Thursday, October 15, 2009

Get Moving!

Movement begets movement. Joint issues such as arthritis prevent a lot of people from doing the things they want to do. My best advice: early on, develop a lifestyle that will keep ailments at bay. (And forget about age. I've known 20-somethings with back issues, so please don't assume this article is about aging.)

Not being a doctor, I can't advise a particular course for all y'all out there. But I can share my own experience. Two years ago, I had started waking up in the morning with joints going snap-crackle-etc. That was a new thing, and it didn't sound good. I had just started teaching Zumba Fitness, and when we got going in class, my joints added their own weird soundtrack for my ears alone.

When I noticed that my morning spring-out-of-bed routine had turned into more of a grunt-and-roll, I started questioning. And being stubborn, and not willing to buy into that aging thing, I saw no reason to let things continue in that direction.

My solution for my body? Simple. Fish oil. Move more. My massage therapist had been recommending fish oil for months, and until my bones started singing, I smiled and nodded at her respectfully. I've never been real consistent about taking supplements, but the symphony of snapping in my knees, wrists, ankles, etc was pretty motivating. I finally listened to my massage therapist and started taking one capsule of fish oil each morning.

Concurrently, my Zumba Fitness class load built to a consistent three classes per week. It meant that I was moving those happy little joints a lot more, a lot more often, and with regularity. Within a couple of months, the creaking and cracking was gone.

Since then, I have taken one fish oil capsule per day religiously, with no need to up that dosage. My activity level in Zumba Fitness alone, never mind teaching Ballroom and Latin, has remained steady at a minimum of 3 hour-long classes per week.

The result? Within the first couple months of fish oil + activity, my joints quit creaking and snapping in the morning. The warm-up sequence during my classes no longer had an extra, personal soundtrack. Moving in general felt, and continues to feel, easier and more fluid.

No. I probably couldn't do ultra-demanding activities like climbing Mt. Everest. But that's not on my list of what, how, and why I need to be able to move. I can do my everyday activites, all the dancing and non-dancing things I desire to do, and probably a little more if necessary, with comfort and ease.

So my ultimate advice? Find an activity you love and do it. Start small and slow if you're already grappling with body issues. Consult a physician, personal trainer, or some other well-being professional. But commit to yourself and your future that you will do one vitally important thing: MOVE.

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