Thursday, July 16, 2009

Day 9 July 15, 2009

What an interesting day! Started off feeling that my single-shot latte was too much caffeine…I was more hyped than I cared to be – and for HOURS. I thought this day might come. I’ll test it again tomorrow for a second data point :)

Another thing that is happening is that I am starting to want to exercise. I used to exercise regularly until I came down with RA two years ago this month. A year later, I was in a medical remission, but whenever I pushed myself physically, I would get a flare (or something similar). So I just stopped trying to exercise and even pushing myself to the point of sweat. Then we went to Peru this past May. I walked/hiked for no less than 4 hours every day for 2 ½ weeks in high elevation without one problem. I was amazed! So now I have a new benchmark…I know what my body is ready for and capable of.

About a week ago, a new friend of ours (our good friend’s fiancé) was featured in an article about exercise and hearth health (he’s a cardiologist). One of his comments was that his patients frequently tell him that they don’t have time for exercise. His response back is that he himself works 60+ hours a week and finds time for 30-minute of exercise 3-5 times a week…and that they can too. That really struck me. For over a month now, I have known that I am able to exercise, but I haven’t done so because conditions weren’t perfect (no time, too hot, too cool, too late, didn’t want to get all sweaty and have to shower again, blah blah blah…). The first time the article was emailed to me, I read it, got the ‘knowing”, and pushed it back to my subconscious. A few days later, the article was on FB, so I read it again, pushed it back again…but not all the way. I’ve been thinking about it from time to time. Then, a few days ago, someone responded via “Reply All” to the original email and there it was in my consciousness again. They say three times is a charm and this is certainly true in my case :)

I thought about ways I could naturally incorporate aerobic activity into my life. When I do my heavy yard work (sawing down sapling trees, pruning, mulching, carrying stones, digging up plants, leveling ground), my heart rate does get up to the point where I have to stop and rest. Hmmm… isn’t that aerobic exercise? I do that about twice a week. What about when I do housework? If I did it quickly and aggressively enough, I bet I could get my heart-rate up for 30-minutes at a time. I do that every week.

So I emailed my cardiologist-friend to see what he thought of my ideas for natural exercise. He totally agreed and even educated me further. He said if I kept my heart-rate up to about 100-110 for 30 solid minutes at a time, 3-5 days a week, I would not only be doing my heart good, but I would burn FAT CALORIES. Wow! Now that is alluring!

So today, I scrubbed the bathroom walls, ceiling, and floor, then scrubbed the kitchen floor. I had a hard time getting my heart-rate up that high and keeping it there. So I tried working faster…that did the trick. It will take some practice to continually work at that rate of speed. And it will be a fun challenge. Tomorrow I’m planning on vacuuming and scrubbing our wood floor in the studio. Don’t think that will take 30-minutes, so I just might have to dust and clean the windows in the studio as well :) I’m gonna have a clean house from now on…it’s my natural gym! Put my iPod on and I’ll dance my way through housework!

It will be fun to look for natural ways to get my 30-minutes of aerobics in on a daily basis. Frank and I have talked before about walking in the mornings…but that just doesn’t seem to work for us…but, we CAN walk one day a week, that is totally doable. So…let’s see… I’ve got heavy labor yard work twice a week + aerobic house cleaning once a week + a brisk walk with Frank once a week = 4 times a week of aerobic activity that will just come naturally. I believe I am capable of doing official exercise just two days a week to make up the difference…like taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood for half an hour.

The last thing I experienced today was being in the presence of chocolate and not being tempted AT ALL. We went to Frank’s son’s and his fiance’s house for dinner and she served fruit sorbet with shaved chocolate on top (she didn’t know of my 30-day journey). She was excited about this new fair trade chocolate she found. I actually went over to the chocolate bar…smelled it, looked at the package to check it out…all the while never even wanting to taste it. It was a miracle :) All this didn’t even dawn on me until we were on our way home, when I was reflecting on the evening.

I am ending this day with a new commitment to myself to exercise for 30-minutes, 3-5 times a week AND to be in my natural energy. Wellness begets wellness.

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