Welcome back to the Healthy Life Podcast, it’s a pleasure to have you join me today and I hope that I will give you some exciting news and direction. Remember anything you hear in these podcasts are opinion... experienced opinion but opinion all the same so I always challenge you to seek out and confirm things for yourself!
Today we will focus on “core muscle” strength, what it is and why it’s important, and how to develop it. “Core “muscles” are one of the most active muscle groups in the body. Required for walking, making dinner, jogging or playing golf, lifting up kids, or laundry... you are engaging your core muscles.
These muscles make up our “core” and are essential for sitting, standing, moving, walking or any number of basic movements or positions. We often fail to realize that positions... not even movements require muscle integrity and action. If you’ve ever questioned that then speak to a quadriplegic or a stroke survivor suffering from locked in syndrome.
When we suffer a stroke our lines of communication with our muscles are impeded, blocked, mixed up or destroyed. It is imperative that we maintain, build, and strengthen those from day one. This is why I harp on using a dry luffa to stimulate cellular communication, it is step 1! Next it is critical to build up basic muscles and movements. Think about a baby.... what do they do?
Well first they build up muscles to support and turn their head... next they spend countless hours staring at their hands and attempting to flex parts.... they flail about, kick, wiggle.... finally they start to rock from side to side... they finally roll over. The first time they accomplish this task it’s usually a total surprise and accident. It’s the following diligent movements and repetition that finally pays off. They seemingly spend weeks on all fours just rocking... the whole idea of coordinating arm and leg movement takes time to develop... but you get the picture.
One of our greatest weaknesses isn’t in our muscles but in our minds. We lack patience, determination, persistence, and consistency! We expect everything to return instantly and then are frustrated and want to give up when it doesn’t. Look I don’t blame anyone, when I know and experienced first hand medical professionals advising me that I only had weeks or months to get things back.
You can extend that time by years if you work on building up and strengthening those lines of communication. But.... I hear you say... I can’t feel anything! I didn’t feel for three years but it didn’t stop me from using that luffa several times each day for years. Constantly reminding the brain that there was a connection. I used acupuncture after three years and it accelerated the healing process greatly... would I have healed without it... probably but it would have taken even longer and more determination and persistence. But while that is going on we need to begin basics... rolling, rotating, standing and sitting slowly and repeatedly. Practicing perfectly and slowly and then repeating it.
You know in our living room is a huge circular coffee table... it used to be a dining room table but was cut down 50 years ago. It has been a family furniture heirloom ever since and generations of children have learned to walk using that table. The reason I bring it up is that not one of those kids was told what to do... or if they fell down... didn’t need to be told to get up and keep trying.
We as adults need to be comforted, consoled, and often commiserated with. I get it... I understand... but we are our own worst enemy. We need to park our emotions and do what is needed. I’m excited about our “DO” app being released this fall and having a number of core exercises demonstrated via video.
Now I know a number of people want real solutions so I will spend a little time on those.
Bed roll exercise - while laying on your bed (this exercise works best on a queen or king size bed) place your affected arm straight down next to your body and begin to rock toward your affected side until you roll over... then roll back. Repeat 5 times.
Sit to stand exercise - sitting on the edge of the bed with a chair back in front of you... place your arms/hands on the chair back... lean forward and stand while holding onto the chair back. Stand for a count of 10 and then sit. Repeat 5 times.
Rotate exercise - Sitting on the edge of the bed rotate at the waist as far as you can to the right... hold tor 5 seconds then rotate to the left and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times.
As you are able and perfect those exercises then you need to add more... I’ll mention more next week. We are changing our podcast schedule and it will be as follows: Mindful Monday - Attitude Challenges, Tip top Tuesday - Exercises & Tips, Welcome Wednesday’s - Interviews, Thirsty Thursday - Nutrition Facts, Fab Friday’s - Questions of the week.
Well unfortunately that’s all the time we have for today ... I’m glad we had this chance to focus on core muscles and their need... thanks for joining me today and I look forward to sharing with you tomorrow, ...please feel free to leave me a message at stroke.global or on Facebook @stroke.global, I enjoy seeing them all.
It really is an honor and it’s been a pleasure sharing today and I hope you’ve enjoyed this podcast... we keep it brief so it’s easy to add to your day... we want to thank our sponsor TCM Restoration for helping us provide this venue. Feel free to share this podcast with others, offer your feedback and questions and follow us online on our website stroke.global or on our Facebook page. Well I look forward to learning more with you tomorrow.