After Holiday Weight Gain Blues

22 01 2019

Travel and Food Go Together – Pacing oneself is the challenge.

Last updated 22 Jan 19, by Marc Woodard

Another year has gone by with all the Holiday decor and cheer with it. I understand some of you had a tough time with the food choices and amount that you consumed; and last year’s weight loss resolution didn’t work out so well.

With that being said, should I dare say some of you are not only bummed out after you stepped on the scale, you have the weight gain blues.

There are many reasons weight gain occurs. I would never tell you I know exactly what you are going through. However I do know, out-of-control weight gain is often attached to an emotional lifestyle change. And those changes often trigger over consumption of food and drink – especially during and after the Holiday season, or vacations. And this can lead to acute-to-chronic depression for many.

There is also an illness-disease relationship associated with unhealthy body weight – especially once we become obese. At this point the mind-body becomes susceptible to greater health risk. For example, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), congenital heart disease, fibromyalgia-phantom pain, etc. A daily habit of over eating may also increase other bad habits, i.e., smoking, drinking, illicit drug or unnecessary pharmaceutical use.

In general, stressful life events cannot be avoided. But can be stress-minimized through understanding the environmental triggers causing them. Regardless of season, or any day for that matter… you must learn how to target and identify the physical, mental and/or social triggers causing the emotional stress keeping you overweight and unfit and do something about it.

Unfortunately for some – the over weight condition may be the result of a genetic or metabolic factor, Which may have less to do with lifestyle habits and behavior – but more to do with an inefficient calorie burning furnace. Any long-term weight gain that threatens health should seek medical attention immediately from a physician.

Recreational Activity Does a Body Good.

Below I’ve listed a few behavioral habit forming relationships that can be changed before and after any holiday season or vacation to help reduce body fat weight gain and achieve the weight loss goal.

8 Lifestyle Changes You can Make to Achieve Your New Years Resolution Weight Loss Goal.

  1. Holiday Cheer Weight Gain – What can I say about Holiday Cheer that I haven’t mentioned in my previous writings.  Have a Holiday battle meal plan before you set down at the table.  Read the following article, “10 Step Basic Weight Loss Tips.”
  2.  Last Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Failed – You know why you failed your weight loss program from previous years. You did not resolve, or change your eating, drinking, or exercise habits. To do so is still too painful for whatever the reason. Until you resolve and/or get serious about your weight loss goal, or seek professional help, regardless of who provides you weight loss tips, services or program… you’ll likely continue to struggle with body weight.
  3.  Pain factor – All pain is directly related to illness, disease and/or injury. And with pain comes more sedentary habits. It is for this reason, it is more important than ever you work with your primary physician and pain management specialists to find treatment and activity that’s right for you. If you have mental and physical pain that’s not been diagnosed – seek advisement and referrals from your primary care physician.
  4.  Stressful life events cause excess calorie consumption– For many the habit of eating more calories than needed may come from everyday stresses caused by work or home environment, or bad relationship with spouse, friend or family member. Or the stress could be caused by some other non-diagnosed physical and mental pain from childhood. Stress events can culminate and increase a depression mood that causes one to eat more in an attempt to feel better. Once you target the cause of your stress induced bad habit and/or behavior and remove it… it’s more likely you’ll succeed in a safe weight program over a set period of time.
  5.  Carry the party into New Year – Some carry the end of year festivities into the new year. This behavior can last for months, or the entire year. This continued habit will not help you lose weight or remove the depression umbrella. “First and foremost, you must understand this is occurring and must break this unhealthy habit.” As one ages and the habit continues – health risk increases.
  6.  Fast foods after the Holiday’s. Too many Americans consume fast foods especially during the Holidays. Here lies a crux for much of the American obesity problem. During this time of year there is a huge spike in fast foods and alcohol sales. Yes, business booms almost in every sector of the economy. Fast foods are convenient, chemically addictive and bad for health in the long run. I know you’re thinking, what if I just give up the fast food places and eat out at restaurants? While this is a better concept, you don’t know how much of those meals are processed with unhealthy garbage causing your weight gain. Also when you eat out – most tend to eat more. Instead develop a healthy whole foods shopping habit and limit yourself to 1 fast food meal a week. I highly recommend you read, “Restaurant and Grocery Foods Healthy?
  7.  Love of Baking – I know, some of you carry your new found baking habits into the new year. Although there is nothing wrong with cooking your own food, the pitfall is when you love everything you bake just a little too much. I know the kids love your home made cookies, cakes and pies. Remember moderation with deserts. Too much sugar, fat and salt is not good for anyone, even children with fast metabolisms. If you’re having a tough time changing up your baking habit – try becoming a little more creative by offering different types of deserts… fresh fruits, jello, pudding, etc. Mix it up and break away from the continuous high fat baking habit.
  8.  Empty Nester’s Bake for an Army – Regardless of season, there are many who continue to cook for an entire family after the children have left home. There are many things tied into this habit. This is a tough habit to change – especially if the spouse demands traditional family recipes. If you continue to cook this way, you’ll not reduce food portions – it will be more challenging to meet your weight loss goal.

Once you target the cause of your weight gain nemesis and make healthier lifestyle choices that include daily exercise activities – your fitness levels and health will improve dramatically, while achieving your weight loss resolution once and for all.

Good health to you and your family!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET2019 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Bacterial Gut Disease Connected to Engineered Crop Foods

24 03 2016

Last Update:  25 May 2016

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As one day sets a new one begins. How will you begin a healthy lifestyle plan?

Did you know that your digestive system is at risk of illness, disease and autoimmune disorders when your bacterial colonies are out of balance?

When the good bacteria are overridden by the bad ones, they override the good and begin to produce toxins and destroy tissue by feeding on it. The good bacteria is also known as probiotics. Probiotics are friendly bacteria that live in the gut and intestines and act to crowd out unfavorable pathogens, such as yeasts and toxic bacteria that may otherwise cause ill-health. Probiotics are naturally found in the body. You can also find them in foods and supplements.

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Good eats are okay for infrequent indulgences. But to do so daily will reap havoc on the intestinal gut system.

“Our lower intestine requires at least 85% of friendly bacterial colonies to fight off micro-organisms like E. coli and salmonella.” “Poor eating habits, chlorinated drinking water, stress, use of antibiotics, medical treatments can destroy the gastrointestinal micro flora and allow harmful bacteria to multiply. Thus, make the body susceptible to yeast and bacterial infection and other disorders including gas, cramping, or diarrhea (Gupta 2009).” Our colon can maintain health with a 15% balance of bad bacteria. However most people have these percentages reversed.

Within developing countries resistive bacteria to anti-biotics appears to be evolving through engineered foods. Big agriculture now produces most of our food crops and livestock feed from GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) seed. And those seeds are DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) engineered to produce crops that kill pests and thrive through a deluge of chemical spray that otherwise kill everything else around it.

IMG_20111229_163438Today most commercial crop seeds are genetically engineered and farmed in a lab. Whereas the DNA has been modified to produce perfect fruit and vegetables with little sign of imperfection. And at some molecular and insidious level appear to be incompatible with our DNA and gut bacterial balance. The focus here is to examine how GMO foods may have an overall negative effect on bacterial gut and intestinal health. And how our bodies are less resistive to bad bacteria causing ill-health problems.

It is important to understand how GMO food and anti-biotic treatment relates to gut and intestinal health.

When our immune systems become weak, or ravaged with infection often patients use, or request anti-biotics for the wrong pathogenic problem. Or patients save them from a previous prescription to self-treat without doctor approval. In these cases the patient doesn’t understand how improper use of antibiotics may harm them.

For example, if you have a virus i.e., cold, flu, sore throat, bronchitis, and other sinus and ear infection, we often request anti-biotic medicine from a doctor. But treating a virus with an anti-biotic may cause more harm than good.  Overuse of the drug is known to cause a resistance to them; thereby rendering an ineffective fight against infection.

Talk to your doctor about the differences between virus vs. bacterial illness and disease and proper drug treatment options. The point here, don’t take anti-biotics unless you need them.

Some of the foods you consume have modified DNA resistant bacterial organisms that appear to cause resistance to anti-biotic drugs. And when taking antibiotics unnecessarily increases bacterial bug resistance to the medication. And if you ever need a lifesaving anti-biotic, that super bug may be immune to it.

Epidemiological medical evidence shows increasing evidence of resistance to antibiotic treatment in developed countries. The common cause denominator? Big-Ag within developed countries use GMO crop seeds sprayed with thousands of tons of insecticides and herbicides annually which are absorbed into the crops.  Then sold within the marketplace. “Virtually every processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the 100% USDA “Certified Organic” label is likely to contain at least one GE [Genetically Engineered] component. If it does not say “100% USDA Organic” on the label, for example, if it says just “organic” or “made with Organic,” it is highly likely it contains GMO product (Haug 2011).  IMG_20130405_175235

GMO seeds produce large crop yields, including crops not fit for human consumption but used to feed livestock and 3rd world countries. The livestock grass, corn and grain feed are also chemically treated and absorbed into livestock through consumption and passed into humans that consume them. These GE foods appear to have an accumulative ill-health effect on the gut and intestinal health, aside from causing immune systems to become resistant to anti-biotics.

Also there is another potential risk associated with GMO crops. Whereas national crop seed shortages could occur if they fail to kill a highly resistive super bug or weed regardless of chemical application used. Nature has a funny way of surviving against all odds. This in genetics is known as survival of the fittest. And super bugs appear to be winning over man’s attempt to keep them at bay.

There are already signs this is occurring. There’s a lot of data that illustrates how it takes significantly more chemicals to kill the super weeds and bugs today because of crop seed DNA genetic manipulation where chemical application is used to boost seed resistance against evolving super bugs and weeds.

If something doesn’t change within our farming practices we may become dependent on other countries to feed us.  Although this may sound far-fetched, it’s not outside the realm of possibility.  How would this be possible? Let’s break down the GMO and anti-biotic resistive gene concept to better understand how a failure of crop yield could cause a disastrous global food bank shortage and health pandemic.

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A super weed is no match for a North Western nutria.

Aside from super bugs and weeds that become resistive to chemical sprays and genetically engineered seeds that fail to be chemically resistant; there is concern over global, or transatlantic plant manipulation and the antibiotic resistive cause and effect on human health. “Antibiotic resistance genes are frequently used at several stages in the creation of genetically engineered plants… ‘Concern has been raised about the possibility that antibiotic resistance genes used to make transgenic plants [or Genetically Modified Plants] could be transferred to microorganisms that inhabit the digestive tracts of humans or other animals that eat them, and therefore might contribute to the already serious problem of antibiotic resistant pathogens (CASA 2016).” Most specifically on a national and/or global scale.

What is the relationship between GMO foods, bacterial balance in the body and illness and disease? “Antibiotic resistance genes from GM foods are taken up by bacteria in the gut during digestion. If bacteria carrying antibiotic resistance genes were ever to cause infection, it would be very difficult for doctors to treat. Until now, however, there is no real proof that the antibiotic resistance genes in GM plants pose a threat. Regardless, as a precautionary measure, some experts say that antibiotic resistance genes should not be used (GMO-Compass 2006).”

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There are reasons why organic farming plots are increasing within city urban and suburban areas.

Recall GMO seeds DNA has been changed to kill insects and survive a deluge of chemical sprays designed to kill weeds, molds and other bad microorganisms detrimental to healthy crop yields. Therefor it makes sense a GM-seed-to-crop food makes it possible for us to become host to a super bug, then untreatable disease becomes more likely. Whereas a medical condition may not be any match against a flesh eating bacteria.

Many believe this has already occurred in the form of any number of bacterial organisms resistive to antibiotic treatment with the potential to cause life-threatening bloodstream infections, pneumonia and surgical site infections. MRSA appears to be such a bacteria. “During the past four decades, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus, or MRSA, has evolved from a controllable nuisance into a serious public health concern. MRSA is largely a hospital-acquired infection, in fact, one of the most common. Recently, however, new strains have emerged in the community that are capable of causing severe infections in otherwise healthy people (NIH 2016).”

If you want to know more information on topic simply type into any search engine MRSA, GMO and intestinal bacteria and disease.

To improve bacterial balance within the body the best bacteria to consume is high in flora from raw vegetables and fruits and now in supplementalIMG_20130405_175303 probiotic formulation. “Some probiotic foods date back to ancient times, such as fermented foods and cultured milk products. Interest in probiotics in general has been growing; Americans’ spending on probiotic supplements, for example, nearly tripled from 1994 to 2003 (MedicineNet.com 2016).”

Research continues to explore and find encouraging evidence from specific probiotic formulations that suppress unfriendly bacterial bugs and build healthy gut bug balance. For instance, “In November 2005, a conference that was co-funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) and convened by the American Society for Microbiology explored this topic.

According to the conference report, some uses of probiotics for which there is encouraging evidence from studies show how specialized probiotic formulation alleviates the following symptoms: To treat diarrhea (this is the strongest area of evidence, especially for diarrhea from rotavirus). To prevent and treat infections of the urinary tract or female genital tract. To reduce recurrence of bladder cancer. To shorten how long an intestinal infection lasts that is caused by a bacterium called Clostridium difficile. Prevent and manage atopic dermatitis (eczema) in children, etc. (MedicineNet.com 2016).”

Other symptoms supplemental probiotics may help relieve: constipation, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBS), bloat, gas, stomach ulcers, tooth decay, periodontal disease, vaginal infections, skin and respiratory infections that children acquire in daycare, diverticulitis & colitis, etc.  They can also ease chronic yeast infections and enhance immunity through improved digestive absorption function and thereby provide essential nutrients to the body.  Improve lactose intolerance, alleviate flatulence, rejuvenate healthy radiant skin, nails and hair, etc.

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Organic flora provides everything needed to keep us healthy.

When a healthy balance of intestinal micro flora, or probiotics is maintained within the body the bad bacteria (or pathogens) are in proper balance and typically improve overall body health. Talk to your naturopath or doctor about the right probiotic formulation to alleviate ill-health symptoms.

Probiotics are also widely used to alleviate Candida [a yeast species] symptoms where formulations vary for a specific application. “Candida syndrome occurs when the normal population of intestinal yeast suddenly explodes. Overgrowth of one species of yeast called Candida Albicans supposedly causes candida syndrome, which is characterized by chronic fatigue, weight gain, a white coating on the tongue and joint pain.

Taking probiotics such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei GG and bifidobacteria creates a hostile environment for candida yeast, returning your gut yeast population to normal levels (Adams 2013).

Research and medical data shows a complex and complicated connection relative to gut-intestinal health, anti-biotic resistance and pre-probiotic treatment [discussed below], engineered food crops and illness and disease.  But there is no doubt there is a connection.

The following recommendations should help to provide a healthy bacterial balance within the gut and intestines as a preventative health strategy to alleviate what ails you. It is recommended you consult with your physician prior to applying any of the “How to-s…” listed below.

How to Improve Good Bacterial Gut and Intestine Health

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No doubt about it “Pickles” is going to get some good organic eats.

1. Increase flori balance through probiotic supplementation to include a daily vitamin and mineral (V/M).  Especially if diet alone can’t be radically changed to a healthier one.  In this way you’ll ensure anti-oxidant benefits while maintaining a healthy balance of probiotics to decrease and manage bad bacteria colonies. The best anti-biotic flori products seem to be in capsules, tablets, or powders.

These three supplements: V/M’s, antioxidants and probiotics work in harmony to provide improved nutrient absorption, immune system function and intestinal gut health. You’ll then begin to look and feel better immediately once started. Of course ask your physician which products they’d recommend is right for you.

2. Ask your doctor about a prebiotic which is different than a probiotic. Choosing or guessing which probiotic may be right may not be the 100% solution to alleviate what ails you. That is “the prebiotic is a specialized plant fiber that beneficially nourishes the good bacteria already in the large bowel or colon. While probiotics introduce good bacteria into the gut, prebiotics act as a fertilizer for the good bacteria that’s already there. They help your good bacteria grow, improving the good-to-bad bacteria ratio. This ratio has been shown to have a direct correlation to your health and overall wellbeing, from your stomach to your brain (Prebiotin 2016).”

3. If your drinking water is heavily chlorinated, filter it or buy bottled water. Chlorine kills good bacteria.

4. Improve your eating habits to receive optimum nutrients and consume less processed foods.  Avoid “overconsumption of yeast-feeding foods such as simple carbohydrates, sugars, peanuts, and alcohol and milk products can encourage Candida growth (Adams 2009).

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Walk and talk with company you enjoy.

5. Reduce daily stress through yoga, meditation and low aerobics exercise [walk, bike, low intensity aerobics dance, etc.].

6. Avoid, or lesson dependency of antibiotics as medical treatment when possible or not needed when you have a virus. Antibiotics not only kill the bad bugs, they also take a heavy toll on the good ones. Ask your doctor for natural alternative pre-probiotic supplements and applicable medications.

7. Purchase 100% USDA organic foods when possible. Read labels and don’t purchase foods you suspect contain GMO products.

8. Consume more yogurt, fermented and unfermented milk, miso, tempeh, soy beverages, and garlic.

References,

Adams, Lawrence. “Best Probiotics for Treating Candida.” LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 29 Aug. 2013. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Adams, Mike. “Using Probiotics to Prevent or Eliminate Candida.” Natural News. The Natural News Network, 28 Oct. 2009. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

CASA (Center for Advising Student Achievement. “Transgenic Crops: An Introduction and Resource Guide.” Transgenic Crops: An Introduction and Resource Guide. Health Professions Advising Colorado State University, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

GMO Compass. “Antibiotic Resistance Genes: A Threat?” Antibiotic Resistance Genes: A Threat? GMO Compass, 12 Dec. 2006. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Gupta, Rupali. “Probiotics-small Bacteria Huge Health Benefits.” Healthy Living. Healthy Living, 30 July 2009. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Haug, Catherine. “How GMOs Destroy Life, Soil and Your Gut Probiotics.” Essential Stuff Blog. The Essential List, 11 Dec. 2011. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

MedicineNet.com. “Probiotics.” MedicineNet. MedicineNet, Inc., n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

NIH. “Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA).” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease. NIH, 22 June 2015. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Prebiotin. “What Is a Prebiotic vs Probiotic | Prebiotics and Probiotics.” Prebiotin. Jackson GI Medical, n.d. Web. 23 Mar. 2016.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2016 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc., http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 





Challenging Social Disability Expectation

17 05 2015
Managing Back Pain As Natural as Possible is the Only Way for Me

Author: Marc Woodard on a 15 mile rural walk within/outside of hometown city limits

Updated: 17 May 2015

I know many out there are hurting with disabling mental, spiritual and physical pain thinking there is nothing more that can be done to improve the situation.

I do understand the feelings associated with loss of finances, immobility, productivity, loneliness, worth and dignity.  I’ve personally experienced these things during my own physical adversary and mobility challenge from 2003 to 2008 after injury.  And one thing I know for certain, physical loss almost always leads to mental depression.  And if not prepared with a plan to beat it, the mind and body begin to experience more illness and pain.

However, if you are able to mobilize your body for longer periods of time throughout the day, especially outdoors when possible, nature has a way of inspiring, providing solutions and purpose, while allowing the mind and body to heal. The encompassing being when connected to God’s universe have healing energy. Read: What is Pranic Healing and does it Work

Regardless of whether you’re recovering from injury, addiction, illness or disease and feel broke, you can be made whole again through self-healing effort. Even when temporarily or permanently confined to a wheelchair, dependent on crutches or cane(s); or have loss of limb(s). You’re capable of finding new and exciting purpose while enjoying life to the fullest.

Walking desolate dried up Northern California lakes and river beds for exercise

When the mind and body are stimulated, energized and challenged by changing environmental surroundings and activity; the brains cerebrum thinks, perceives and processes everything within and around it. Through transport of mind and body the processing of sight, sound, smell, sense and touch stimulation of environmental and spiritual elements has therapeutic and healing benefits.

However, if the mind actually believes the body cannot receive such a benefit through mobility activities then a disabled social expectation may likely result.

All too often we tend to lock ourselves away when we become mentally and physically ill or hurt. “Then ponder on all the whys.” Why did this happen to me, why won’t the pain stop, why can’t I continue the same lifestyle habits, why should I continue on to self-improve or help others, why bother?

When instead the focus should be on “the” who, what, where and how. Who are my real friends and family, what environment do I need to surround myself in to heal and get healthy, where do I find the best treatment and support group, how do I need to reinvent myself, contribute to community and find new purpose while living life to the fullest?

What is a social disability expectation?  I coined this term back in 2004 when I understood my injury was permanent causing lifelong pain that must be managed daily.

I believed for a short period of time my new purpose in life was to live as a disability casualty, or learn to live the way I believed society and medical doctors viewed and classified me. Especially as I struggled to walk correctly with mobility aids for many years while battling pain depression. It became apparent post op recovery; psychologist, orthopedic specialists and physiatrists’ recommendations were to live life as comfortable as possible and not stress over the “whys” but to move forward the best I could, as comfortable as possible. But I was discouraged from challenging my physical body more due to possible re-injury and neurological pain complications radiating throughout my body.

Marc after Second Hip Surgery

Nothing easy about a post op and recovery scenario

At that time I didn’t understand how to reinvent myself within a less mobile and pain ridden circumstance. This was my physical adversity challenge for many years and is chronicled throughout the “soon to be released” MirrorAthlete book chapters. It is also one of the integrated client stories and lessons learned. To learn more about my personal adversity challenge visit MirrorAthlete home site. Then click on Book Project link and read the narratives. Release of our first MirrorAthlete book publication will occur 1st quarter of 2016.

Make no mistake, it makes no difference if depression begins within your mind’s eye, caused by bodily pain, substantiated medical diagnosis, public perception, etc. Severe and chronic depression is a serious medical condition and without proper treatment and support may spell disaster for a patient on the mend. Read, L-Tryptophan, The Obesity, Depression & ADD Silver Bullet Solution?

In either case, the psychosomatic [brain and body] are connected through Neuro biochemical transmitter conduits [hormones, and feel good chemical pathways]. The point being, mental and physical illness, disorders and disease can all depress, stress and cause neurological pain through the same neuro transmitter conduits which can further sicken and disable the encompassing being.

I know many of you have woken up on certain days and felt bad, or under the weather and didn’t go to work. Imagine feeling that way every day. How would that affect your daily activities, mood, feelings and outlook on life? And what would you be willing to do to make yourself numb to those feeling? Begin a bad drug or drinking habit? Or fight your way back from the obis through self-healing activities.

When the mind is sickened and depressed then the body and spirit often follow suit. And when this goes on for too long mental fatigue transmits less of the healing feel good chemical energy (serotonin, dopamine and adrenalin, etc.) and begins to put more stress on bodily functions and cellular health. Then as internal and external environmental stressors continue, increased oxidative stress damage to cells occur. Then increase risk of illness and disease and more pain depression follow.

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So many ways to mobilize the body and experience life to the fullest.

I know from personal, medical consultation, client and educational experiences there is a universal energy capable of healing all that ails us [1/3 encompassing being is “spirit”]. Reversing ill-health can be accomplished through lifestyle change that connects our physical being to nature’s spiritual surroundings and energy. My healthy spiritual connection is made through daily walking activity on suburban and rural trail systems as a city dweller. Read: Learn to Embrace the Pain, Exercise and get fit.

To make sense of everything that proceeded to this point, let’s experience what it may be like to live the social disability expectation through another mind’s eye.

You now live a changed lifestyle due to injury or disease or mental disorder. You may/may not have limited mobility, take drugs of some form and receive disability checks monthly. People in general understand disability payments is a needed resource for those clinically diagnosed as disabled of the mind, or body, or both. What becomes bad about those payments are when recipients stop living life to the fullest when in fact capable of doing more.

For example, some believe their not capable of doing anything after disability rating and award of support. Other than living a sedentary lifestyle and stuck inside their home while partially or fully mobile. And others fear if they try to increase activity effort or become more productive, they may lose their disability finances. In either case this is wrong thinking.

Which life road will you choose? A path of adventure and purpose, or isolation.

One does not have to live a 100% disabled and sedentary lifestyle if on 100% disability benefits. There’s room to increase daily mobility activity and improve productivity, while managing pain without fear of losing financial support. Keep this in mind, once substantiated disabled by a medical doctor and awarded support, this will not stop unless you’re gaming the system [an entirely different scenario and discussion].

If you’re now suffering from a depressed state of mind, body and spirit, realize no matter the physical adversity challenge… you have greater purpose in life than meeting a 100% social disability expectation. For instance, does physical disability mean your brain or body is not capable to some capacity of increased productive function?

Does this not mean one can’t help others who now find themselves in the same situation and need a voice, guidance and advisement on how to move forward, heal and fine purpose in life?

Does this mean there’s no greater good one could aspire because of partial, or full immobility, disease, mental disorder and pain challenges?

Does this mean a broken body or mind can’t reason and mend itself out of depression and limited mobility with proper treatment and support resources?

To tell you the truth I could go on and on with reasons why someone should not meet a social disability expectation based on any other opinion than a medical doctor(s) and the knowledge gained once you’ve connected and participated within a relative self-healing treatment program. MirrorAthlete soon to be released book provides all these connections you need to know, get well and live life to the fullest.

The point is, everyone has purpose on planet earth.   Your decision to make… will you accept your disability as a lifelong sentence without hope of better circumstances? Or will you fight for happiness, purpose and quality of life experiences for the sake of self, family and community.

Family Needs You…

To fight and die for a cause is a noble endeavor. To lie down without a fight serves no purpose, especially when capable of doing more. In my mind, only total incapacitation [hospice care] should relieve one of further service and purpose to self, family and community. For that life purpose has been served and will be judged and rewarded not of this earth.

I know many broken bodies have given up on themselves because of injury(s) or chronic medical condition(s) and dependent on disability services making life more comfortable and secure. But in knowing you’re provided for there’s opportunity to help others when capable. Stay mindful, the spirit is strong and when connected to universal energy can overcome many types of physical and mental adversity challenges.

Even if your diagnosis and health condition is classified as stationary permanent (means condition is stable, may/may not improve and “may” get worse with age) is certainly not a reason to throw in the towel. To age without challenging disability on a daily basis is to limit mobility and life purpose. And for many increase health risk. This is where depression begins its insidious course on the organic brain and body.

If lack of mobility causes body weight to climb, then cardio circulatory and disease often follow and may further complicate primary disability circumstances. And when you see no way out of this progressive negative you experience more mental and physical depression and pain than need be.

Don’t let disability and society dictate how to live your life. Don’t accept or fulfill a social disability expectation that’s less purposeful than needed to accomplish life goals and especially when capable.

Be a MirrorAthlete® Warrior and take back as much of your life as possible.

See the world and enjoy yourself in social gathering space and experience positive life interactions.

Live life to the fullest, with purpose and in a way that makes you feel good about your time here in these mortal bodies!  Then you may experience life to the fullest with no regrets. And find peace within your mind’s eye, heart and soul.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2015 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing, http://www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Why Chronic Pain and Fibromyalgia Challenge Pain Specialists

19 07 2012

Sticky Tongue to Ice Can Be Painful

Chronic Pain Syndrome (CPS) is a poorly defined condition “and somewhat” similar to fibromyalgia as a chronic pain experience.  CPS is where a neurologically based pain has not resolved, or finding the exact cause of pain may have not been identified.  We’ve all experienced pain at one time or the other, e.g., a broken bone, or speck of dirt in the eye, a bruised, or strained muscle, or maybe you’ve been unfortunate enough to experience a passing kidney stone.  These painful experiences are considered temporary or acute pain conditions.  If the injury heals then the acute pain will typically resolve itself within a 30 day window.  The difference between chronic and the acute pain, you healed and are no longer in pain, or that pain is triggered infrequently when aggravated.

If a pain condition has not healed significantly after 30 days, or you still experience significant pain for a 3-6 month time period, this is a chronic pain condition.  Those diagnosed with CPS can appear to experience pain all over and at any point of the neurological body.  This is much akin to those that experience frequent phantom pain anywhere at any time throughout the body.  You hurt and the pain varies in frequency and intensity throughout each day.  Nevertheless, your body always seems to be in pain.  For those with this type of chronic pain it is much harder for medical specialists to explain what is causing it, especially when a pain origin is not obvious.  Understanding and treating a CPS is certainly a challenge for the medical professional.

The most mysterious thing about CPS is that the chronic pain conditions can occur without evident exasperation, or aggravation of past injury, illness or disease.  And on the other hand, chronic pain can be a substantiated medical pain origin finding caused from illness and disease, i.e., cancer, immune disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, migraines, back condition(s), past injuries and other radiating neuropathies that affect and cause pain.  CPS is typically a complex treatment pain story “often” without an origin of pain and/or lacks medically substantiated cause of injury or disease.

Regardless of pain origin or cause, or lack thereof, chronic pain patients will require a pain management specialist or team of various resources to treat a complex pain etiology, especially if the cause is unclear.  Those resources might include acupuncture, electroneuro-stimulation, hot/cold modalities, exercise, physical therapy, specialized diet, supplements, pharmaceuticals, or deep muscle massage, etc.

If you’re a pain patient with unexplainable pain and you’ve not been diagnosed with fibromyalgia or some other form of immune disorder for example, you may likely be diagnosed with CPS.  What is the difference between the two diagnoses?  Fibromyalgia is a neurosensory disorder where one feels widespread pain throughout the body, but most specifically; joint and muscle stiffness and pain with fatigue.

During the early years of fibromyalgia diagnosis, it was thought this type of pain originated from the brain and where chemical imbalance may be connected somehow to the cause of muscle and joint pain.  In other words, at one time a great portion of the medical community believed it possible to think the pain and from the psychosomatic (brain-body) connection, the pain manifested itself into chronic pain.  Although this is partially true, it is not the whole truth.

The American College of Rheumatology diagnosis criteria has proven that the origin of pain does not solely stem from a brain signal that produces the pain.  Instead a physiological chemical shortfall is present in many pain patient cases that prevent the patient from completely alleviating pain.  In my mind, this would be the equivalent of a person whose immune system is down, gets a cold and can never completely get rid of the cold.  So you always feel under the weather sort of speak and where it does not take much physical activity or stress to aggravate low-sensory acute pain to a high chronic pain condition.

Another difference between fibromyalgia versus CPS appears to be three primary symptoms for those that suffer with fibromyalgia:  Muscle tenderness, aches and joint pain, which produce stiffness and fatigue and/or emotional stress that can continue for years.  There also appears to be a chemical identifier in the way fibromyalgia pain origins present pain symptoms.  That’s where the neurosensory pain connection between the brain and spinal cord are now known to be chemically interlinked.

People with Fibromyalgia tend to have a low chemical P substance, and low levels of neurotransmitter chemical production of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine.  It appears pain patients with a low P substance condition are more sensitive to acute low sensory pain perceived by the brain and spinal cord.  So it can be stated, if our bodies are low on P substance and neurotransmitters, anyone of us would be susceptible to low-acute to chronic pain conditions by lacking the ability to immunological and physiologically low stress environmental aggravation we’d not experience otherwise.

If our ability to produce natural pain alleviating chemicals is compromised than it is reasonable to deduce this makes pain patients more likely to be sensitive to daily stress.  And this everyday stress pain could be amplified 10-fold from the way anyone else would experience it given the same environment.

So the stress most of us experience daily is likely shielded chemically by normal levels of P substance and natural neurotransmitters in the body.  If pain protection is not chemically balanced to shield the body from the mental to physical pain, then those that lack this protection will experience more pain.  In time this can chronically fatigue a person into manifesting itself into illness-disease and painful medical condition.

Patients now diagnosed with fibromyalgia are taken much more serious as a real chronic pain condition where chemical deficiency and immune systems are likely compromised.  I suspect there are many hormonal and chemical imbalances within the brain-body barrier that creates an unshielded pain recipient experience.  It is amazing to realize that ~35% of all Americans have some form, or have experienced chronic pain.  And some 50 million have experienced partial to full disability due to chronic pain.

Many patients that experience CPS also experience the same internalizing and rationalizing effect of fibromyalgia depression for lack of ability to provide help for self and family.  This depression stress is often brought about by the obvious… Chronic unrelenting pain and addiction to pain alleviation drug use, anxiety, fatigue, reduced activities including sexual desire, and maybe simultaneous experience of other disabilities that are secondary to the primary cause of pain and medications.

This vicious cycle of internalizing and inability to control the pain becomes exhausting and to the point where it is difficult to get a good night sleep.  If this exhaustion cycle is not alleviated the calamity of suffering, sleeplessness and sadness can have a demoralizing impact on self and family.

CPS, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue pain patients are typically treated as outpatients and require a variety of pain alleviation drugs and other clinical resources to help manage their pain.

If you experience chronic pain, and/or pain depression and anxiety and are experiencing a complex pain condition and need help, be sure to seek medical referrals to a pain management specialist, rheumatologist, immunologist, or physiatrist through your primary care physician to get the treatment you need.

Referrals,

The Free Dictionary, by Farlex.  Fibromyalgia.  http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/fibromyalgia

Dellwo, Adrienne. About.com. Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue.  July 2, 2012.  http://chronicfatigue.about.com/b/2012/07/02/sound-off-about-symptoms-fibromyalgia-chronic-fatigue-syndrome.htm

Wikipedia.  Chronic Pain.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chronic_pain

Health Encyclopedia – Diseases and Conditions.  http://www.healthscout.com/ency/1/629/main.html

Singh, Manish K. Chronic Pain Syndrome.  Medscape. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/310834-overview

Woodamarc.  Pain Depression Origins.  Hubpages.com. http://woodamarc.hubpages.com/_sigsinmula/hub/Pain-Depression-Origins

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2012 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Ineffective Pain Killers and Opioid Addiction

22 01 2011

    In many pain patients experience and now scientific studies prove, pain relief (Analgesic) decreases while pain sensitivity increases from excess use of opioids.  The opposite effect of pain relief is experienced when addiction and/or tolerance of morphine like drugs is established. 

    In other words, if you stub your toe and you’ve been using opioids for long periods of time, greater sensitivity to pain can/does occur.  So you ask yourself, how could this be?  I thought pain killers were supposed to lessen the pain experience.   This is true if you are following the manufacturer’s dose and frequency prescribed by your doctor.  Many do not realize excess opioid use can build the bodies tolerance to a point where pain relief is minimized.  In fact, you get the opposite results, increased pain sensitivity.   And the medical term is referred to as Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia (OIH). 

      Simply stated, OIH is “pain intolerance,” meaning more sensitive to any pain stimulus.  And for many of you that suffer chronic pain, you’ve probably experienced a pain management program that didn’t go according to plan.  Recall, the doctor prescribes, but it is up to the patient to take the recommended prescriptions.  And unfortunately, all too often, patients that should be pulled off of certain pain medications are not.  And others simply do not use the prescribed dosages and create more pain for themselves than necessary because of misinformation and understanding of a pain management program. 

        First of all, how does analgesic tolerance to pain killers occur?  The best way to describe this characteristic is that, your body produces your own morphine like substance (via spinal cord secretions) known as endorphins to alleviate pain when you stub a toe, or slam your finger in a car door.  This substance lessons the painful stimuli experience.  If a person takes “too much and for too long” morphine like drugs, then the spinal cord no longer secrets the body’s natural pain relief agent.  So when your body hurts really bad (chronic) you no longer have that supplemental “natural” pain killing agent in your body.  Instead, you solely rely on your prescriptions.  The pharmaceutical prescription at this point is not enough to provide adequate pain relief.   Taking “too many” pain killers results in an overall increase in pain sensitivity because the pain patient now blocks the body’s ability to dose/mask pain naturally for lack of the body’s natural morphine like defense.  Hence, taking high dosages of pain relief medication for too long and the spinal cords natural pain relief secretion process shuts down.  This is also when addictions to morphine like prescriptions occur. 

      Last year the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) introduced REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies) guidelines to help manage the known risks for pain medication use.  This is a program intended to improve upon patient safety, education and compliance to mitigate risk of abuse, addiction and serious side effects through smart physician to patient consults. 

      Once these guidelines became known to the pain patience, there was fear (amongst some) REMS would result in limiting their access to needed prescriptions.  This is simply “not” the goal of the FDA REMS guideline program.  In fact, I see a lot of positives in the right direction that I wished were in place when I began my pain management program many years ago.  For example, I didn’t understand the benefits of pain prescription used correctly.  I was mostly aware of the risks of taking pain medications.  So when I noted a secondary risk, I reduced or quit taking the prescription for fear of another secondary ill-health condition.  The lack of “not” understanding the benefits brought on more pain experiences than needed to occur.  And for others, taking too much created addiction. 

          REMS brought with it, concern that pain patients would now have limited access to needed medications.  Why would they fear such a thing?  Think about it, if your addicted to pain killers and you have a risk evaluation (REMS) by a pain managing specialist, it may be determined the best course of pain alleviation action may be to switch over your pain medication, or reduce the dose, etc.  This would surely cause concern for an addict, or someone with continuous chronic pain.  

      However, to mitigate this concern, by working with specialists and through education on topic can get a pain patient back on track.  For example, to get a pain patient back on target may require decreasing medication (e.g., transdermal fentanyl) by 25%.  After 4 weeks, with reduced dose the patient reports 5/10 pain & overall improved coping ability with pain sensitivity [Fentanyl is a potent synthetic (man-made) narcotic].  A 100g dose of fentanyl is approximately equal to 10 mg of morphine. Fentanyl stimulates receptors on nerves in the brain to increase the threshold to pain. 

      So when a pain patient has been using Fentanyl to alleviate pain, a reduction of dose by 25% will appear odd but necessary to get pain under control.  It takes a bit of education and understanding through good patient to physician consults.  If medications are not managed correctly the opposite result of adequate pain relief and addiction often occur.  REMS help the pain patient to understand and manage pain relief more effectively. 

      Also if pain is not managed effectively, secondary risks can and do occur.  

 Constipation – Increase fiber intake, and/or use stool softeners will help. 

  1. Opioid-Induced Hyperalgesia – Ineffective pain relief. See your physician.
  2.  Respiratory Depression – Slow rate of breathing, loss of urge to breathe.
  3. Central Nervous System complications – Dizziness, euphoria, drowsiness, etc.
  4. Cardiovascular – Decreased blood pressure, edema (swelling), slow heart rate.
  5. Musculoskeletal System – Osteoporosis, muscle rigidity and contractions.
  6. Skin System – Itching, “this may not indicate allergic reaction.” 
  7. Immune System – Data suggests long-term use, indicates immune suppression. 
  8. Pregnancy & Breastfeed-Neonatal depression, avoid opioid use during feeding. 
  9. Ocular System – Constriction of pupil. 
  10. Gastrointestinal System – Constipation, nausea, vomiting, bowel problems, etc.
  11. Genitourinary System – Urinary retention.
  12. Endocrine System – Hormonal and sexual dysfunction.
  13. Withdrawal Syndrome – Runny nose, shivering, diarrhea, gooseflesh, etc. 

 Note:  If you are a pain patient and experience any of these symptoms see your primary health provider, or refer to your pain management specialist. 

    The FDA REMS guidelines are now required within all pain patient to physician consults; providing the patient an excellent opportunity to learn about the benefits and risks of using pain killers.   This program will no doubt reduce prescription addiction problems; reduce OIH cases and increase pain relief benefits.  Also REMS incorporated into consults will reduce secondary ill-health risk factors that will reduce unnecessary deaths and lawsuits. 

     It is important that through physician and patient consults, the understanding of safety, education and compliance in pain management transpires.   Without education on the matter, this could be a scary proposition for the pain patient.  I’ve stated in many of the articles I’ve written within the “Mirror Athlete with Pain Chronicles,” it is very important you advocate for the best health care possible.  Without your voice advocating for the best care, your pain referral experiences to medical pain specialists can be unproductive, untimely, stressful and cause you more pain and suffering than need be. 

     The point is, if you know you have a problem and your pain is getting worse, get yourself in and ask for a referral from your primary care physician to begin consults with a pain management specialist.  Go into the session with an open mind, be willing to listen and ask for reference materials on the matter to become educated on your pain condition(s).  Ask about the REMS guidelines and learn to manage your pain safely and effectively and follow your pain specialist recommendations for the best prescription use to alleviate pain.  Through smart pain management consults, education and timely/applicable self-referrals your pain alleviation program will work.  Taking a self interest in your ill-health chronic pain circumstances is important if you want to continue quality living experiences while managing pain. 

 To read more on pain management, REMS, secondary effects of opioid use, visit Internet links below [simply cut/paste web address, insert into browser]. 

 References, 

  1. Pain Pathways, http://www.painpathways.org
  2. Federal Drug Administration, http://www.FDA.gov
  3. American Chronic Pain Association Consumer Guide, http://www.theacpa.org  

 Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2011 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter. 





Dare to Walk, Live Life to the Fullest!

10 04 2010

Marc from Mirror Athlete Enterprises while on a windy beach day walking, stops to video his thoughts. In this clip Marc touches on walking as the best cardiovascular fitness pain management alleviation exercise. If you can walk, you can receive a fitness and health benefit. Join Marc and follow his many outreach fitness and pain management projects through http://www.mirrorathlete.biz. Here Marc posts Mirror Athlete projects in hopes to reach as many suffering American’s that need not accept the social disability expectation. So many American’s live in isolation and fear of becoming disabled with crippling pain. Marc educates all how to work around pain challenges as we age regardless of pain disorder, illness, or disease. Won’t you join Marc and support his outreach program to help those in pain. By helping Marc, you help millions of familiens hence a nation “one step at a time!”  Also, be sure to read “Dare to Walk, Realtiy TV Game Show Concept” at Mirror Athlete repository article site.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.





Improve Fitness after Surgery-Rehabilitate Yourself

8 04 2010

 If you have just recently had surgery, experienced an injury and now are finished with your HMO rehabilitative services and want to become fit there is a post exercise mobility therapy habit that needs to be considered to ensure quality living experiences.  Many that are going through physical rehabilitation tend to gain weight, lose strength, cardiovascular endurance and suffer acute to chronic pain from inactivity.

 If you experience weight-bearing acute to chronic pain in any of your weight-bearing joints, i.e., back, neck, hip, feet, legs and have put on weight, or simply want to take control of your weight, a safe starting movement activity is the way to go.  This means to find some form of activity where you can move your body to begin increasing your fitness levels. 

 There are exercise activity routines you could participate in to rehabilitate yourself to walk, if not able to walk well.  For example, there’s extended physical therapy offered by many health insurers, to include Medicare.  If your insurance does not cover extended specialized services because you have annual limits on these services which you’ve used up, all is not lost.  The same is true if you have coverage that only includes short-term, or very limited medical services.  If you have the ability to walk, you are in a better position to rehabilitate yourself through walking movement activity.

 Now if you’re in a bad way and you need assistance to get yourself rehabilitated, don’t go it alone!  Suck up your pride, reach out and recruit a friend or family member to drive you to the nearest social security administration if you can’t do this yourself, or visit www.socialsecurity.gov online, or call by phone toll-free 1-800-772-1213 to reach a representative.  Office hours are between 7a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.  Check into disability benefits if you can’t work.  While your there, check into the supplemental home assistance programs and other available services.

 Rehabilitation after surgery, or accident to get active with life will depend much on your ability to begin actively moving your body to receive a fitness benefit.  The disability assistance is nice because you now don’t have to worry about paying your basic living expenses.  However, a word of caution…  All too often, those with limited movement and pain begin to move even less when disability and supplemental services are provided.  This level of comfort somehow nestles within many to sit around further disabling themselves.  To develop a habit of less activity when one should be attempting to increase activity, “especially if one can walk” is detrimental and a contradiction to overall fit-healthy goals.

Another important point; to improve fitness levels and overall health does not mean your disability benefits will end.  All too often, fear in “not meeting” and maintaining the social disability expectation prevents many from ever improving their fitness levels.  A lifestyle dependent on disability support often promotes meeting the disability expectation for fear of losing needed supplemental disability services.  This primarily occurs because if people appear to become more fit, there is fear that these services may go away.  And of course this is not true.  Why?  Because the injuries, illness and disease that put you into this ill-health condition have been substantiated by medical professionals and most likely will be with you a lifetime.  You should not fear if you improve certain aspects of your fitness levels for better quality living experiences your benefits will be cut off.

 My message for those that find themselves in this situation, you can have better quality life experiences if you can find a way to get yourself busy in life through a walking activity.  Especially if you can pain manage this activity.  And if you can do this, you will also be able to travel a little more, visit family members, go to a ballgame, maybe even do other activities; like ballroom dance, walk the dogs, sit for periods of time and write that book you’ve always dreamed about.  The list goes on.  Through walking many ailments can be pain alleviated and fitness levels increased.  Of course, keep what I’m telling you in perspective.  Your quality living improvements are relative to your health condition(s), physical and mental limitations.  Never the less, you will experience more feel good endorphins if you begin moving your body.  This will also improve mood, motivation to do more with your time in a day, boost self-worth and reduce dosages on pain medications daily.

 The cost to you to walk is nothing, other than your time, effort and motivation commitment toward improved mobility.  Through daily physical movement activities fitness levels will increase.  This will positively impact mood disposition.  This is important why?  Increased fitness levels contribute to healthy heart, lungs, metabolism, lean body, body strength, reduced body fat, weight control, pain alleviation, better physical endurance, excellent circulatory properties, reduced depression and other ill-health prevention, etc.  A combination of healthy habits, such as daily activity exercise movement and balanced nutrition are two of the ageless body prevention formulas.   This combination instills “proven” ageless fountain of youth methods centurions have known about for years and apply daily to enjoy quality living experiences for life.  To know this information is a “powerful mind-body motivator” for those that are in daily need of rehabilitative strategies to improve overall fitness and health.

 But in order to begin movement exercise activity safely; if you’ve been a couch potato, post surgery patient, or are in some form of physical rehabilitative condition, overweight, etc., you must first develop a fitness activity exercise plan and include your primary care physician and/or specialists to discuss a physical fitness program to ensure it is right for you. 

 Remember we’re all different in age, have various fitness goals, pain issues, disease, life circumstances, etc.   For example, I didn’t use a gym for many years while I worked to rehabilitate my body after surgeries.  I simply walked around the house, short stints with mobility aids in/outside the house, did PT exercises in bed the best I could until my body got stronger.  After I was able to crutch my way around the neighborhood an 1/8 of mile I incorporated other activity.  I’m not telling you to base your exercise mobility routine like mine; I’m simply providing what worked for me as an example.  I also had 4 physician specialists I coordinated with to assure my plan was not going to be detrimental to my overall health.  I know making appointments with specialists to compare notes is an additional burden.  However, it is a necessary part of any rehabilitative effort to ensure when customizing a fitness mobility exercise program it is done safely with your specialist(s) in the loop.

 Even with an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science, although I’m well versed in fitness activity and the effects on mind and body, I’m not a doctor.  There are many aspects of illness and disease pain pathologies, medications and effect’s on the “encompassing being” I cannot safely forecast when incorporating a daily movement activity to improve overall fitness and health during a rehabilitative scenario.  This is why you need to include your primary care physician at the least before you undertake a daily exercise mobility fitness activity.  But one thing for sure that is consistent in achieving good health, that’s daily movement activity.

 One must get back up on their feet one way or the other and move forward to become more fit.  The best way I know how to do this is achieve a goal to walk without mobility aids if possible.  This may not ever be physically possible for some.  The key is movement activity.  So when I mention walk, if you cannot do this without a mobility aid, simply increase your daily movement activity using a cane, wheelchair, walker, etc. 

 To achieve more movement activity requires daily exercise activity.  This is certainly possible and applicable to all of those using mobility aids.  I’ve got to tell you, I got the best workouts using wheel chairs and crutches.  It takes much conditioning to get into shape to hall your body weight around.  I know this from personal experience.  I challenge any walker to keep up with an avid mobility challenged person that’s conditioned to do so daily.  A word of caution with mobility walk aids.  I did suffer torn rotor cuffs and neck strains because of my aggressive competitive nature to excel in all I do.  So beware, you can hurt yourself while increasing your fitness levels through exercise with crutches and wheel chairs.  To get conditioned with these mobility devices takes the body time to build up strength, postural balance, muscle toning coordination and cardiovascular endurance.  These things are true in training for any form of physical task specific activity.  And with this said, there are correct ways to train for increased activity and wrong ways.  I’ve learned within my rehabilitative experiences, I need to better pace myself and not train for a marathon right out the gate.  After all I’m no longer in peak condition as I once was many moons ago.

 Take one step at a time, one block at a time, and one mile at a time.  Do what you can daily.  Put no time lines, or distances on yourself.  The mind-body will tell you each day what it’s capable of doing.  If you have the ability to walk you’re much further ahead in becoming more fit and healthy.  Move around, or walk daily regardless of mood, etc.  Do your in home physical therapy in bed, flexibility, range of motion exercises, walk in place, move up and down stairs if possible.  The key is to move more daily, work to reach 10-15min/day exercise activity at a minimum before increasing movement walking activity outdoors.  Be consistent at daily movement.  Don’t miss a day.  This is important if you want to improve your fitness level activity circumstances.  If you use a walker, wheelchair, or cane get out and move forward/move daily.  Build up walking endurance with a walking mobility aid if necessary to achieve goal distances of 100ft for example.  Physical therapy exercises will vary for each individual and will not be covered here.  However, if you need ideals on how to warm up and exercise before walking activities research the following:  Use the library, Internet, magazines, primary care HMO home PT exercise book, relevant rehabilitative subscription information/self-help recommendations for your conditions, etc. 

 There are many self-help books and free HMO pamphlets available.   I personally like Pilates and plank exercises for core strengthening exercises after passive and active warm-ups like, hot shower and range of motion stretching exercises.  I also do these slow stretch exercises while I watch the morning news, or evening shows and in-between writing my daily articles.  My slow stretch exercises include seated reach for toes and hold, standing slow stretch side bends, neck rotation/side tilts and squatted back stretches holding from 10’s of seconds to minutes at any time within the day’s activities.  I then go on my daily walk (active warm up and conditioning) and incorporate Pilate’s stretches and body part light strength training at the local fitness center.  I do manage pain daily by knowledge of working around pain threshold trigger points during activity and certain prescribed medications.  Check out books and literature on Pilates and core strength exercise examples.  There are thousands of exercise examples.

 Other tips:  Consider “not taking” your car to the store for daily staples once you can walk half a mile total distances assisted mobility device or not.  Make your fitness goal each day to walk to a market that’s near.  Make a goal to walk and shop for your evening meals, or drive to and walk the mall for example “a safe environment as you rehabilitate through movement activity.”  Get a small backpack “once able to walk small distances;” carry healthy produce, products to the car, home etc. 

 Never carry more in weight than the weight you lose.  For example, I personally never carry more than 5 lbs in bags, one for each arm, greater than 1 mile.  That’s .5 mile one way.  This has more to do with my chronic back-neck problems than weight lost.  So you need to factor in acute-chronic pain triggers under load.  In other words when starting a shop & walk activity program, you don’t hall extra weight until you lose weight, or alleviate pain significantly.  Just like you won’t move your body by walking without a cane, or walker after injury, or surgery until your body was conditioned to do so. An unconditioned body to walk without crutches, walker, cane, or wheel chair adds more body weight to weakened weight-bearing joints.  To do so when the mind-body is not ready will risk secondary weight-bearing injuries to body compromising overall health.

 When you’re strong enough to walk  1/8 mile one way for a total of ½ mile without walking aids you are then ready to begin a 3-5 day fitness activity program.  Even if mobility aids will be with you for life, you can still work toward customized fitness mobility assisted 3-5 day walking program.  The fit-healthy body results will still be experienced, i.e., cardiovascular, muscular, postural, mental function and pain alleviation benefits in varying degrees.  Regardless when you apply more activity in life, this equates to better quality living and health body-mind experiences

  Please look for the following article at the home site to get on a 3-5 day activity exercise program that’s right for you after you complete your rehabilitative mobility exercise activity goals.   The article you’ll want to search for to progress to the next activity level, “How to Exercise and Increase Fitness Levels.” Try various combinations of exercise activity, break up the fitness conditioning patterns and don’t go into any activity program at full intensity unless trained to do so.  Good things in life come to those that take the time to do it right while balancing all life activities and this includes achieving fitness goals after surgery, rehabilitation and/or disability.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter