Low Spoon Exercises

-Diaphragmatic Breathing:
I learned this in PT as one of the first exercises. Lay on your back, close your eyes, and put your hands gently on your stomach. Take a slow inhale through your nose and take notice if you can feel your abdomen filling up instead of your chest. You want to fill your diaphragm, which will make you more present, and calm the fight or flight response that our chronically hurting bodies are in often. Then slowly exhale through your mouth and add a soft “shh” as the air escapes you. This is also great if you’re having a hard time focusing on a task or you’re in a panicked state. Use it as often as you need.

-Ankle Exercises: When you’ve sat up in bed, swing your legs over the side and do the alphabet by twirling your ankles. Both sides separately. This loosens up the joints and gets them ready to hit the floor and gets you from A to B gracefully throughout your day. This will also help to prevent ankle swelling and with that, foot pain you may be experiencing–not to mention, it’s a good way to wake up in the morning.  

-Stretching: Stretching daily is a great habit to develop. It helps you wake up and get ready for the day. You can do it standing, sitting or both. Start by just reaching up to the sky, down to the floor, and to each side. For more thorough stretches, try a beginner yoga class– if are suffering from a muscle or joint condition, inform the instructor when you arrive and they can offer you easy, yet effective modifications.

-Walking: I know movement of any kind can be difficult with chronic and complex illness, but if you can manage, go for a gentle at-your-own-pace 10 minute walk. Start with 10 minutes a few times a week. Then increase to 15 minutes, if you’re able. Walking is amazing for the body and really gets the circulation going and can help A LOT with weight loss if you do it consistently–it burns the same amount of calories as running.  Walking can release endorphins to improve your mood and it’s good for bone health and preventing diabetes. In fact, walking burns the same amount of calories as running–the only difference is muscle development. It’s just a good, accessible exercise