Get Up and Get Started!
In this discussion we looked at returning to favorite recreational activities, fitness for beginners, baby steps, and next steps.
June 20, 2019
Don't miss the next episode
Get Up and Go – Get Up and Get Started!
Presented by Steve Kelley and Elyse Heinrich
June 20, 2019
Steve K.: I'd love to welcome everyone to the Hadley Discussion Group this month, Get Up and Go. I'm Steve Kelley. I'm co-hosting with Elyse Heinrich. Elyse?
Elyse H.: Yes. Hello, everyone, and welcome to our second meeting. Thank you for joining us.
Steve K.: Our goal here is to provide a forum for the community to share ideas and resources for recreational activities at all levels and I think that's important. Beginners are welcome.
Our topic today is getting started. Fitness baby steps is what I like to call them.
Before we start our topic today, I just wanted to suggest that sometimes a vision loss can prevent us from doing the recreational activities the way we once did them. We may have to choose new activities or modify existing ones.
It might also be the case that we are just starting to think about fitness for the first time, baby steps, and are looking forward to baby steps.
One of our listeners last month, just for example, was at one time an active amateur cyclist. Lost his vision over the years and is now trying to find a partner to ride a tandem cycle with in his local area of Pennsylvania. It was pretty exciting to hear from him and hear that he had gotten back on the horse, so to speak. It hasn't been straightforward from the emails that I've gotten from him, but he's been really persistent and keeps pushing forward with resources that were suggested to him from the group. It's encouraging to hear stories like that.
Elyse, do you want to add anything before we open up the conversation on how to get started with fitness and recreation?
Elyse H.: Sure. I just want to encourage everyone to keep an open mind. You might not have thought that sport or that particular activity was something that you wanted to do, or always thought you should try, but try it out once or twice before you totally push it off to the side. Really today some ideas may be flowing through and just have an open mind that you may want to try it once or twice and see if you do like it or not.
Great. Richard, do you have your hand raised? I'll unmute you. You can go ahead.
Richard: I just wanted to encourage people that if you think you can't do it, that's the only reason, probably, why you can't. Because, let me tell you, I was surprised when I moved to Colorado here, there was a group of guys who were willing to put me and take me hunting. I was able to get a hunting license and I actually went hunting for elk and hunting for deer. It's not that hard. They encourage us to get out in the open. They took us fishing, even though it was catch and release, which I kind of don’t like, but you know, they stay active and they keep me active.
Look in your community for other people that are doing stuff, because they can help you get more active.
Steve K.: Richard, may I ask, do you have low vision? Do you have any functional vision-
Steve K.: You do. Okay.
Richard: I have almost no vision. I can see light and dark in my left eye and that's it.
Steve K.: May I ask how you're aiming? Do you have a specific technique or was there something that you were taught? The reason I'm asking is I actually noticed on a resource list that there's a couple of shooting clubs for low vision and blind users, so I was just kind of curious.
Richard: Yes, what there is, there's a system that they can hook a monitor up to a scope of a rifle and this monitor can be right above the scope, actually, and they can look through the monitor over your shoulder and help you aim that way. When you're hunting, at least here in Colorado, you have to be the one holding the gun and pulling the trigger.
The person stands behind you and you work out signals to...You know, when to take the safety off and you work out a signal when to pull the trigger but I actually got an elk in 2008 and a four point buck deer in 2010.
Steve K.: That's terrific, that was one of the things that kind of jumped out at me and the other one that jumped out at me, too, on one of these resources lists was archery.
When I saw both of them, I realized that really sometimes, it's like you were saying, Richard, sometimes we think that the world is getting much smaller as a result of a vision loss but really, if you're persistent and you put your mind to it, there are a lot of places that you can continue to grow with recreation.
I really appreciate you sharing that. That's great. I just wanted to say, too, the list that I was referring to was something that I compiled and put together. It's going to be on the Hadley website at some point but it's got a temporary location. It's at lowvisiontech.com/lvsports.
If you're one of those folks that's thinking, "Gosh, you know, what can I do? Where can I go? Where can I find some resources for sports activities?" Check out the list because there's quite a few places nationally and internationally, different clubs, different agencies, different sports associations.
I'm curious if anybody participating is at that point where they're thinking about starting out with fitness or if they have a story that they would be willing to share about how they got started or back into some sort of fitness or recreation.
Elyse H.: All right, here we go. This person's hand is up. It starts with the number 409. Can you tell us your name and I will unmute you, please.
Joanne: Yes, I'm Joanne.
Steve K.: Hi, Joanne.
Joanne: Hi, I'm from Orange, Texas, and I just kind of looking for some exercise program to do myself. I haven't done much exercise in a good while and need to get back in the swing of things and start exercising again and taking better care of my health and stuff. I'm out there trying to walk and I'm wondering what would be some good exercises to start out with?
Steve K.: Thank you for your asking the question and I'm hoping that we've got a couple of callers that are on the line who can jump in here but I'm going to take a few moments because, first of all, I noticed that when I was looking around for some resources, everyone kind of had a disclaimer, so I'm going to do the whole disclaimer thing and just let you all know that I am not a professional recreational type of person.
Anytime that anyone begins any sort of recreational activity, I think the first step is to check in with your doctor just to make sure that it's something that's safe for you to begin and just be really conscious of what you're doing. I don't think anyone should follow any of these suggestions without first contacting their health provider.
That said, I saw a very interesting video that was called Blind to Billionaire- Getting Started with Fitness; Five Tips that can be Done at Home and this was on YouTube. I think if you can just remember Blind to Billionaire, you'd be able to find this video, but one of the things that they suggested was to do a little bit more walking around the house. If you're not able to get out and you're not comfortable, just walk around the house, add some steps from time to time as you're walking around the house. You know, start small. Build up a little bit each day.
The other thing that you might want to do is add some stretching exercises to that and, again, you want to start small, low repetitions, and then increase the repetitions. That was one of the resources I found.
Does anybody else have any suggestions for how to get started?
Elyse H.: Yeah, we have a couple of hands up here. I'll go Ann, I'll unmute you.
Ann: Hi, well, I didn't have suggestions for the other speaker. I wanted to speak to my experience, but can you hear me?
Elyse H.: Yes.
Steve K.: Yeah, loud and clear. Great.
Ann: My first, I'm located in north of Atlanta in Georgia. Here, we had the Georgia Blind Sports Association and a couple of things were being proposed, but none of them appealed to me in the beginning. There was tandem bicycling and I was afraid the seats weren't going to be comfortable and then there was kayaking, and I didn't want to be the first kayaker to drown. There were just a couple of things that none of them appealed to me.
Then finally somebody suggested golfing and at first I was like, "Ah, really? I won't even be able to see the ball," but, reluctantly, I gave it a try. I mean, all my life, I have said, "Golf sounds like a great way to ruin a nice walk in the park," but believe it or not, I have become a believer. I actually enjoy it. It's a great way to get outdoors. You don't have to be a great athlete, but you get out and you get out in the sun. You get to be with other people and in golf, it's a team sport with your-adapt golf, adapt-a-golf, where your coach helps you figure out where to aim ... Your caddy, so to speak, helps me figure out where to aim the ball.
Because I have no idea where I'm aiming, but my caddy/coach helps me figure out where to aim the ball. I'm quite nearly totally blind but on the golf course, I'm practically a rock star. I have people who can see who wish they could hit the ball as well as I can because I have my old softball days are working for me now. It's actually really good therapy because I can smack that ball and work out my stress and it's really, really turned out to be a good thing for me, and on that note, I'll leave you.
Steve K.: That is such a great story because there are a number of golfing associations specifically for blind athletes and if I understand correctly, you set up at the tee, you're working with a coach or a caddy who helps you set up and hit the ball and the probably gives you some direction to find the ball for the next shot.
Ann: Yeah, that's right. Yeah, and then we go and we find the ball and we go from there.
Steve K.: Yeah, the other thing I absolutely love about your story is the fact that you were not a golfer.
Ann: No, never.
Steve K.: It wasn't until after you lost your vision, I'm guessing, you picked up golf. In a way, it opened a door for you. I love that.
Ann: My family still doesn't believe it.
Steve K.: Thank you so much for sharing.
Elyse H.: You can hear, yeah, you can hear your enthusiasm in your voice about it.
Steve K.: Absolutely.
Elyse H.: That's great. We have a couple of other hands up here, so I'll go down the list. I believe this is Cyrille. Sorry, if I'm pronouncing that wrong. I will unmute you.
Elyse H.: Hello.
Cyrille: Yes, it's right. It's Cyrille. Anyway-
Elyse H.: Oh, wonderful.
Cyrille: I agree with what Steven said earlier. Stretching and walking, so like I am legally blind. What I do is that I do stretching and then I do walking outside the house or I do treadmill, like the e-treadmill so that you could just hold onto the handles and just walk there. You can adjust the speed, like whatever speed you want to. Over.
Elyse H.: Great suggestions.
Steve K.: On the treadmill then, you're able to set it at whatever pace you want to start with.
Steve K.: Yeah, I think that that's a great suggestion. I was listening to a set of audio from Eyes Free Fitness and I believe you can find it at blindalive.com and one of the very first sets of audios ... and by the way, these are totally free and this might be appropriate for the one caller who was asking how to get started.
It starts out with stretching and then I was telling Elyse earlier when we were talking about this, there was one audio called Bootcamp which I just loved. I thought, if I actually followed that audio for a half an hour, I'd be out of breath and it's all about marching in place but you do it at a certain pace and a certain speed. Of course, the narrator is just making it a lot of fun. She's almost like a fun motivational drill sergeant as the audio goes along.
Does anyone else have another suggestion or a personal story they'd like to share?
Elyse H.: Next on our list is Lisa. I'll go ahead and unmute you.
Lisa: Hello, I'm Lisa Salinger. I'm the new Access Technology Specialist at Hadley.
Steve K.: Lisa, how are you?
Lisa: Good. You could not have given me a better segue into what I wanted to say. I have a whole bunch of stuff. I'll try and keep it short.
Steve K.: No, take your time. Speak right on up.
Lisa: I used to work for Blind Alive when we were producing the workouts for sale.
Steve K.: Oh, terrific.
Lisa: I do want to tell you, the Bootcamp is not where you want to start. One time, I received a phone call from this sweet lady. She sounded like she was probably in her 80's, somewhere from the Mid-West, really broad accent and she said, "I want to buy the Bootcamp video, because, you know, when the young men go off into the army, and well, now, it's women, too," but she said, "When they go, they send them to Bootcamp and they come back in shape and that's what I need."
I said, "Well, that's wonderful," but I said, "Usually, by the time they go off to bootcamp, they can already do things like run five miles with a heavy pack on their backs." There was dead silence. I felt like I broke her heart and she says, "Oh, dear, well, what would you suggest?"
There are a couple things I would suggest from that collection, especially for beginning exercisers. One is called the Gentle Workout set and it's a series of four 20-minute workouts and these are also really nice for busy professionals. We kind of made them for people who were just getting started, but people were doing them over their lunch hour, because each one was like 20 minutes. They said that it was enough that they felt like they had done something but they hadn't worked up this huge sweat and so they really liked that.
There's also a series, I know a lot of us have poor balance and there's a whole series on balance. There are all kinds of things. In a personal vein, I do a lot of walking. I also have a stability ball which is basically just a big round ball and you can do all kinds of weird complicated things on it. Someone told me, "Oh, you can get a board that goes on top of that ball and you can stand on it." I'm like ...
Steve K.: Good grief.
Lisa: "Nah, no. I like my bones together, not in little pieces, yeah," but I just, like if I'm listening to something or just having a conversation on the phone sometimes, I will sit on this thing and just balance it. It's a little bit of activity. It's not high impact but it's better than nothing. Also, one thing, for kind of beginners is a rebounder, which is like a mini-trampoline and you can get them with a bar that attaches and the idea with these bars, whether it's a bar on the trampoline or the bar on the treadmill, is not to hang onto that thing for dear life, tempting though it may be. It's not really there to support your weight, but it can help you balance.
The other thing, and the final thing I'll say, and this is just from my own experience. I've tried so many things: classes and water aerobics. I often ended up feeling foolish because I didn't know if I was doing it right. Well, one nice thing about getting a little older is you stop caring quite so much, but you can really sabotage yourself, I think, by ... At least, I've done this ... I feel like, "Okay, well, if I can't do it perfectly, I won't do it, because why bother?"
Now there are times when form really matters, certain kinds of exercises, this is why the Blind Alive audios are so good. They're descriptive. I refer to it as a video and that was a misnomer. They're all audio. They were designed for anyone to use but we've had customers say, "Okay, when you ..." For example, Steven talked about marching. "When you march in place, are your arms supposed to be down at your sides or bent?" The answer, at risk of sounding a little irreverent, is "Who cares?" If it feels good, do it. You can raise them over your head to give yourself more of a workout. If just marching is taking all you got, then just let them hang at your sides or pump them a little, but don't let the fear of not doing it completely perfectly get in your way.
I, personally, I mean, people listen to me and they hear my voice and I've done some podcasts and I said, "You know, I'm 4"9'," and they assume I'm tiny and I wish I were, but in all honesty, I carry more weight than I would like to. I'm working on it. I've lost quite a lot but what I'm learning is that people of all shapes and sizes are participating in more activities and as the number of people who are overweight seems to grow, (A) because of all the tempting things in our environment and (B) because as we get older that's easier to happen, I think you generally see people with larger bodies and all different kinds of bodies out in public and doing what they can to get fit.
I guess, it's just my way of saying don't let anything stop you and, yeah, I warned you. I was long. I'm not sure I breathed in there, but I did try to keep it brief.
Steve K.: If you don't mind, I've got a follow up question, because I noticed on the audios that there was an audio description and also a text file in there of what they meant by some of the different arm movements, particularly with the marching in place. I didn't go through all the other audios, but I thought, "What a really nice touch."
Steve K.: Yeah, well, I just wanted to remind folks that they are... and am I correct? I'm just kind of doing this of off a pretty faulty memory here, but I think it's blindalive.com.
Lisa: That's absolutely right and it's all one word and there's no punctuation between Blind and Alive.
Steve K.: You can just download these things, that's what's so great about them and even if you're helping somebody, download them and put them on a talking book player or something like that. Then that makes them easier to play along with and most of these things can be done at home. I probably did pick a poor example because that Bootcamp was really quite a workout, but, you know, one of the things that really struck me about it was that even at home, using a workout audio like that, you could really get quite a cardio workout. I'm strongly not suggesting that for a beginner.
Steve K.: There was stretching and meditation, which I also thought might be a really good place to start, too.
Lisa: Well, I had gotten away from exercise for a while. I mean, I walked, but I wasn't really doing much for years where you coordinated your arms and your legs. It had been maybe 25 years and so I've tried this and I was doing the sculpting with weights workout and I thought, I hadn't gotten my little hand weights yet that I had ordered, and I had hands, I joke that my first workout was sculpting with lentils, but the first time I tried, I didn't even use the cans. I thought, "Let me just go through this and go through the motions." I was really glad I did because I thought, "You know, how hard can it be? I remember how to do this."
I hit myself in the face twice, so it's like, you know, you really do want to be patient with yourself especially when you're starting and that was real quick but I was going to say, too, about the rebounder, at one point, I had been walking an hour a day and I got a rebounder. A couple of people said, "You know, you want to start real slow, like five minutes a day." I thought, "Oh, come on, seriously." I was just walking on it and I did maybe 10 minutes and I'm thinking, "Yeah, my legs are a little tired." I stopped and the next morning, I went to get out of bed and my legs were so sore I nearly fell on my face, but it's the whole thing of be gentle, take it slow. You're not going to run a marathon in a day without any kind of training.
Steve K.: That's great. Thanks so much for sharing, Lisa. Appreciate that. I think that's a great place to start…
Lisa: My pleasure. I did not mean to take so much time.
Steve K.: Quite all right. Do we have other hands raised, Elyse?
Elyse H.: We sure do. Right. Okay, this person's number starts with 956. I'll unmute you and can you tell us your name, please?
Macarena: Hi, this is Macarena, I'm from Texas and I just want to share that, you know, starting with baby steps is wonderful. Two years ago, I had open heart surgery and I couldn't even walk from my bed to my toilet and so I want to thank the BARD app because that has been like my cheerleader and my family, too. I mean, I can tell you that in these two years, my kids, they're 21 and 25, they both go to the gym now every day. My husband is running marathons and I'm walking.
I started with three minutes on the treadmill and I'm doing an hour a day now. I have severe case of neuropathy. My legs are horrible. I've never exercised in my life before. All this is due to complications of diabetes. I am totally blind. I work full time and so it was just hard for me. I had so many excuses not to exercise, not to start, but when I started, the key, I think was the support of my family and also those talking books. I mean, I get so into the books, that I said, "One more chapter. One more chapter," and I keep walking.
I love that. It is wonderful and I can't even believe it myself and I won't go to bed ... Like I do it in the morning or just one at night, but I won't go to bed without walking for 60 minutes. It's wonderful and like I said, it's the support of the family. My kids say like, "Mom, we need to exercise as a family," and I have participated in one marathon. Of course, it was a one mile marathon ... No, two miles. I'm sorry. I was the last one and my son walked with me because I was just too ... I couldn't do it, I mean ... and I told him, "Am I the last one?" He said, "Ah, I don't know," and I say, "So that means, yes, I'm the last person."
By the time, I finished, I went over the line everybody was, "Yay," like, "Oh." After two years without being able to walk and not being able to walk for an hour, I'm so blessed. It's just taking baby steps, the support of the family, and of course, when they say, "Where there is a will, there is a way." I do the treadmill every day and I love it. I enjoy this, all these conversations. I will have those new resources on the Blind Alive. I have never heard of those, so I'm going to try those. Thank you so much.
Steve K.: Oh, it's certainly a pleasure and do you mind if I follow up with a question. I mean, I think you're so right. It's so easy for us to tell ourselves, there's always something else that we have to do. There's no time or to throw a barrier in front of ourselves. I'm just kind of curious, did you find that there were any special accommodations or was particularly difficult getting back into exercising, as someone who's blind?
Macarena: Of course, I had to mark my treadmill. My husband helped me mark it. Very simple, up and down. I know how to move it and this was the biggest challenge, because my husband said, "No, I'm not going to buy you a treadmill, because you're not going to use it. You've never used it, so no." I had to save for it because I was like, "Okay, I save. It's my money. I have to use it now."
I marked that and I put it in a spot. My husband, he's very wonderful. I also paint and do a lot of crafts and stuff, so on the garage, we closed it down so it's my room. Everything is like ... it's mine. Nobody goes in there except me, so I know exactly that it's time for me to get there, how to work it. Yeah, I had some training with him helping me because I would forget, because it was too many buttons and I will press the wrong thing and, of course, he was scared that I might fall down or whatever, because like I said, I have a lot of balance issues, because of my neuropathy.
I do walk holding onto the rails, because if I don't, and then I have like a chair next to it. Like I go down and I sit there for a while and until, you know, and then I have a Google Home that I can just broadcast, "Hey, come and get me, I need help," or whatever. Yeah, maybe it's pretty accessible so that if I need anything, you know ... and I have little things to eat there, like in case my sugar goes down and so, yeah, I have all the accommodations I need. Like I said, I have no excuse not to do it, so yeah.
Steve K.: It sounds like you've made quite a commitment to this and you're following through. I just love the fact that it sounds like there was just a little bit of an accommodation that was made to the treadmill and that was it.
I know I'm going to step on a couple of toes here, but I'm going to go ahead and do it. I think it's so easy for us to talk ourselves into thinking that a vision loss is going to make this even more difficult than it already is. I mean, frankly, I think a lot of times, it's difficult to get started with or without a vision loss, then if you that, you just kind of throw that into the same bucket of barriers that's preventing you from just going. It just sounds like it really wasn't that big an issue for you and I just love to hear that.
Macarena: No, it was just a little hard. Yeah, and also I want to add, all this started, too, because I'd work. I worked for the Texas Workforce Solutions, we have services. It all started that they had a challenge, you know, the Get Fit Texas Challenge.
Steve K.: Yeah.
Macarena: I said, "I'm going to do it." I did that just for the four hours. I told my husband, "You know after I get those four hours, you're going to take me to the beach," and we're very close to South Padre Island, about an hour. He says, "Sure, I'll take us there." I said, "No, I meant Cancun. I didn't mean South Padre Island, so if I this, you're taking me to Cancun for my four hours," you know and so since I got that...
Elyse H.: Oh, I like that.
Macarena: Yes, yeah, he hasn't taken me but, you know, he take me to, a different beach, but yeah. It's been a good effort. My kids, my husband have been very supportive. Like I said, my husband started running and Saturday, he went to Mexico City to run the Father's Day Marathon. We just started because they knew I needed to change my life. They were there to help me do it. That's been a big blessing, too.
Steve K.: I'm also hearing that you're just having a lot of fun with this and I love that. I just love your enthusiasm. It's terrific and I hope it's contagious.
Macarena: Yeah, well, I hope so. It's contagious, my kids, you know, they're like ... Everybody is on their own thing but we're all exercising at the same time and we're eating healthier, drinking a lot of smoothies, energy drinks. We've just changed totally, you know. No more cookies or cakes or breads or no pasta, no carbs in the house. It's just fruits, vegetables, everything healthy. Even like, we're saving a lot of money. We don't go out a lot. We just cook at home and it's a lot cheaper and we get to spend more time together.
Steve K.: Sure.
Macarena: It's been a wonderful change in our lives and again, I didn't think I could do it and it's contagious like you said, because now our friends, our neighbors. Like there's walk like a 10K or whatever, cause, we all join and we all go and we just have a feast doing those things. It's been great.
Steve K.: That is fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing. I really appreciate it.
Macarena: Thank you and I'm sure there's other people who want to share. Thank you so much.
Steve K.: You bet.
Macarena: I can go on forever.
Elyse H.: That's some great encouragement. We have another hand up here. Monica, I will go ahead, unmute you.
Monica: Hi, I'm from Texas, also, the Houston area and I wanted to say that I appreciate this session because I hadn't been working out and it's getting ready to do something.
Elyse H.: Okay.
Monica: Crazy stuff is I have equipment here at home and I have an elliptical and I go on it sometimes but in terms of the rebounder, I can tell you that if you jump on the rebounder, I can only last like 30 seconds, because your heart rate just starts going quick. It's just good to be with you all. My plan is to work out in the morning, right when I get up, because then I can do it and it's done.
Elyse H.: Do you have a particular sport or activity that you like?
Monica: I'll probably go on my elliptical and then go on the rebounder, not on the same day, but maybe alternate and start slow.
Elyse H.: Very good, yeah. That sounds great and that's what we're here for. Just getting up and taking those first few steps.
Steve K.: You know, hearing your story, Monica, just made me wonder and actually, I'm thinking about the one woman who shared earlier and asked, "How do I get started?" For anybody who plans on being here regularly and, of course, I hope everyone is, but you know, I would encourage people maybe to make a bit of a commitment that we could hold you to and provide a little bit of encouragement as you move along or it might be the case that two weeks down the road, you realize, "Oh, gee, I want to participate, but I really don't want to let people know I haven't done anything," and that gets you up and going.
Steve K.: Monica, do you think that you'll be a participant in July?
Monica: I hope so.
Steve K.: Can we check in with you to see how things are going?
Steve K.: Yes, all right, that's terrific.
Elyse H.: Brave soul. All right.
Steve K.: I was just going to say, that's very brave.
Elyse H.: I like that. Keeping you uncomfortable.
Steve K.: I'm excited.
Monica: I think what happens is if you don't ... I notice it, like when I have something to ... Like a goal, then it's hard to get motivated, because like I told you, I have the equipment here, but now that I have people that I'm accountable to then I can tell you, "Hey, I did it," you know, a couple of times this week, more next week, how many minutes I did and stuff like that.
Steve K.: I think what Lisa said, too, is so important, particularly for beginners. Really, it really doesn't matter so much how you begin, how many repetitions you begin with, how you look when you're starting. None of that really matters. I think the important thing is just to either make a commitment to yourself or maybe to some friends or neighbors that you're going to do this and start slow and just work on managing that commitment.
Elyse H.: To piggyback that idea, so our group can help with that, but if you have a friend or even a workout buddy, really is a good motivator that you both schedule, either go into the gym together on a certain day and time or meeting somewhere to do a walk together. Now you have that built in accountability that, "Oh, not only am I letting myself down if I don't do it or I push it off to the side, but now my friend's counting on me, too, so I'd better get my shoes on."
I've found using a workout buddy system is a really good motivator for me on those days that it just, "Ugh, I really don't want to do this." So to try and meet a friend and makes it a little bit easier.
We have another hand up here and my chat is blinking at me. Let's see, over in the chat somebody, Debbie wrote in that she likes to do chair yoga. All right, another good starter, beginner with doing the chair yoga and then you can also move it to, I guess, more traditional yoga. That's more different poses in that. Great idea. Thank you for sharing, Debbie.
Steve K.: There was a yoga video and I'm not sure that I have access to the link right now, but it was a gentleman who was doing a yoga and he, too, was blind. He was doing some specific yoga poses and you can find this on YouTube and I'll be sure to find it and put it in the show notes so we can look it up later, but I think that he also mentioned some chair yoga as well. What I really about it is he was quite descriptive about some of the yoga poses and that, too, may be a really good place for someone to start because you can start quite easily and start right at home.
Elyse H.: Definitely. We have another hand up. Yvonne, I'll go ahead an unmute you.
Yvonne: Hi, can you hear me okay?
Elyse H.: Yes, I can hear you.
Yvonne: I just wanted to say, I got both of my hips replaced last year, one in September and one in December. Then I had physical therapy. Like I really hadn't walked without a walker for several years and so now, I'm trying to walk. I just do, I pace my house. I get from the front door to the backdoor, but like I get involved with the computer so much.
Right now, I'm making journals. I try to get up a few times during the day, but ... I had physical therapy and my aunt took me the first time. I always wondered why she said, she got her steps in and everything. Now I actually have a pedometer app on my phone and I find it very addictive.
Elyse H.: Do you happen to know the name of that app?
Yvonne: I have Pacer.
Elyse H.: Pacer, okay.
Yvonne: Yeah, P-A-C-E-R. It tells you how many calories you burned, how many steps, how far it was. There's a lot on there, but that's the only part I really use right now. Right now, I'm just up to 1500 steps a day, which is over half a mile, I suppose.
I've thought about getting a treadmill but the way I walk, I only walk five minutes at a time. I didn't think a treadmill would be good for me, but I really like the idea of the rebounder. I think I'm going to check into that, because I could just go from my computer over to the rebounder and jump on that or do something on that.
Are there directions with the rebounder or do you just walk or jump?
Steve K.: I'm not familiar with the rebounder at all but I'm curious. You've probably been working with a physical therapist with the hip replacements and it seems to me that would be a good resource to check in with to find out if that is an appropriate exercise to do with the new hips.
Yvonne: Yeah, I'm done with physical therapy, but I became really good friends with my physical therapist because I had at home physical therapy. I can text her and I'll find out but that's good thing. Yeah, that's a good ...
Elyse H.: Go ahead.
Steve K.: I was going to say, I just love the fact that you had that kind of a surgery and you've worked your way back to 1500 steps a day and it sounds like you just keep creeping up a little bit. You must have started with much fewer steps than that and worked your way up.
Yvonne: Yeah, at first, I never thought that I would hit a thousand steps a day. I go out now like to the doctor or something, and I'll be over 2,000 steps.
Steve K.: That is incredible. That's great.
Yvonne: Right now, I'm getting off the cane and my birthday is next Tuesday and I haven't been outside to walk around in several years, so I'm a little bit afraid about that. My aunt's going to take me and my sister out for our birthday dinner. We're going to leave early so then we can walk from my house down to the corner and back. At least, I have somebody to walk with me the first time I'm out with just my white cane.
Steve K.: That certainly makes sense, sure.
Yvonne: Yeah, and I haven't mapped out where I want to walk, because the sidewalks around where I live are all messed up, they're all different sizes and...
Elyse H.: Yeah, I understand that. Going back to your app called Pacer, there was a question in the chat about, "Are Fitbits accessible?" Can you talk a little bit how you access your Pacer to learn about the calories and steps and to track those?
Yvonne: It's an app. I just tell Siri to open Pacer and then I swipe down to where it says, "Calories."
Elyse H.: Okay, okay.
Yvonne: My aunt... Honestly, I don't know how accessible it is to set it up because we were sitting at physical therapy, because she has a different app and this is just the one that I found. Then since we thought I was going to be called back pretty soon, I was, like, "Can you set this up for me?"
I think it's really basic. I haven't really encountered much that I could not figure out.
Elyse H.: That's good to hear and then someone else wrote in that if the Fitbits on your arm, it's not accessible but once you connect to a phone or an iPad, then it is. You're able to see all your information.
Steve K.: That's good advice, sure.
Yvonne: Yeah, I just keep my phone in my pocket all the time. It's so funny, because if I start walking around, like if I go into the kitchen, I don't have my phone, I'll come back out to get my phone. I mean, at least, it's a good addiction. I never ever liked to walk or do any kind of exercises before my surgeries. Now I have energy.
Elyse H.: That sounds good, right. You've started from new hips and learned how to walk again and now are going and going.
Steve K.: Thank you so much for sharing your story.
Yvonne: Thank you. I just found out about this group today, too.
Elyse H.: Wonderful timing.
Yvonne: I know.
Elyse H.: It's meant to be.
Yvonne: I'm like, this is the one that I really wanted to participate in.
Elyse H.: Great. We have another couple of hands raised here. We'll go. Richard, I'll unmute you, go ahead.
Richard: Okay, thank you. I just wanted to say that I've been sick a lot this year and one of the things that has helped me is just having my stretching material. The tendency is in your mouth but I think to get stretching materials from your doctor and he can stretch this material. It's kind of a firm, kind of a rubber, plastic kind of material. You get as long as you need it and then you tie the ends off.
Even if sitting in a chair and if you're just beginning exercise, just sitting in a chair or standing and using this stretching material, it'll help you begin to stretch your muscles before you take it off. Any doctor's office would have some and also once you get past that, then if you can, find a friend that you can walk with or a friend that you can exercise with. As long as you don't do something all by yourself at first. Start out slow and I just want to be in a group, that's like you.
Elyse H.: It's a great idea and I'm sure you're at your doctor's talking to them about your activity level.
Elyse H.: While you're getting ready to start, so they may give you some recommendations or the stretchy bands you can use at home. That sounds very simple and easy to follow.
Richard: Another thing I wanted to say, you could get books from BARD online or on your phone that talk about yoga or exercise and it's very simple, very well described. They have books on yoga and whatever kind of exercise you want to do. They actually describe each step and each stretch and all you need to do so BARD mobile is another good. Your talking library is another good resource where you find ways to exercise.
Steve K.: That is a great suggestion. I'm sure that there are plenty of books out there that you can check into and also books that you could listen to, perhaps, while you're doing your exercising as well.
Elyse H.: Very good, I think we have time for maybe one or two more comments here. This has been great. The next person up is phone number starts with 956. I'll go ahead unmute you.
Macarena: Hi, this is Macarena again from Texas. I just wanted to expand on the Fitbit. It's a wonderful tool. It is accessible with the iPhone and it's very encouraging because it will vibrate every hour to remind you that you have to do at least 250 steps per hour. When you reach your goal it will, "Yay, you've met your goal of the day," and so you can also check how much time you slept, which is also wonderful, because you're trying to stay healthy, so that you're sleeping enough time.
You can count your calories but it is totally accessible. It's wonderful and if you get not the newest models, but the oldest ones, you can get them cheaper. I do recommend everybody to get those Fitbits because it will count your steps, how many calories you burn, how many active minutes you have. It's a wonderful encouragement and it'll keep you on top of your activities. That's what I wanted to share.
Steve K.: Thank you. It's great to hear that the Fitbit really is accessible with the phone. That's good to know.
Elyse H.: Great. Sally, you're next in line. I'll go ahead unmute you.
Sally: Hi, it sounds like in the getting started theme we're talking about physical logistics, but also motivation and I wanted to quickly touch an idea. Some people will think of exercise as something to be overcome or checked off a list and maybe don't value the kind of exercise that's fun. There's sometimes an idea that if you're having fun, you're not doing it right.
I wanted to assure people that exercise is fun, can still be incredibly good quality, and along with social support from family or accountability, having fun can be a great motivator. If you can find a form of exercise that you actively enjoy for whatever reason, you're much more likely to stick with it and enjoyment could be hanging out with people you like. It could be getting away from people.
Sometimes, when I'm running, when I actually started again during college, I was incredibly stressed by some situations at school and kind of had it one day and was like, "You know what, I'm ride off a rail trail and I can't look at this paper any longer." I grabbed my guide dog and we've never tried it and we just went out and I did have some background in running from middle school, but I hadn't done it for six, eight years and it was cathartic. That was enough to keep me going.
Whatever form of enjoyment you find will help you and don't ever question that if it's enjoyable, it's not valuable.
I've now done a lot of distance running and I've done mountain races, three half-marathons and the other thing that I would say is even I sometimes will not get my butt out to go for a run unless I'm meeting someone and I go, "Well, if I don't show up, then I'm kind of letting them down." After the run, I'm like, "You know, really glad I got out here. I wouldn't have done it on my own, but I feel so much better for having been out here."
It's not just beginners who struggle. It's not a personal flaw if it's difficult. It's just human nature, no shame in it.
Steve K.: It sounds like you're kind of easy on yourself, too. You've got those weak moments where you don't follow through. You're a little bit forgiving.
Sally: You have to be. We are human. We have good days and bad days.
Steve K.: That's so true.
Sally: I think as a society we're very quick to characterize ourselves, particularly around exercises. "I'm bad at it," or "I'm not disciplined enough." "I'm not good at being healthy." It is about doing it consistently, but that consistency comes one day at a time.
Steve K.: That's so true.
Sally: The nice thing about a routine is that one day will not make or break it.
Steve K.: Thank you, Sally, appreciate it. I think that that's really good advice.
Sally: Yeah, I'm really enjoying these calls. Thank you for having them.
Steve K.: Thank you.
Elyse H.: Right, a couple more people here. One is the area code 480.
Kayla: Hi, my name is Kayla. Yeah, can you hear me?
Elyse H.: Oh, yes, there you are. Hi.
Steve K.: Yes.
Kayla: Okay. I'm in Arizona and my favorite workout is hula-hooping. I have a two-pound hula-hoop that I hoop with and ... Can you hear me okay?
Elyse H.: Can you describe a little bit ... Yup, can you describe a little bit of what your hula-hoop workout looks like?
Kayla: I just hula-hoop. It's a weighted hula-hoop that weighs two pounds. It has foam all the way around the hula-hoop for padding and I just, like, you know, when you're five and you hula-hoop.
Elyse H.: Okay.
Kayla: I do that. Then I've gone to the point where I can hula-hoop and walk in place at the same time.
Steve K.: Wow.
Elyse H.: Oh, wow.
Kayla: I enjoy doing it. It's fun, and then I also have a MaxiClimber that I use. That's what I do and then I set an alarm in my phone to go off every day to work out, but I don't do it every day. I'll be honest. I don't do it every day, but I do have an alarm and I have it upbeat music that goes off when it goes off and like, "Hey, work it, girl." That's what it's called. Because you can name the alarm, but I've noticed, because I just did this two weeks ago and I would say I've worked out three or four times a week, rather than once or twice a week since I put the alarm in my phone. It’s like, "Hey, remember, you're supposed to do this."
Steve K.: That is a great idea.
Kayla: Yeah, but this little thing is fun. I enjoy doing it. It makes me feel like a little kid again and then I also have a jump rope and the handles also are weighted so like as you're moving your arms to make the motions to do the jump rope, you actually have weights in your hands. I think they're a pound each per hand. Then you're like jumping and then you can do the crisscross that gives more of an arm workout with that weight in it.
Those are just a couple and I got all of it at ... the hula-hoop and the weighted jump rope I got at Walmart and I think the hula-hoop was like $15, $20, so it's not a huge investment.
Steve K.: Thank you so much for sharing that. I think, Elyse, we are probably out and over time here at this point.
Elyse H.: Unfortunately, right.
Steve K.: Yeah, I want to apologize for anyone that we did not get to and I just want to remind everybody that we really are very interested in hearing from you, so I'm going to give you my email address. It is stevenk and that is S-T-E-V-E-N-K, @Hadley.edu
We want to thank everybody and, Elyse, would you be kind enough to share your email address as well?
Elyse H.: Yes, my email is E-L-Y-S-E-H, @Hadley.edu. First name with the last initial of my last name, so firstname.lastname@example.org.
Steve K.: Feel free to email either one of us with your thoughts or your suggestions for water sports and really, we're open to topics past that.
Again, thanks so much everybody for participating in Get Up and Go and get out there and get going.