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Tag Archives: fitness

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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Weekend Recap October 22-26

weekend recap oct 26

Monday: 5 Tips That Will Make Trick or Treating With Chronic Pain Less Painful

Tuesday: Choices That Reflect Acceptance of a Chronic Illness

Wednesday: A Gluten Free, Dairy Free Snack Bar?

Thursday: Don’t Let Arthritis Keep You From Decorating Your Halloween Pumpkin

Friday: Protect Yourself From Trauma Triggers This Halloween  and The Disabled Diva’s Turkey Trot Tournament

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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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Attitude Awareness Challenge

Have you been feeling a little more prickly than normal?

Chronic pain or life in general have you feeling down?

Join my fitness buddies and I as we get an attitude adjustment this week in The Disabled Diva’s Fitness Buddies group on Facebook.  Click here to join, because our bodies aren’t the only thing that needs to be whipped into shape!

 

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!

 

 

 

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