My Favorite Ways of Staying Active

Today, I am joining in with the RagTag Daily Prompt for Thursday. It is “Exercise“. I am a pretty sedentary person, but nonetheless, I love getting moving every once in a while. Here are my favorite ways of staying active both physically and mentally.

1. Walking. My absolute favorite way of physical exercise has to be walking. Due to my disabilities, I am not safe leaving the house on my own for a walk, but I do enjoy walks with my support staff or other people. As regular readers of this blog know, I go for a long walk each Monday at day activities. This week, unfortunately, it started to pour when we’d just been out of the door for five minutes, so we had to return. Both today and yesterday though, I went for an hour-long walk with my support coordinator.

2. Swimming. My second most favorite way of exercising physically has to be swimming. We do it at day activities every other Tuesday. My Fitbit activity tracker is water-proof, so it tracks my swimming activity too.

3. Going on gym equipment. I have an elliptical at home, which I really need to use more often. I manage twice a week on average, but sometimes I don’t go for over a week.

I also discussed with my support worker getting myself a gym membership. There’s a gym in the nearby city that has services for people who suffered brain injury. I’d love to go there.

4. Yoga. I used to take yoga lessons at the institution in Nijmegen many years ago, but I quit eventually. Then I tried to practise on my own. My husband eventually borrowed my yoga mat for his own exercise, then threw it out because it’d disintegrated. I just ordered myself anew one, which should arrive tomorrow. I tried to do yoga on my bed today, but that wasn’t really ideal.

5. Horseback riding. This isn’t particularly exercise-y if you ask me, since we just step around. However, it is an activity that I commit to once a week and that keeps me healthy – or so I’d like to think.

What are your favorite ways of staying healthy?

Next Year

Last week, I wrote a post based on a journaling prompt from the book The Self-Exploration Journal about where I’d want to be years from now. The next rpompt asks us to write about where, given our current daily activities and routines, we can realistically expect to be in a year.

If my daily routines and activities of the past sixteen months, living with my husband, have taught me anything, it’s that nothing is certain. I thought, after my last overdose in Ocober of 2017 that I would be stabilizing now at my old day activities and with my home support. That didn’t work out, because within months I was told I’d have to leave the day center eventually.

Now I’ve only just settled in at my new day activities placement. I am pretty content with how things are there now, but am not sure I feel excited about evnetually going four full days rather than just mornings. I mean, I still struggle a lot with overload.

At home, spending my afternoons alone, I feel awful. This could be depression sinking in again, but I’m not sure.

Realistically, based on my current routines and activities, can I expect to move within a year? I mean, I badly want to, but am even undecided as to how I want to live. Maybe next year I’ll be living in another house with my husband. Maybe I’ll be in supported housing after all. Maybe – most likely – I’ll still be holding on by a thread as I live here.

Mental health-wise, I don’t expect I’ll be doing much better in a year. That’s partly because my mental health issues are rather complex and partly because we don’t have a clear treatment plan that everyone agrees on.

I don’t expect much improvement in my physical health either, though I do hope to be a bit more in shape. Based on my current habits, I cannot expect to be at or near a healthy weight yet, but will hopefully have lost some weight.

I would really like to do some more learning. I tried to learn German for a bit a few weeks ago, but my head spun with all the information. Maybe I’ll be able to do some learning as I go by engaging with the books and blogs I read. I’ll also hopefully keep up the daily writing practise.

Walking

Over at Therapy Bits, carol anne posed a good question. She asked whether we enjoy being out in the fresh air and going for walks.

My short answer has to be a resounding YES. I love, love, love walking! It helps me relieve stress, get my thoughts organized and be mindful. It also for obvious reasons helps my physical health.

Last year, when I first embarked on my weight loss journey, I was badly out of shape. My husband offered to take me on daily 36-minute walks. Why 36 minutes? Because that’d burn the number of calories I’d have to decrease if I wanted to get to my first goal weight within a year. For me, these walsk were jog-walks, as my husband walks rather fast. I was exhausted within five minutes.

My husband hasn’t taken me on these fast-paced walks much after those first few days, but I do go on walks regularly. I regularly walk to the nearby ferry with my support workers, which is about 1.5km one way.

About half a year ago, I bought a Fitbit activity tracker. It is recommended that you get at least 10,000 steps a day. I got that on my first day, but only manage it once every few weeks now.

The Fitbit has a smart way of tracking exericse, so it distinguishes between running, walking, cycling and going on the elliptical. Mine, the Fitbit Flex2, is also water proof. Today, I went swimming for the first time since having my Fitbit. I am not fully able to make sense of the data it provided, but it definitely did recognize that I’d been swimming.

Back to the question though. As much as I love walking, I don’t really enjoy the great outdoors. I hate walking in the forest or on otherwise uneven ground. In fact, I think I would almost equally enjoy walking on a treadmill to walking outside if all other circumstances were the same. They aren’t though, since on the treadmill you’re more in exericse mode than when going for a relaxed walk.