Our self-care challenge was to include more activity or exercise to improve healing.
My first response was: when am I going to fit more in?
Hmm, let me think. 4am?
I am pretty active already. You don’t have to take my word for it, the App tells me how many steps I do each day.
My average step count is around 17,000.
I still chose to do more activity, though, to keep healthy, reduce stress and heal from trauma.
The stop signs
It is not always easy. I was in a really good routine of attending Zumba every week. Then the gym changed and you could not pay casual anymore – you had to join the gym. I didn’t want to join the gym, so I lost access to the Zumba classes.
I thought about trying reformer Pilates. They also work on a subscription base, and you need to buy a package of classes. When discussing options with the trainers, they kept saying, “Oh yes we are all busy, but you just have to make time for exercise.”
I have to say, this did annoy me. There was no attempt to understand whether I was a really busy person or someone who just thinks they are busy.
So, my barriers to building other forms of exercise into my self-care plan are gym subscriptions and the comments about my “busyness”.
How much exercise is needed?
According to the World Health Organisation we need to do
30 – 60 mins of moderate activity 5 times a week
15 – 30 mins of vigorous activity 5 times a week
Some strength work twice a week.
I hate running. I am not going to run to get my vigorous activity. I will if I need to – you know, to catch the train or the bus. But running is not fun for me.
What I find fun is dancing, and that counts as vigorous exercise.
Also, I need to do some strength exercises a couple of times a week. A Pilates class counts as one strength session.
I am sure digging and gardening is also strength exercise, and moving Op Shop items around – which we call “Stuffercise” – should also count. Those bags of clothes can weigh 10-20kg!
The other activity I tried was yoga, using YouTube. A work colleague recommended Yoga with Adriene and I found her sessions excellent. They are sensible, 10 minute sessions, or sessions focusing on the lower back or neck and shoulders. Totally perfect.
They really helped, as I hurt my back gardening! I just need to keep up the yoga habit.
I ended up being very lucky. I bumped into my Zumba teacher and casual classes are back on. Yippeee!!!
The yoga and some physio fixed the lower back. I have been back to Zumba. I did join and purchase some Pilates sessions. It is truly amazing and strengthens the core. Pilates is something I want to try to continue.
I am working on solving the barrier of membership for Pilates and I have found another place to try. I want to fit into my activity self-care plan: walking nearly every day, weekly gardening, Zumba, Pilates and yoga.
Now to find time to fit in swimming!
Blogging STARS program
This Blog is a part of the Broken to Brilliant Blogging STARS self-care program, which supports domestic violence survivors to practise the self-care strategies of Sleep, Tapping, Activity, Regulation and Support, (STARS). As they practise the strategies, they blog about it. You can read their survivor STARS Blogs: