Saturday, March 23, 2013

Mick's up With Your Day

(This picture is from 2003, in a lighthouse, while on vacation, when I was pregnant with my daughter.)

You've noticed the spiral.

Little by little, time for exercise is squeezed out of your day, until it's non-existent.  Next, your quiet time, set aside for prayer and Scripture, dwindles, too.  You start feeling like there is no time to fully accomplish anything.  Your nutrition suffers, because your meal planning is rushed, and you might even be grabbing drive-through items, just to get by.  Then, you're feeling tired, worn out, and discouraged.

We've all been there.

 Really.  We have.  

If you have enough time to read to this point, take a deep breath, and stop.  Just rest... for a few minutes.

You know what you need to do.

If you truly want to be the most helpful and loving to your family and to yourself, you will do what you know you need to do.

Make a resolution right now.

It might not be January 1st, or the start of any particularly special month or day, but make a resolution.

Decide now that you will figure in a few minutes for prayer and a few minutes for exercise tomorrow.

That might mean setting your alarm clock 15 minutes earlier than normal.  That won't kill you.  I promise.

It might also mean switching a couple things around in your morning (or afternoon or evening) routine, but you'll survive that, too.  Trust me.  It didn't hurt me to do it (a time-sensitive person of consistency and schedule), so I'm sure it won't hurt you, even if you're as stubborn as I am.

Here are some ideas for you.

Follow a HIIT, burst, or surge technique, which entails a couple of minutes of intense exercise, several times in a row.  This will only take a very short bit of time out of your day, and will have many added benefits, which you can read about in other Mick's up articles.  Incorporate these sets into your morning routine.

For example, during a 100-Days of Burpees challenge I took on, with a suggestion from a wonderful trainer's Facebook post, I accomplished my goal by breaking down the large number into more do-able spurts, while fixing breakfast for the family each morning.  15 - 25 burpees (depending on the day's number)... then check on breakfast... 15-25 more burpees ... then check breakfast again... 15-25 more burpees... another peek at breakfast... final set of burpees... and breakfast is served!

As the weather gets more pleasant, getting outside is easier.  If you don't think you have time, consider your need to clear your head in the middle of your work day.

If you don't think it's necessary, ask your boss for an opinion.  A good boss, like mine, will tell you to take a break in the middle of your day, in order to keep up your productivity.  It decreases your stress level, and it allows you to take on a new perspective, when you return to your project.  Now, granted, this might mean giving up a few minutes of your lunch hour, but it sure is worth it!  

A recent article by Dr. Ben Lerner talks about balance between work and life.

I am so excited to hear friends around me talk about how they are fitting exercise into their days:  lunch time walks around the block; measuring how many times around the building equals one mile; at home after work, walking off the stress of the day; getting involved in a "biggest loser" contest at the gym; working extra time one day of the week, in order to take off early on another day that offers a special fitness class; and on and on it goes.

Even my high-school age son knows this.  He has been known to take a quick jog around the neighborhood to wake himself up before delving into his homework... or to relieve stress of the week, when he gets home on a Friday.  (That makes a mom proud!)

Just the other day, my son and I had a fun, impromptu "date" that included a sort of exercise:  We were talking about silly dances, and in his curiosity, while I was mentioning line dances, he pulled up the Cha Cha Slide (after we realized how OLD the Electric Slide is... ha ha!  That one is from MY day!).

Think about it.

We can make it work, if we really want to.

"Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mick's up With Some Questions

Here's a change for you...
You will not gain any useful information from this blog post.  It consists solely of questions for you.  I would like to know what you have to say.

This is a great week for this, because it is Listening Week.  So, I am listening to you.

I need your help!

Any advice here will be in the comments you leave for me.

So, here it goes.

My question is about shin splints.  Do you have any words of wisdom for me? 

I have dealt with shin splints for as long as I can remember, but I thought it was only from over-exertion and lack of stretching.  So, I didn't let it bother me.  However, when I started getting into jogging a few years back, the pain got so bad that I could not even touch my shins without nearly screaming. My chiropractor's advice was to rub ice on them.  Ugh!  I cringe to this day, thinking about it.  Yet, here I sit, icing my shins, while I write.  Granted they aren't as sensitive now as they were then, so I can lay an ice pack on them, but it does still hurt to touch them.

When they were that tender back then, I researched what could be the cause, knowing this had to be more than a tendon or muscle issue.  What I found out is that there can actually be a fracture in the bone.

With the research, I realized I had probably advanced in speed and distance too quickly over time.  So, I took it easy for a while.  Unfortunately, I also developed a heel spur, and so my jogging eventually went out the window.  It was temporary, but it still meant I lost all that momentum, and had to start slowly again, working to get back in shape.  (During a stress-laden time, that is and was difficult... but no excuses now!)

The chiropractor I spoke with early on about the shin splints got discouraged, also, and finally concluded there must be something that is causing me to always have them, and basically there is no hope for me to be able to exercise without experiencing this pain.

That was a disappointing day.

I more recently asked another chiropractor about shin splints, explaining that I've dealt with them for as long as I can remember.  He went through the typical list of stretches, which I do multiple times daily, and then shared some information about ankles.  He analyzed mine, and then adjusted them, with hopes that the shin splints might be lessened.  Unfortunately, I have not seen any difference.

In fact, apparently one day last week I ran too fast too soon (and without enough stretching), and now I have throbbing shins.  What fun.

The crazy part is that I have been doing the same half-mile jog at the same basic pace for nearly two months consistently (during my lunch break).  How can speeding up my take-off one day cause more damage and thus more pain than normal?

During her recent visit, I was enjoying some time of catching up with my mom, and I got on this topic.  All of a sudden, it occurred to me that my cousin was not accepted full-time into the Army, because of shin splints!  When I had originally heard that, I thought it an odd reason, because I still thought of them as a minor, temporary, and sporadic condition.  However, I'm beginning to realize that there is something more to it.

So, what do you know about shin splints and their duration?

I posted this question on the Mick's up Life Facebook page, and some very helpful information was posted in a comment by a friend.  Check it out.

Don't let that stop you, though.  If you have more you'd like to share about the topic, please leave a comment here.


"Don’t be wise in your own eyes.
    Have respect for the Lord and avoid evil.
That will bring health to your body.
    It will make your bones strong."