Returning to my Passion
I have always been an active, healthy and fit woman who puts her feet on the floor each morning, an energetic ball of joy ready to start the day. I’ve always been so thankful for that. But, since my cancer diagnosis It’s been a bigger challenge to feel this same joy on a daily basis.
The journey back to restoring my health has been so confusing...having always lived a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and wellness care, it has taken me five and a half months to sort through the frustrations of not being able to do what I used to. All the nastiness I've gone through including lung surgery, countless shots, pills, chemotherapy, oxygen, emergency room visits due to side effects ... makes it difficult to keep your life as you knew it. I have not had to use medication in years and all of a sudden my drawer had 10 prescriptions in it and I lost fifteen pounds of muscle. I needed my oxygen tube just to get out of bed and walk to the bathroom - talk about a change of pace! At 61 years old, this is the first time I've felt weak - both physically and mentally.
I came to realize, over the months of becoming one with the couch, that focusing on why this has happened to me isn’t moving me forward. I began to focus my energy where I need it to be - on returning to the healthy lifestyle habits I love and pushing myself to reclaim my strength, my weight and my attitude.
The last couple of months have been about returning to my routine, starting out V.E.R.Y. S.L.O.W.L.Y. while using oxygen - have I mentioned slow is so NOT my speed? It was torture not being able to jump right back to it! When I started I could barely even walk to the mailbox without using my oxygen. I am happy to say that I have now been off oxygen for well over a month and I've gained back ten of the fifteen pounds I lost. Also, other than the chemo treatments I am off all meds! I am certainly not running yet, especially with Chicago weather, (the forecast is showing snow, snow, and more snow!) but I am going up and down the stairs at a decent pace and doing my PostureFit workouts five times per week. Here are a few of my favorite moves that have helped me get to where I am today.
I love this move because it immediately sets your body into a tall, elongated posture and helps to open up the chest to improve breathing. It’s a great move to start your set. Come join us Monday morning on our IG page, @get_posturefit for #movemonday and follow along with me as I show you this move in action!
You simply start with the PostureFit Bar at your hips. With soft knees raise your PostureFit Bar up and under your chin. Slowly lower the bar back to your hips and repeat. You’ll feel it in your shoulders and doing this move a few times per week will begin to give you that shoulder definition we girls love!
Tricep Sword Pulls
This is a great move to avoid and/or get rid of the bat wings on your upper arms. It’s a simple, but powerful move that you will definitely feel once you are done!
Start by holding the bar vertically behind your head, either hands together or one on top of the other like holding a golf club. If you go this route, don't forget to switch hands at some point so your muscles get an equal workout! Keep your elbows in close to the ears while you are lowering the bar and then extend your arms back up to ceiling.
If you're a beginner, shoot for 4 reps and slowly increase over time.
If you exercise regularly - do 3 sets of 5-15 reps. Use this as a guide for all these exercises.
Lumbar Flexion (aka good mornings)
Such a great stretch and glute workout! You should definitely feel the stretch in your hamstrings.
While in power posture soften your knees a little and bend forward at the hips as far as is comfortable for you, driving your weight through your heels. Squeeze your glutes as you come up, (this allows the stress to be taken off your back) until you are back in Power Posture. Inhale as you bend forward and exhale as you return to Power Posture.
Cross-over Back Lunge
Great move for your butt! I've spent so much time sitting and laying down over the past months that my booty really took a beating. My family called my butt, Flap Jacks, because I had lost so much muscle there! Now it is slowly bouncing back to where it was before, thankfully!
Cross-over back lunges are also called curtsy lunges as you are crossing your leg behind you as if you are doing a curtsy. This move can be done with different bar positions - You can either hold the PostureFit Bar behind your neck in Power Posture or do side rows with it as you cross the bar over the front leg and switch sides as you switch legs. I would start with the Power Posture position to ensure you have proper form during the move.
Always a favorite because you are working the quads and booty! While going down into your squat, lift the PostureFit Bar straight out to shoulder height, which brings some shoulder definition to your booty workout. Bring the bar back down to your hips as you stand up and repeat.
I suggest exploring our YouTube Channel, PostureFit, to find your own favorite moves with the PostureFit bar! We'd love to hear your list!
My energy and joyful attitude are back, Thank you Jesus!!!! The chemo is doing its job and the cancer is continuing to lessen. My journey back to the passions in my life is roaring and soaring. So excited that I have been able to return to PostureFit and ecstatic to get back to our Chiropractic office. Mikaela shared with us the best news ever 4 months ago and I am over the moon to be a first time grandmother! These blessings in my life have lifted me to high places. I truly believe my lifestyle prior to this diagnosis is the reason I am able to press through this and reclaim all the joy I've known.
Now to continue my healing and to be an advocate for others and bring hope to their story. I hope sharing my journey gives you the strength and optimism to continue your own fight, whether it be battling cancer or just working towards regaining your healthy lifestyle. We all need a little motivation now and then.
Here's to doing what we love, longer!