alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
[personal profile] alexseanchai posting in [community profile] bodies_in_motion
okay so like

exercise that

* won't fuck with any of my disabilities
* won't feel impossible to start or maintain
* won't get blockaded by my executive function or wtfever before I get started
* won't cost money
* won't make me feel like a fail on the grounds of continuing to not meet the 150 min/wk moderate exercise guideline
* won't tempt me into excessive ambition
* will help me learn patience
* will help me increase some number of my strength, flexibility, endurance, and cardiovascular health
* will start where I am wrt all four such
* will be enjoyable, not chorelike

am I chasing a unicorn here?

(I really appreciate the effort you all put in last time I posted here! just none of your suggestions stuck. /o\ and it's incredibly frustrating.)

(also I don't understand why I chose today to start caring again? I have been complaining all week about through-the-roof pain! this is maybe not the week to reinstate a practice of physicality?)

Date: 2017-04-22 01:39 am (UTC)
lizbee: A pretty white woman holds a boombox to her ear. There is a hint of a sneer on her lips. (Music: Unrockbar)
From: [personal profile] lizbee
(also I don't understand why I chose today to start caring again? I have been complaining all week about through-the-roof pain! this is maybe not the week to reinstate a practice of physicality?)

I can't answer your other questions, but this is the week I wrenched my back, on top of being a high pain period anyway, and also started thinking about attempting Couch to 5K. So it's not just you!

Date: 2017-04-22 01:44 am (UTC)
lunabee34: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lunabee34
I probably don't have a suggestion that will meet all these requirements for you, but I completely commiserate with you in terms of frustration re: finding an exercise that doesn't feel like an imposition or that doesn't meet all the needs you have.

Date: 2017-04-22 01:52 am (UTC)
ironed_orchid: (Sloth)
From: [personal profile] ironed_orchid
So I'm thinking there are forms of yoga which incorporate a dynamic series of poses and which would probably work for your list of strength, flexibility, endurance, and cardiovascular health. But which sort of yoga, and whether you want to try classes or work from video tutorials etc. will really be a matter of personal preference (and spoons).

Date: 2017-04-22 02:04 am (UTC)
thistleingrey: (Default)
From: [personal profile] thistleingrey
Also, for people who find yoga not possible, sometimes pilates exercises are a reasonable option.

Date: 2017-04-22 06:05 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
Seconding pilates as an option. I have a book which has a set of 7 simple introductory pilates exercises, with beginner and 'starting to have a clue' type levels, and I found that really doable. Some days just the one exercise, some days all of them.

(which reminds me that I need to find that book).

Date: 2017-04-22 06:07 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
Are you looking for 'at home', 'free outside the home', and/or 'classes'? Because I have possible suggestions for each of those, but it will depend a little on what might be readily accessible.

Date: 2017-04-24 02:46 pm (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
At home, what I've had the most success with is pairing specific small amounts of exercises with regular day time activities. So, for example, the stretches that I need to do to keep my thigh muscles from cramping I do after my shower as part of the way that I dry my legs, and I do squats (which are also about keeping those muscles strong and flexible so that my hips don't do bad things) while I clean my teeth at night. I cannot bring myself to do long periods of exercise unless I'm elsewhere, and even then, I'm better if I have someone controlling what I'm doing (eg. class).

I'm also a fan of 'put on a few minutes of loud music, and see how many things I can put away' - I can bounce around for one 3 minute song, and it doesn't matter whether I'm going up and down the house, and because I'm focused on the music, the weirdness my brain will usually throw at me about tidying isn't there, because I'm Not Tidying, I'm Dancing. If you need something that will trigger it, always getting up when a specific song is played is one way (Poison by Alice Cooper is one of mine).

The last one is going to sound weird, but if standing to watch television is an option it works for getting some amount of very simple exercise. Work on relaxed but 'strong' posture - if you have done dance or martial arts you will have a grounding for that, and start small, just a few minutes. As you get used to doing this, you can incorporate any standing stretches that work for you, or things like moving on to the balls of your feet and holding that.

These are the types of things that work for me. I can sometimes motivate myself to go for a walk (and I did start with the 'go for a jog/walk around the block as a break from study), but I'm not good about leaving the house.

Date: 2017-04-25 02:07 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
You're welcome. Note that the standing thing can be done with the computer, if you have a good place to put it. The main thing I have to remember is to keep the weight on the balls of my feet, not on the heels, because that will lead to sore hips very fast.

Date: 2017-04-22 07:19 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
One thing that works really well for me is having a "menu" of exercise options to pick from.

My energy and mood levels fluctuate a lot at the best of times, so it really helps if I work on the basis that I need to (try to) do An Exercise Thing almost every day, but I have some flexibility to pick something that I have the energy for and that actually appeals.

And some of the options are very gentle and easy, so I can mostly do them even if I feel wiped, and it keeps the habit of exercise going.

(I accept that I won't manage every day, but I also have a rule of at least one total rest day per week.)

It also helps with fitting in all the types of exercise that you need recovery from (like strength training), where you can't and shouldn't be doing the same thing on consecutive days.

And it means you don't have to find one single form of exercise that is perfect for you at all times and does everything!

Date: 2017-04-22 01:56 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Yup! And it also works well if I can't do a particular thing because of injury (or weather, or travelling, or whatever).

For me, I'll often work on the basis that I want to try to do activity X at least once in the week and Y at least twice and so on (though that plan gets adjusted and re-shuffled fairly regularly, depending on my priorities and how different things are going). So there's a very loose structure.

But then I can be flexible about what gets slotted in on which day, or if I do X more than once if I have lots of spare energy/time that week (or whatever).

And there are fallback options, so if even if the general plan just isn't happening that week, I'll generally do some movement-ish stuff of some kind, just because I feel physically and mentally better when I'm not totally immobile.

That's the theory, anyway ... *g*

Date: 2017-04-22 03:47 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Glad it's a useful idea for you!

Just having a "menu" of items could work as a starting place.

Then you can see what are the things you can motivate yourself to do, what effects they have, add or subtract different menu items, etc..

And then add in more struture or not as you want.

Date: 2017-04-23 08:55 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: A woman (yoga teacher Jess Glenny) lies on the floor in a reclining twist. (yoga -- twist)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Also!

I highly recommend making one of the options stupidly easy and low-key. Something that feels ridiculously low-dose for you.

Like, ten minutes of something really gentle. Five minutes. Done listening to a podcast or watching TV, if that's something you enjoy.

(Looking up "restorative yoga" poses could be good for this.)

The idea is to make the bar so low that you can manage to do it even on really bad days, most of the time. Sometimes you'll do it and then find actually you now feel like doing a bit more, sometimes you won't, and that's fine.

And (aside from helping build the habit of exercise), a short stint of something like restorative yoga can actually be enough to make a difference in how you feel (at least in my experience, YMMV, etcc.).

Date: 2017-04-24 08:36 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
"Absurdly easy, low-key, and low-dose" sounds...well, okay, it's got my ego complaining up a storm

*nods a lot* *g*

If it's something that seems pathetically and insultingly easy when you're having a good day (whether that's in terms of energy or mood or executive functioning or pain levels or whatever), then it's something that you might actually be able to do on a bad day! Or just a tired day, or a day when you need to recover after a more strenuous thing the previous day.

And seriously, the more stuff I do, the more I'm learning to appreciate the real value of the gentle/easy stuff. It's not some sort of wimpy option that you only do because you can't do "real exercise". Especially when I'm doing strenuous stuff some of the time, I need the gentle stuff to recover (and it's good for my head).

There's a yoga teacher named J. Brown who has a vid named "Gentle is the New Advanced" which I keep meaning to check out, and yeah; I really like that as a slogan.

Date: 2017-04-24 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
Seconding this whole thread from [personal profile] rydra_wong, but especially this last bit^.

You know how similar exercises can have a variety of benefits depending how you do them? For instance, you can build cardio-respiratory fitness, or muscular endurance, or muscular strength, or explosive speed/power, or precision control, or range-of-motion/flexibility, or balance, or postural alignment, or proprioception, or some other things I can't think of right now, or pretty often a few of these at the same time but never all of them at once (because multitasking to that degree is not possible and some of the functions oppose each other)...?

It helps me to remember that ego-satisfying fast/hard/heavy/impressive workouts only give some of the benefits of exercise. The other benefits require the other kind of work: slow, careful, gentle, light, basic (or as I'd rather say, foundational). This end of the spectrum can be surprisingly challenging to work on. Mentally and emotionally, of course-- it often isn't as ego-gratifying, especially for folks who've soaked up the "no pain no gain, go big or go home" propaganda, and isn't as exciting, attention-focusing, endorphin-producing as moving faster or harder. But also, the slow/gentle/basic end of the spectrum can be physically more challenging. Especially if done with maintaining effective mechanics and alignment throughout, and not relying on momentum or rebound effects.

Need a convincing illustration? Do a set of pushups (I think I remember that pushups are a thing you can do? any variation is fine-- traditional, from the knees, against the wall, whatever; howevermany is a set for you). That's your "typical exercise." Then take 30 seconds to do just one pushup (again, whatever flavor you do) with perfect form, OR hold in plank position (if your pushup flavor is against the wall, hold at the bottom of your wall pushup, with elbows at 90 degrees). That's your "easy" exercise. Then lay down flat on your back or belly and take slow breaths for another 30 seconds. That's your "boring rest" which may feel anything but boring after the 2 minutes immediately prior. Altogether, you've had about 3 minutes of exercise; this is "low dose"...but you'll probably feel it the next day, and give you fitness benefits if you repeat it a few times a week.


tl;dr : "Easy" isn't easy--and it's good for you.


Date: 2017-04-24 08:26 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
Something like that, yeah.

Also, if you've ever had physical therapy to rehab an injury or sometimes a treatable handicapping condition, that's another illustration. It's usually very simple movements, 'easy' to start, with a focus on doing them exactly as prescribed, on a regular schedule. They're not exciting or showy (hardly anyone ever says "hey, look at me, I can flex and extend my ankle! without using my hands! twice in a row!" even if that's an accomplishment for them). Those exercises are beyond unexciting and unimpressive; they're boring as heck. But, highly effective.





Date: 2017-04-24 08:29 pm (UTC)
rydra_wong: A woman (yoga teacher Jess Glenny) lies on the floor in a reclining twist. (yoga -- twist)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
There's the distinction between "hard" and "soft" styles in martial arts, which doesn't exactly map onto this but seems relevant to the sort of thing we're talking about.

And then you've got "yin yoga" -- very long (3-5 mins or more) holds of positions which require minimal muscular effort to hold, and which is very effective (and one of the few things I've found helpful when I'm in bad anxious/agitated states).

Or "restorative yoga", which isn't even "extreme" in the way yin yoga can be (in that yin yoga does involve sinking slowly into intense stretches); it's very gentle, very easy-seeming, very comfortable, and really really powerful.

For me, I think because in the last seven years or so I've been doing some fairly strenuous things (like rock climbing and barbell lifts), and because I'm also prone to very fluctuating energy/mood levels, I've become really conscious of how much impact the "soft" (or "gentle" or "easy") practices on my menu have, and what happens if I ignore them (or try to do strenuous stuff all the time, which is a total disaster).

Also, in terms of learning patience, it's definitely a real mental exercises to go: okay, forget whatever grand ambitions I may have had for the day, actually I woke up feeling like utter crap for no apparent reason, here is where I am today, so what is a movement thing that a) I can actually do, and b) might be positive for me right now?

N.B. If I'm making it sound like I'm all sorted and full of wisdom about this: DON'T BELIEVE IT, IT'S LIES, ALL LIES. *g*

It's a work in progress. This is stuff I have sort of figured out, and manage to put into practice quite a lot of the time.

Date: 2017-04-27 03:25 am (UTC)
geekturnedvamp: (shiny!)
From: [personal profile] geekturnedvamp
Well said, and I second all of this!

Date: 2017-04-22 05:16 pm (UTC)
teaotter: a dark haired woman in sunlight (Default)
From: [personal profile] teaotter
My very simple, cheap, fun exercise is dancing. I put on my headphones in my room and dance.

I use playlists to get around a few problems. One has long songs, for when I feel okay physically but I'm having trouble wanting to do it. I can agree to one or two songs.

I've also got a playlist of short songs, when I want to be able to alternate dancing and resting.

I have one of slower songs for when I'm not feeling well and I want to make sure I don't over-exert or hurt myself, but I still want to get up and move.

And I have a list of my current favorite songs, for when I can't make up my mind about which playlist to use.

I started with my favorites, since I could make that playlist really fast. It took me a while to set the others up, but they mostly involved me sorting my music collection by song length and going from there. So it wasn't too hard.

Date: 2017-04-24 02:53 pm (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
When you say 'can't dance through a whole song' do you mean 'can't do frenetic club dancing' or do you mean 'couldn't do a box waltz or cha-cha or other relatively low key dance step' for a whole song? Because sometimes I can manage the latter (although the usual such dance around here is known as the Canadian Two-step), and that is enough to move enough that the 'having been lying down too long' pains settle just a little.

Date: 2017-04-24 08:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
Who says you have to get through a whole song?

Doing moving with music for 30 seconds of a 4-minute song you can look at either as trying dancing and failing (to complete a 5 minute song) or trying dancing and succeeding (in doing more movement on purpose than you would have otherwise).
Both are true.
You get to pick which way you'll think about it.
Pick the one where you feel encouraged about what you did, and willing to do some more.
Edited Date: 2017-04-24 08:07 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-25 02:11 am (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
Ah oops. I kind of assumed that most people learn at least those two, and some others - an introductory bit of ball room dancing is typically part of the primary school (government school) curriculum here!

The logic to the question though is that I find that the repetitive movements are easier to maintain, and I can do them while reading -- which is another thing that I do standing up/moving a bit to add movement into my day.

Date: 2017-04-25 11:30 am (UTC)
rydra_wong: Text: "Your body is a battleground" over photo of 19th-C strongwoman. (body -- battleground)
From: [personal profile] rydra_wong
Ah oops. I kind of assumed that most people learn at least those two, and some others - an introductory bit of ball room dancing is typically part of the primary school (government school) curriculum here!

How fascinating -- that would absolutely not be a given over here (UK). Though it's been a while since I was at school ...

I wonder what other assumptions we all have about what other people had as part of their "physical education" curriculums in schools?

Date: 2017-04-25 01:33 pm (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
I wonder what other assumptions we all have about what other people had as part of their "physical education" curriculums in schools?

At the risk of going off topic, although at least it is on topic for the comm:

That would be very interesting to find out! I tried to get my 15 y.o. exempt from compulsory 'physical education' because they were doing 15+ hours of extra curricular dance and other physical training, and was told that at that level it is all about team sports because the aim is to promote teamwork rather than actually to be providing any kind of fitness/exercise. This was in their last year of middle school*, which is the point at which compulsory phys. ed. stops. But what I remember - in city primary schools, there will pretty much always be two weeks of being driven to the local swimming pool for half hour swimming lessons; there will be assorted track and field and team sports, which will continue through middle school, although the events change; and there will be an assortment of other bits and bobs, including ballroom and bush dancing. There will probably be one 'cross-country' run each year, which might just be two laps of the block the school is on, and there is never enough training for that. Oh, and from about year 5 there are school carnivals and inter-school carnivals, and from about year seven they add in swimming carnivals as well!

*local system is K, P, 1-6 is primary, 7-10 is middle and 11-12 is senior, where the last two groups are usually in the same school and generally referred to as high school.

Date: 2017-04-23 09:28 am (UTC)
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)
From: [personal profile] cesy
It's a unicorn I'm also having trouble finding.

Date: 2017-04-24 04:16 am (UTC)
all_strange_wonders: An illustration of Nita from the Young Wizards story "Uptown Local". (Default)
From: [personal profile] all_strange_wonders
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find free tai chi/qi gong classes in the park or similar. If not, or if you're like me and going out to do things like that with/in front of other people in public is a significant barrier, there are books and youtube tutorials that can get you started, too.

I find some of the qi gong breathing exercises and warm-ups especially helpful, and doing even 5 minutes or so makes a big difference in how I feel in the morning.

I second the suggestions of pilates as well, and yoga (to a somewhat lesser extent). Pilates mat exercises did a lot more for me than yoga ever did in terms of overall strength and health, but yoga is still relaxing.

Date: 2017-04-24 02:56 pm (UTC)
fred_mouse: cross stitched image reading "do not feed the data scientists" (Default)
From: [personal profile] fred_mouse
Also also - I have recently discovered laughter yoga, which seems really silly when you do it, but the guided session I went to was about 30 minutes of standing around, and I felt good after. I know that there are free-to-attend laughter yoga groups in some locations, but I don't know how common they are.

Date: 2017-04-24 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
Other people have had some good suggestions wrt exercise options. I'll answer on a different tack. As ever the case for free advice from random internet people, use your own judgment in applying to you.


I notice a lot of the things you're looking for from exercise aren't about the exercise at all, but about you.
What youlike, how youfeel, what fitsyour your particular dynamic needs and abilities...
There is no particular exercise that will all these qualifications (and at the same time, there are numerous ones that might work), because you're not describing what you need from an exercise, but what you need from your experience of exercising which is more than half about you --the attitude, effort, and abilities YOU bring to the relationship.

Patience, ambition, feeling of failure, feeling of enjoyment, bypassing executive function limits, those are completely independent of the type of exercise you do; they're more like skills or mental habits of their own. You may do better if you address those separately from the habit of getting X minutes of movement per day.

This guy has a lot to say about forming "sticky" and effective habits. If you're open to thinking of exercise in those terms, have a read:
http://jamesclear.com/habits#What%20Are%20Habits?

http://jamesclear.com/articles


Edited (fix spelling) Date: 2017-04-24 03:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-04-24 07:45 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] indywind
On the one hand it could be discouraging, because these things are barriers to easily accessing a typical or rewarding experience with exercising? But on the other hand, it could be encouraging, because the barriers to exercise are also themselves exercise, in the sense of challenges that use and stretch one's capabilities. And these are free, infinitely scalable, always available, and you have a lot of power to define the terms of success or progress for yourself.


I'm rooting for you. *\o/*

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