Exercise, Part Two – How Much is Too Much?

So I spent the summer mostly outdoors on my time off from work. Sitting on patios, whether writing or drinking with friends, or eating, or anything really. The wonderful summer weather is the best! I also spent a great deal of time, doing outdoor activities for exercise. Let’s take a break from yoga inside the apartment and do something to enjoy the short summer season we get in Canada. I still maintained the daily exercises my chiropractor and physiotherapist gave me, but included more physically active things to. Some for better, and some for worse.

IMG_2229Hike at Dundas Peak.

For Better:

The daily exercises. These include two types of stretches for my hips, and two specific hip exercises done at home. A stretch for my back, and a back exercise. A stretch for my arms as well. They also include some leg exercises, to keep my strong, and a number of core exercises. Is it weird that I like doing planks? And I literally always have (since I was eleven or twelve).

Kayaking. I am by no means going to be a speed kayaker. No do I have any interest in being. My friend and I rented some kayaks and floated down the Humber River for two hours. It was awesome. Great, light exercise for the arms, and the option to go at whatever pace you want. If you’re feeling particularly strong, go for it. If you’re feeling some pain or like you need to go slower, do that. Kayaking gives lots of options.

Epic Hikes. I love finding new places to go for amazing hikes, in and around my city. Some hiking I did alone, some I did with friends, and some with my younger brother (who is a bit of a slave driver). The views and scenery are priceless, and again, there are options to go at your own pace. None of the hikes were advanced by any means, pretty much anyone could do the trails. But the pace is entirely set by you, and it’s a great source of exercise, regardless of how fast you go.

IMG_2016Kayaking down Humber River.

For Worse:

Softball. Okay, so I participated in a charity softball tournament with my workplace. We raised a ton of money for Sick Kids Hospital and it was totally worth it. However, softball is terrible if you have chronic pain. The motion of swing the bat. Sprinting from base to base. Even throwing and catching can take its toll on your arms. And god forbid you have a injury because you’re running too fast and fall forward, but crawl to base so you don’t get out (yes, that was me). I was dead for days after. Probably not a sport I’d do more often than a once a year charity tourney.

Bowling. The one indoor sport I did in the summer, which also happened to be with work. Oh my god, what a killer for the arms. I was in so much pain after, it took my physiotherapist and chiropractor weeks to fix me up. My chiropractor suggested that if I want a light activity, ping pong is the option. Bowling is not. I guess I learned my lesson.

IMG_2074 2Softball for Sick Kids.

The most important note: keep physically active because it is good for you and your chronic pain! Just don’t overdo it, and if you’re unsure about the sport or activity you’re going to try out, consult your healthcare professionals before you play. They’ll help you prevent injury and advise if it’s okay. Now that we’re heading into winter, I’m sure I’ll have another exercise based post for your in a few months, after I have some fun with winter sports again!