Saturday, July 17, 2010

Healthy Living

Our class this week began with each of us discussing his or her successes with their action plan. Some made minor adjustments according to what their plans consisted of for last week. For some, like me there was not complete success. Since my action plan was to walk 2 miles a day at 4 times a week, the weather conditions stopped me one day. However, one night Rick actually walked with me so it was nice to have him included in my action plan. We talked in class about problem solving when our action plans were not working as we initially intended.
1) Identify the problem
2) List possible solutions
3) Select one
4) Assess the results
5) Substitute another idea
6) Utilize other resources
7) Accept that the problem may not be solved

We all deal with difficult emotions when it comes to our chronic pain conditions. Most of us discussed Depression, Anger and Frustration at the changes we have made in our lifestyle. Like most people who have good health, the realisation that our conditions seem to rule our lives might be difficult to comprehend. For us, breaking the Symptom Cycle can be an every day event. In our group it is apparent that we all have good support groups within our family. One way of putting the Negative Emotions on the shelf:
1) Don't be reclusive
2) Faith
3) Humor
4) Socialize
5) Smile
6) Create diversions
7) Focus on something positive
8) Music
9) Exercise
10) Write down fears

Exercise is what we are concentrating on this week and for the upcoming weeks. For some of us, just the most simple things like walking to the car or trimming a hedge can be grueling tasks. Our main focus is to do projects and do them in small steps so we are not overwhelmed and therefore not being successful. Exercise helps promote the following positive benefits:
1) Loosening of the joints and muscles
2) Circulation
3) Endorphins
4) Stimulation
5) Relaxing
6) Stress relief
7) Healthier weight
Types of activities include flexibility, strengthening, aerobic and cardio activity. Our long term goals include moderate exercise 3-5 days a week for 30 minutes and 8-10 strengthening exercises 2-3 days a week. The most important thing is the listen to your body and to not over do it.

My long term goal is to be able to ride again. My longer term action plan is to go to the barn 3-5 days a week for 45 minutes a day to brush and lunge the horses from the ground only. My confidence level is an 8. My main strengthening exercises will start with my Occupational Therapy to get better strength in my right thumb and hand. Right now I have only about 10% useage of my injured area.

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