“Well now” my doctor murmured. He lowered his eyes to his clipboard and raised them solemnly. His look said it all. With just one glance and for what seemed like an eternity, he finally spoke. I wasn’t surprised to hear what he had to say nor was I in any position to debate the facts. For years, I lived with pain as the result of a skiing accident. I was plagued by chronic low back and knee pain as well as relentless shoulder joint achiness. After countless attempts to find the one method of exercise to cure what ailed, I found myself back at square one.
My quest to unearth one single method of exercise that kept me active, injury free and motivated was elusive. My first attempt was running. Over time, running compounded my injuries and created additional long-term knee damage. Soon after, I lost my motivation to run and became a prisoner to my stationary bike. My second attempt was bodybuilding. I was convinced that strong muscles would resolve my situation. Years later, still tormented by pain and completely defeated, I was determined to find a cure once and for all.
Finally, my doctor suggested that I combine different methods of exercise into my weekly fitness routine. I discovered that adding Pilates and hiking to weight lifting was the key. As a health and fitness professional, I concluded that integrating a variety of disciplines into working out was the most sustainable approach to keeping my joints healthy, my body strong and to remain motivated. As a result of combining a variety of disciplines into my exercise routine, I have renewed strength, flexibility, enthusiasm and a significant decrease in chronic pain. I am stronger than before my accident and can enjoy my favorite activities to the fullest.
For many people, exercise routines are sacred and the idea of change can be intimidating. Giving up my current exercise routine was the last thing I expected to do. The idea of starting a new fitness regime and jumping head first into a group class full of unfamiliar faces can seem overwhelming. Personally, I exercised alone for many years, with headphones as my only companion, so I wasn’t convinced I could easily make the switch. Honestly, embracing change was the best choice I ever made and I have never regretted the decision.
Adding multiple methods of exercise has made exercise fun in a way that it never was before, and I truly love the results. I feel better, I look younger, and I am definitely healthier overall. Adding Pilates to my routine helps keep me flexible and has eliminated my aches and pains. The Pilates reformer reduces joint and spine pressure and easily adjusts to target every body part. The best part is that Pilates is sustainable for any age, body type and fitness level. As with any fitness program, it is important to have fun, stay engaged, remain motivated and achieve results.