Make Yourself and Exercise a Priority
I’m very thankful to be alive and I want to live a long, healthy life. Yet I have those days when I look in the mirror and all I can think is “I hate getting older”. All I see are wrinkles and rolls. On the up side, I do have those days when I catch a glimpse in my full length mirror and I think “I look pretty good!”
I suppose how I feel that day plays a big part in what I see. Reminding myself I have hypothyroidism, had a baby via C-section at 36 years old and I’m quickly approaching 40 helps me to keep perspective. But I know I should be exercising regularly to stay healthy.
When I was approaching 30 it was hard for me mentally. I had a full-time job and owned a house but 30 just seemed so “grown-up”. As I approach 40 it’s been hard on me physically. The only regular “exercise” I’ve gotten in the last year is keeping up with an active toddler and occasionally lifting and carrying him (he’s over 45lbs!). Now I feel like my body is breaking down…so much so that I’ve started physical therapy. Although it probably would not have come to that if I made exercise a priority.
Why is it so Hard to go to the Doctor?
I started having pain in my hips during my third trimester of pregnancy. After I had my son the pain would come and go so I never thought much of it. About a year ago it started to be more constant and increasing in intensity. Maybe because I stopped exercising regularly?? The pain would even shoot down to my knee at times. Eventually I was in so much pain that I couldn’t lay on my right side, even on something soft like my bed or the couch. I would stretch, which helped but as time went on it wasn’t doing much. My husband kept telling me to go to the doctor but I always had an excuse. Plus I just don’t like going to the doctor or being in a hospital for any reason. And like most moms, I put myself last.
Finally I reasoned that if I didn’t deal with it soon, I wouldn’t be able to function. Then I wouldn’t be able to take care of my family and I didn’t want that. After almost a year of pain I went to my doctor and she believed it was bursitis in my hip. She wanted x-rays done to confirm that I didn’t have arthritis or bone issues in my hip or back. If they came back clear she wanted me to start physical therapy. My x-rays came back with no issues and now I’m three weeks into physical therapy.
Stretching and Exercising are Now a Priority
After only six visits to PT, I can say my hip is exceptionally better. My therapist is wonderful and has taught me a lot. She has also instructed me on stretches and exercises that I should do daily to help my hip. For the most part I do them everyday but there are some days I forget or get busy. I’m still adjusting to making exercise a priority but I’m hoping to be running again soon.
An item she suggested I buy is a stretch strap, I had no idea what that was before therapy. It is great for getting a really good stretch by yourself. If you’ve been to therapy you know what I mean! A therapist can push on your extremities to really stretch you. At home you might not have someone that can do that for you when you need to stretch. This is where a stretch strap is very helpful.
I Love Sleep
Another big help is our new bed, a Sleep Number. My husband had owned one long before we got married and always said it was the best bed he ever slept on. I had never slept on one and couldn’t justify spending that much money on a bed. Until my hip pain made it hard to sleep.
In January I saw a commercial for a sale Sleep Number had going on. I mentioned it to my husband and that Saturday we were at the mall testing the beds. Two days later after deliberating, we were back at the store purchasing our bed. It took just over a week for delivery but that first night we both slept great. My husband only took 2 or 3 nights to find his number and has slept great since, except for the few nights he went out of town for work. I had a harder time finding my number. I think it was because my hip was hurting so bad before the bed. Now I have my number and I’m sleeping almost like I did before pregnancy!
Please don’t wait until it’s too late to exercise. Otherwise you could end up in extreme pain like me and it will take extra time just to heal. We all should invest some time and if need be, money, into our health. Our kids need us not only to be there for them but to be able to play and have fun too. Plus studies show that exercise improves sleep so it can do double duty for our health!