Monday, February 19, 2007

Weekend Warrior

Much has been written about people with normally sedentary lives who over do their weekend activities, whether it is sports, yard or house work, or another leisure pursuit. Physiotherapists treat many of these "warriors" when they want a fast fix for painful muscles and joints. I have seen people who have purchased a new piece of exercise equipment, such as a treadmill, who end up so sore after their first session that they never use it again.

I mentioned that I was a little stiff after my first snowshoeing expedition. Actually, after I came home, I sat at the computer for an hour (first mistake) and then could hardly stand up because of low back and hip pain. A warm bath and 400mg of ibuprofen provided a good sleep but I was still having trouble getting up from a sitting position.

We went snowshoeing again on Sunday, and I had no pain at all...until I sat down. When I stood, I could hardly straighten up and my entire body was out of alignment as I favoured my most painful side.
Time for a little of my own medicine.

I have a large exercise ball that is as high as a chair. Sitting on it gently forced my back into balanced and even position. Rolling the ball forwards and backwards and side to side caused the muscle spasms to relax. Next, prone lying and kneeling on all fours aligned the pelvic and shoulder girdles. Ahh...relief until....

I drove to work and got out of the car realizing I would not be sitting much today. Prolonged sitting is a strain on the back at the best of times. Thanks goodness I have an active job and my charting can be done while I stand. A brisk walk at lunch time, including a climb up a hill really loosened things up. Now I feel 90% better, but I know I will not be able to sit for long periods for a few days.

My daughter did the same activities as I did, but has no aches or pain. That is what a 31 year age difference does to a body. The inevitable truth is that our joints degenerate with time. Weak muscles and sedentary lifestyles are not inevitable. Our bodies are meant to move, and if they hurt, we need to analyze how we move, readjust, and keep moving.

Off I go...


  1. Good lesson, Ruth! I had lower back problems last week but I walked through them. Sitting for long periods was torture. I could use that balance ball...

    After driving for several hours, I exit my car to pump fuel and feel the "gel effect", noticable stiffening - Do you?

  2. Mary, I am glad your back is feeling better. The balance ball works well for me, but not for everyone. Yes, that stiffness after a long sit! I feel 90 years old until I move around. I can't "sleep in" anymore either for the same reason.

  3. I've often said that so many times I do things fully expecting I can, and then my over 40 body screams in response and I pay dearly for my folly. Oh to have the wisdom and desire I do now in a body much younger! Glad your back is feeling some better.

  4. Jayne- You say it so well! Too bad the mind peaks well past the body's prime.


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