Use It or Lose It
I’ve learned a lot during my six-year journey with Parkinson’s disease, especially how important it is to exercise – the body, the mind and the spirit. Keeping these three aspects challenged, keep me on an even keel. Daily physical exercise is vital if I plan to move at all. I usually do a few stretches right in bed before I get up. I take my medication around 7:30 and by 8:00 I am ready to move. I alternate exercises because I get bored with them after a while.Some days I use a motorized peddler, striving to keep my revolutions per minute at 85 to 90 I alternate this with the Leslie Sansone Walk at Home program on DVDs . I like these because a strong musical beat helps me to keep my steps at a steady pace. The DVDs present a variety of walking sessions, from 1 to 5 miles. I enjoy doing these programs because I can pick the length of a program, walk whether it is cold, hot, raining or snowing. I also do not have to worry about tripping over uneven pavement. The climate is always just right. I follow my aerobics with either a session of yoga for flexibility or tai chi for balance; on the smaller scale, hobbies like painting, cross stitch and jewelry making keep my fingers nimble.
To exercise my brain, I write for my blogs, write poetry, do Sudoku and crossword puzzles, and am trying to conquer my old nemesis, algebra. I really enjoy online classes which I take through the Ed2Go program at my local community college. I haven taken courses on using Photoshop Elements, Travel Photography, Pleasures of Poetry, Writing your Memoir, Making Money from your Writing and I am beginning a Writing for Children course now. I really enjoy the exchange with classmates through the forums and I find the teachers excellent. I am also writing a scrapbook style memoir and revising the first draft of a children’s book. And I musn’t forget photography. I exercise my spirit#ith meditation, collecting positive quotes and reading books of poetry. I have a scrapbook which chronicles my journey with PD. I fill it with poems, quotes and journal entries. Below is a page from my book of collected quotes and my PD Journal. I have a schedule that alternates these activities so I never get bored. I certainly don’t do all of them everyday. I’m sure to leave time for outings with my buddies. This year we’ve gone to museums and movies, a Lemur sanctuary, the farmer’s market, walks around lakes and “treasure hunting ” where I found a perfect little desk for my snuggery (my all-purpose writing/painting/reading/creating room.) My husband and I just returned from a cruise around the British Isles. We went on
excursions every day, and I am proud to have completed a 5K walk the deck for the cure while we were at sea. It’s important to keep in contact with friends and family to keep you on an even keel. There i so much I want to do, I refuse to let the PD rob me of the opportunity. Right now the morning sun is shining through my window. I have a whole day ahead of me, and plenty of creative ways to fill it.