One of my early New Years resolutions is to be better about exercising. Yesterday I did my weight training at the health club, and now I’m just back from doing cardio. Instead of pushing myself and overdoing it and then getting bored, my new goal is to do it with as little fanfare as possible. That means going in and doing my 25 minutes of weights and then leaving. The next day going in and doing my 15 minutes of cardio and then leaving. This morning I didn’t even get dressed into workout clothes like I usually do. I left my tee shirt and sweat pants on and even left my Merrells on my feet.
The spirits have blessed me with an amazing health club that has 15-minute cardio sessions and 25-minute weight training sessions. Everything uses a customized program, tailored to your abilities and goals, even the weight levels. The weight machine is a universal. My current program is called “Functional Back”, and gives me a very practical weight training routine that simulates things like lifting things from the floor, twisting and turning with weights, stooping, etc. This health club has done as much for my back pain as the very best back physical therapist in the Boston area has done for me in the past.
One day, after being sedentary for a couple of weeks, I noticed that my back pain was beginning to return. Then hubby and I spent several days hiking up a mountain and biking, and my back pain disappeared. I asked my chiropractor if that made sense — I did exercises that had nothing to do with my back and yet my back pain seemed to have been affected. He said “absolutely”. The reason is because there are 3 main pain centers in the body: The hips, the neck and the back of the head — the hips being the largest. These centers consist of nerves going into a channel that runs through the spinal column. By exercising the hip, you actually flood that nervous system channel with endorphins, which placates the nerve impulses that carry pain messages.
So exercise is, yes, important in more ways than one. That I should even consider not doing it is baffling to me, but I think it’s because I have a tendency towards being a bit of a recluse. When I leave the house I love it. But I can easily settle into my bedroom all day, doing tai chi, meditating, writing, playing my roleplaying games, reading, etc. To me, my life in my bedroom is full and rewarding. But necessity says that I should be leaving it and stepping outside of the house regularly. The key is to incorporate all of that and still respect my tendency to be an introvert. Otherwise my loss of privacy will give me claustrophobia.