This morning was one in a string of mornings when I have renewed my exercise routine in earnest. It is so easy to forget how refreshing exercise can be when I wake up feeling stiff, aching and sore. It is just simply counter intuitive to exercise when I hurt! Once again, my poor memory recalls how much better I feel after just a few minutes of workout.
At the moment, I am slightly sweaty and headed for the shower. But, I feel better than when I got up! My breathing is deeper, my pain levels and stiffness are less, joint inflammation is down, and my endorphins are on the rise, pulling up my mood after them.
Just a few weeks ago, my rheumatologist asked me how much exercise I was getting, and in honesty I had to admit it was not enough. I have slipped lately and skipped exercise go too many mornings, and cut my workout time short on most of the days when I do exercise. Letting myself get caught up in the hurry of last-minute morning preparations, lately my time planning and prioritizing to leave time for this important health priority has been poor.
As we spoke in more detail, my doctor concluded that the 15 to 20 minutes I have spent on my stationary bike a couple of times each week, with only 5 to 10 minutes of gentle yoga some of the other days, was insufficient. He challenged (or perhaps ordered) me to slowly increase exercise to 30 minutes every day
My response as an obedient soldier in the battle against my lupus? “Yes, Sir!”
So, the plan is to build my daily exercise time back up by a couple of minutes more each week over three months, and kick up my exercise program a notch or two. So, that is what I have been up to each morning.
Okay, I have missed a few days since my last appointment, but I am definitely increasing my compliance and doing exercise most days now. I am up to about 22 minutes and hope reach 25 minutes soon — by the end of October.
My next milestone will be 30 minutes daily by the time of my next doctor visit at the end of November. Working back up slowly is joint and tendon friendly, and helps prevent injury or flare of my lupus arthritis from over exertion.
I haven’t lost much weight yet, my secondary goal, but I have faith that in due time that will come, too (or would that be “go?”)
They say its takes 21 days to make a new habit, and I now am well on my way back to habitual exercise.