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Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Good Days…Bad Days With Maureen Pratt

Finding Fitness Feats that Fit

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicAh, exercise! Love it or hate it, most of us have heard our doctors tell us that it’s vital to overall wellbeing, not to mention our particular illnesses and/or pain.  But for many, that’s not exactly total motivation; that is, just because someone tells us we have to do it, and they are a health expert, doesn’t mean that we’ll be able to take their words to the track or the pool or wherever else we try to act on their advice.

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Finding the fitness feats that fit for each of us requires a sometimes herculean effort – When? Where? How? How much? How little?  Honestly, that’s an exercise in puzzle solving by itself.

And yet, we know fitness is important. We  know that the right kind of exercise can give us extra strength, energy, and perhaps chase away the blues that hover at times during these painful, unpredictably illness-laden lives. So, what do we do about it?

Obviously, there are oodles of possibilities. Gyms, of course, which can be pricey and distant. Home exercise tapes, which may or may not give us the workouts we need. If you’re in a temperate climate, walking outdoors is a possibility. If not, even the local mall might be a good place to get those sneakers on. But the most earnest or grandiose plan to exercise will fall apart quickly if the key to it all, the key to perseverence, is missing…

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I’m someone who did everything she could to get out of gym class in high school. Dodge ball was not me, and the few times I tried a balance beam were, well, forgettable in the deepest sense of the word. But there was one thing…Before lupus, I used to play tennis 4 or 5 times a week, if I could. I’d even travel with my racquet sometimes, and play after long days of meetings. Alas, now that I cannot go out in the sun and play, and also because I’ve developed nasty arthritis, I have to limit my court time. But I still try to play, as well as follow other doctors’ suggestions about things I can do to stay fit enough to do so – and here is my key to finding fitness that fits:

Find something moving that moves you emotionally, that you discover you like  doing. Talk to your doctor about what he or she suggests and/or work with a physical therapist to get specific guidance, and then try a few possibilities until you find the thing that works for you, your health, and your heart – physical and emotional.  It’s not impossible, especially if you approach exercise creatively. For example, there have been a few studies that gardening is good for the health – and those who’ve spent time tilling the soil know already how much of a workout it can be. Parking the car a few blocks from work or the doctor’s office and walking there can contribute to an exercise plan. Being mindful of how sedentary you are now, and shaving minutes of “sit time” off each week can help, too.

I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to work with your doctor about your individual health situation when it comes to exercise. And, as you explore the possibilities, keep in touch with your heart. Find that fitness feat that fits – and enjoy!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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Run, Run and then Collapse?

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicToday is the “day after.” And I’m preparing this blog in advance because I know exactly how I’m going to feel: Exhausted!

I was asked to give a talk at a major medical center, and eagerly accepted the invitation. God truly has given me a heart for sharing how amazing His grace and strength are, and I leap at the chance to give practical tips on increasing faith, bolstering sagging spirits, and coping better with pain and illness.

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But I also know that all of the energy I pour into preparing for such opportunities will be completely drained afterward. Which is why I’ve learned, the hard way, that it’s important to plan ahead, but it’s also important to plan for after.

I didn’t always do this. I’m sure many of you might not have, either. We are so used to planning for deadlines, appointments, activities, milestones – all in the future – that our calendars are one scribbled mass of “must do in advance of…” So, I’d pen-in goals and other items giving little thought to how I was going to feel and how much I was going to be able to accomplish afterward.

But what a difference acting on the understanding of reality truly is!

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Try as we might, we cannot escape the toll even daily activity places upon us if we also have a chronic illness that is always either lurking or going full-bore. So, giving space after things that we know will require more of us is crucial.

Yes, attending that birthday celebration is okay. But plan to have a day of quiet and rest afterward if you know you’re going to need it.

Of course, ministering to others is part of a Christian walk. But if you know that something is going to sap your energy, plan the aftermath accordingly.

Much like the reality that we cannot drive limitlessly without needing more fuel (be it gasoline, electricity or hydrogen), we cannot keep only fixing our eyes on activities to come without taking into account that we’ll need to

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Science, Frogs, and Faith

posted by mpratt

Maureen Pratt Author PicI had such a good time on my interview on Relevant Radio’s “Morning Air with Sean Herriott” yesterday that I thought you might enjoy hearing the interview, too. What’s it about?

Science, Frogs, and Faith!

Click on the link and scroll through to Tuesday, October 22. Click on the word “Stream” for my segment – and enjoy!

 

http://relevantradio.com/audios/morning-air-with-sean-herriott

 

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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Rooting for Team You!

posted by mpratt
Photo courtesy of koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo courtesy of koratmember/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is a sports-centric time of year. College and professional football, the baseball World Series, end-of-season tennis tournaments and, soon, college and pro basketball. We could go hoarse cheering on our favorites!

Of course, as with any socially-prominent trend, I have to wonder if it has common ground with our lives with chronic pain & illness. And, in this case, I wonder, if we spent the same amount of time and energy rooting for good health, strong spirits, and positive action as we do for the teams of our choice, how different life might be!

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Instead of blues-ing it through painful days, we might be more inclined to give ourselves pep talks.

Rather than procrastinate about those positive things we might do to improve even a little of our quality of life, we might have more of a sense of urgency (just as we do when time is ticking away and the score is tight).

Encouragement for ourselves and others could be all the spark we and they need to make a healthful change and, thus, support better overall response to the pain and illness that burden.

Putting on colors and styles that reflect strong personal team spirit can show the world that, no matter how strong the struggle, we are not beaten down.

Repeating, “there’s always next time…” when a defeat is particularly difficult can minimize hopelessness and, thus, help us persevere – like the glass-half-full Cubs fan that I am!

Yes, I think that turning the cheering squad loose on our lives can be a tremendously powerful catalyst for good days ahead.

Go! Go! Go!

Blessings for the day,

Maureen

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