This Ole Body Aint What It Used To Be

It all happened so fast.

Yes. Sign me up for Pilates young, spry co-worker. Sure, I’ll go with you to Barre class, person who runs marathons because you’ve prioritized it, because unlike me, you’re not delusional and you know that getting older means you’ve gotta step your game up. Sure, I’ll play with you on the floor, son, and you can hop on my back to go upstairs for bath time…and *crunch*.

Those are the events that led me here. Sore, inflamed, immobile and back to square one – oh, and just to clarify, that *crunch* was my back. Calling all 30-somethings. It’s happening. Your body ain’t what it used to be. So, how does one who used to run a mile, do back flips, run the bleachers non-stop, and lift weights every other day get used to a body that has had a huge break – like a ten year break that happened so fast that I forgot to exercise

I know it’s silly, but I’m in denial, but I think I’ve learned my lesson this time. I’ve never understood what people meant about the importance of easing back into exercise – until now. Had a baby in my mid-thirties and now, this year, I think I’m officially in my late 30s – needless to say, the recovery period is slow as molasses.

Checking out my new digs before sweating out my hair to the infamous 100 Pilates reps.

WAKE UP CALL… I’m fortunate enough to have a gig that provides exercise classes, and I immediately signed up for them and was in for a rude awakening. So, here we are after an accumulation of events that overworked my back muscles into temporary paralysis. It all began with taking on too much at once, and now injured and typing to you with an ice pack on my back. Don’t be like me… ease into exercise. Listen to your body. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start a yoga session a week next week. See below for tips for easing back into exercise:

  1. You are not superwoman. No one is. It doesn’t matter how old you are, LISTEN to your body. Don’t be like me and incorporate new exercise and then throw out your back swinging your kid around.
  2. Tell your doctor you’re exercising again (especially with all these fad routines that will have you jammin’ into your demise), and let him/her know what type of exercise so they can let you know what to be mindful of. If that’s not an option, let your exercise instructor know that you’re just starting and you may need a few sessions to complete the entire routine. Also, ask for modified versions of tough tasks. If they don’t listen to you, find another exercise instructor.
  3. Warm up AND cool down. Whatever that means to you. Stretching, jumping jacks, running in place, walk it out, stanky leg, dougie…just do it. Read why it’s important here: https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercise-101-dont-skip-the-warm-up-or-cool-down
  4. If your breathing is crazy rapid, STOP! That’s your body straining to do something, and you could easily be on the brink of injuring yourself. Even more, that rapid breathing means your body is not used to the exertion you’re putting on your lungs. When you’re in shape, your body is accustomed to the exertion, and you body delivers oxygen more efficiently during your exercise routine. Read more about that here: https://www.prevention.com/health/a20504379/when-its-normal-to-be-out-of-breath/

Remember, exercise in both forms of resistance training and cardiovascular routine is imperative, BUT you only get one back, one set of knees, and all that jazz. So, take it easy sistah. Getting in shape is not a competition. Namaste.

Written by Aryeonne Johnson