“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
It seems that spring is finally on its way. Although there is still a lot of snow on the ground in Alberta where I live, above zero temperatures are in the forecast for the next two weeks. After being forced to stay indoors for a very long and cold winter, it feels so refreshing to feel the sun on my face and be able to go outside without my winter parka on. What I need to remember though, is that even though I feel like I can do all the stuff now because of the shift in weather, my body has not forgotten that it has been inactive for a long time.
I get so excited about temperatures starting to warm up. I started planning my garden for the year. I started thinking about how I wanted to try to walk more this summer and to be more active. I started walking more and going out more. I decided to start yoga at a studio near me. I signed up for an unlimited pass for a month and have been going to 3 classes a week to try to make sure I can try all the ones I am interested in. I feel great, have more energy and with daylight savings time having changed, I am getting up earlier than usual. All of this is great and I just keep pushing to do more because I feel like I can. And then Tuesday came. I was out taking part in a study at the University where I had to walk certain distances and do balancing activities and fill out a ton of questionnaires. Then I rushed home to eat some food quickly and head out to yoga. That’s when it happened. My body decided, “Nope. That’s about enough of that. You still have MS and limited energy.” I fell down hard and landed in a heap. My husband came running in to see if I was OK and it was obvious I wasn’t. All I could say was that I was mad at myself because I really wanted to go to yoga and that I had broken our hamper container. All I did was blame myself for falling. It took me until later that evening to realize what was going on. I had taken on too much. I was trying to do it all of the stuff all at once.
That is the thing when something is changing for the better. The weather gets warmer and I want to get all of the exercise I have been missing over the winter. However, my body still knows that I have been sitting around for five months doing very little. I have been much more sedentary and my muscles are not ready to just jump in full throttle. And that just sucks. Illness exacerbates it, but I think everyone gets excited about starting something new. For me though, I tried to do all the stuff and now I am banged up and bruised and can do nothing again for a little while until I heal up. Exercise is great and I think everyone should do as much of it as their bodies are able. Safely. It is a good idea when you are going to start exercising again, to check in with your body. What does it need? Make sure you also make rest and rejuvenation part of your plan. I need to read my blog post over on the 70% rule. Warm weather makes me forget the lessons sometimes.
Another thing that could have contributed to my falls, yes two of them but we will leave out the details of the second one, is that I have been doing lengthy fasts to help with my weight loss plateau I am sitting with. If I had listened to my body, I would have noticed that I was getting really light-headed lately. Although fasting works for many people, it doesn’t work for everyone. So after my falls, I am back to eating more often during the day. It is so easy to ignore the signals our body is sending us. But it is also utterly pointless. The body will win that battle. It will just stop working and then like it or not, we are forced to abide by its will.
We can all do many things, but not all the things, and not all at once. Enjoy the warm weather and get out when you can. But also check in with your body and your mind. Listen to what it needs and you will be able to do way more than if you ignore it.