Just found this article whilst researching core muscle strength in ND and thought it an interesting topic for discussion.
Do you relish sport or are you a couch potato? Does going to a gym, joining a team, coordination issues put you off? Or have you found a way to enjoy keeping fit?
I like walking in open countryside. I tried line dancing and aerobics but couldn't learn the moves or keep up. I hate chlorine and feeling of swimming pool water and our local pool is closed in and claustrophobic. I have been in open air pools which I liked. Gyms are too noisy, too busy and overwhelming. I have played badminton on a casual basis in my youth but rubbish at catching a ball. I learnt to ride a bike but my coordination and spacial awareness makes it very tricky so I thought of a tricycle or recumbent but they're expensive..
What are your experiences of sport and exercise?
Apart from gardening I pretty much get no exercise at the moment and I don't like it but it's hard to know where to start again as I' probably the least fit I've ever been.
I was a very active child most of the time and by the time I was 11 I had a pony, so rode all the time until I was 18, I also swam for the school and did high jump, nothing amazing but I loved it until about 13 or 14 when I began to disengage with school etc. I rode other people's horses in my thirties and was fit as a flea but that ended and I got less fit because there's never really been any plan for activity, I think I was just always quite active. In some respects I dislike walking, it makes me miss horses, that's a much more satisfying way of getting about though I think I'd be too nervous now, had my share of dramatic collisions with the ground!
Around ten years ago I decided I needed to do something so I bought an elliptical cross trainer second hand and dutifully got on it three times a week for around a year, hey presto, fit as a flea again, we used to ride our bikes as well a bit then but then motivation deserted me and ended up back at square one.
Tried swimming which lasted a while, we have a nice local pool and I can cope with the chlorine as long as I have goggles but even when it wasn't busy there were too many people to negotiate.
About four years ago I was really fed up with myself and I was earning my gardening money so I joined a local private gym, they were friendly and it was very quiet, three or four people quiet and with headphones in I quite enjoyed it in a way, especially liked the rowing machine but I don't suppose that is bad back friendly. I think one problem I have is that I get overly competitive with myself and push too hard so the enjoyment goes out of it as you can never win, also I seriously find being all hot and sweaty extremely uncomfortable. With that and restrictive opening hours the gym went out of the window in less than a year.
That's when I bought the Pilates machine and a ball after watching uTube videos, your not wanting to get on the floor made me think of it, once I'd got a bit stronger I loved messing around on the ball. They come in different sizes but are bigger and more stable than you might think, even just sitting on one to watch tv engages your core to keep you stable and the exercises can be very gentle. I found it a lovely squishy thing to engage with but then another dog arrived and there was no room any more in our sitting room for my ball so it got deflated and that's where I'm at now. I don't walk the dog that much, we are his fifth home and whilst he's not awful, he's not the easiest either so it can be a bit stressful on my own.
I know I've always felt happier when I've been fitter and it would help with anxiety, but what to do, especially when motivation is at an all time low?
Sorry for the delay in replying but I wanted to reply in full and I had run out of energy for long posts which needed more concentration. I have never naturally been active( especially compared to the rest of my family) I'm known as the chubby sedate one. However we had an outdoor lifestyle and I joined in that so much more active then than now that I live in town. I always wanted a horse but my parents were too busy to look after me and a horse. But I have ridden a few times with one spectacular winding and broken specs! I am interested in equine therapy as something to help me but again none locally and I also thought of rda but wasn't sure if I'd be a volunteer or client! So my walks when I can are usually more of a nature ramble and taking photos than bracing cardiac. I am in another of my least fit patches again at the moment which as you said doesn't feel comfortable. Realising I needed to do something I bought an exercise bike though I think an elliptical would have been more fun but I lost motivation and then the cable broke so off to the tip it went. I mentioned the swimming already but I've never been a strong swimmer and one of the don't like water in my face kind or the feeling of getting dressed because however hard you try to be dry , clothes always feel soggy .. just odd. I thought of going to an outdoor pool as enjoyed those in the past but the nearest is an hour away so not practical for me. Quite a few years ago I also joined a small local gym which worked well for a while and like you said became competitive with myself but eventually found I couldn't manage it along with other things I was doing at the time.. it's demolished and housing there now. Plus most of the small ones are claustrophobic or have to drive to. And yes I too hate being hot and sweaty ( never heard anyone else say that before!) and jarring/wobbling about isn't comfortable either. But the sensation of striding along in the sun and breeze is uplifting when I can do it. But that's not the same without a dog and don't feel able to properly care for one. And yes I do know about walking less well behaved or pulling on the lead dogs so understand that too. I did have a ball inflated for quite a long time, but I did not like the squishy feeling or the texture it was made from added to my lack of balance and a muscle core reduced to mush wasn't for me. I like the idea of the Pilates machine but fear it would be another purchase left sitting in the corner. Bit of a vicious circle at the moment because if I felt less tired all the time I would probably be more self motivated but if I got fitter I would probably feel less tired and as you say reduce anxiety amongst other things. I have downloaded a walking programme designed to be done at home which is fun and I have a reminder in my phone but still don't do it I also have a seated yoga email JP and I have an open page with the isometrics Quirky friend recommended ( I have had the NHS stretches and couch to 5k on podcast for years with good intent but…) which both look good but haven't done yet. Plus getting started and procrastinating and pacing with other things ( spoons) is a planning thing. As you can see I completely lack self discipline! I have contacted the local lady who does Alexander Technique (2nd step as been getting her emails for months) 3rd step is to get back to her.. but unsettled at the moment with chaos at home. I even know why I want to exercise, why it would be good for me and the benefits but I still don't do it. My own worst enemy.