daily.  Since the end of March 2017 I have used my device daily and when I say daily I mean that I use it from the moment I wake up and until I go to bed.  PEMF therapy with Oska Pulse immediately loosened the hold that adhesions had on my bowels.  Within four months the pain that I experienced in my feet, spine, hips, and sacrum were no longer a daily issue.  In fact, those areas only hurt when I push too far or from high pressure pushing in a heatwave or storm.  After 6 months I was able to walk farther than I had since the fall of 2003.  By January of 2018 I began walking .75 miles a day, then increased to 1.65 miles a day, to now where I am walking 4-6 miles every day!! I haven’t had to use my wheelchair since January and only use my walker when I am at Disneyland and am going to be on my feet for more than several hours.  Click here to follow my journey from the beginning.  Click here to visit Oska Wellness. Promo code DIVA will save you $55 at checkout.  Full disclosure: I am an affiliate of Oska Wellness, but only because the product truly delivers on its promise of pain relief and reduction of inflammation.  This device is what has pushed my pain management to another level.  My daily pain level is between 0-4.  I experience less flares and the ones I do experience are less painful than before, don’t last as long, and I recover from them faster.

 

 

Exercise

Because of the improvements I have experienced from MMJ, dietary changes, and PEMF therapy I have been able to exercise every day.  I begin each morning with a 3-5 mile walk and end each day walking another 2-3 miles.  I am slowly adding other exercises to my routine and have begun to notice significant weight loss. I am down a pants size and am well on my way to reach my goal to become the weight I was before my illnesses took over my life.  My physical abilities didn’t occur overnight.  It has taken a full year to reach this level of physical activity.  I keep myself accountable and offer support, encouragement, and motivation to others in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies.

Other helpful treatments

In addition to the four major aspects of my pain relief plan, I also use heat, ice, and massage.  I am always open to trying new things that are holistic, natural, or out of the norm.  I have learned to listen to my body and to work with it instead of against it.  My pain management plan has made it possible to know which areas need addressing on a daily basis.

I have not been healed.  My conditions are not curable.  However, I rarely spend an entire day in bed anymore and I am doing things that my doctors said I would never be able to do again.

I am happy to address any questions you may have.  No matter how you choose to combat your chronic pain, know that there is hope! Don’t give up! Keep searching and trying new things.

 

Make chronic pain your bitch by taking control!Click here to download your copy today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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