Flexibility is key!

I have really struggled with a lot of stiffness lately and Mom suggested that a trip to my physiotherapist would probably help.

I have been in and out of doctor’s offices my whole life, so I don’t really like going if I don’t have to.  I decided that it was probably better that I go as the stiffness seemed to set in after I had painted for an extended session, which is pretty much every day.  As I have said before, I don’t like letting my disability hold my art back, and I find that I get more inspiration as I paint for longer periods of time.   Mom says I don’t want to go because I am stubborn, like my Dad!  She might have a point!

Anyway, the visit to the physiotherapist didn’t last long.  She said that it’s nothing to be concerned about and she gave me a number of exercises to do. They will help to ease the stiffness now and more importantly, work those muscles so that I should not suffer with that degree of stiffness in the future when I work for long periods.

Exercise is fun?

How do I feel about this?  Hmmm, well I am not a great fan of exercise, but they seem easy enough to do.  Here are a few of the things they want me to do each day if possible.

  • Swimming. I really don’t mind this one!   I am a little bit of a water baby actually.  The physiotherapist says that swimming is a great way to use all the muscles in your body, so to start off in the morning they suggest that I swim for around 10 – 15 minutes.    If it’s a little cold outside, I will just go down to the local gym and swim in their heated pool.

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  • Stretching. Ideally the physiotherapist says I should stretch in the mornings when I wake up and in the evenings when I go to bed.  This will help to keep my muscles loose and flexible.  She gave me stretches especially for my shoulders and neck where I tend to tense up and get stiffness quite easily.
  • Resistance/Strength training. This one I was not too sure about to begin with.  In my mind I was seeing visits to the gym, dumbbells, weights and all those strange machines.   The physiotherapist said that this is one way to do it, but she wants me to be able to do exercises at home.  She suggested that I get resistance bands similar to these ones.  They are perfect to do low intensity resistance and strength training.  We got a set on the way home and I tried the exercises straight away.  They are very easy, but you can feel the muscles working.  Dad was pretty impressed, he said he would go get a resistance band as well and join me every day!  Let’s see how long that lasts!

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Actually these exercises are not that bad!  I think they will definitely help me and that’s all I need!  I just want to be able to carry on painting!