The Self Care Corner: Let’s Get Up and Move

Barbara Bredell-Searle

Question: Have you visited the Pennsylvania Key website to register for professional development courses? If your answer is yes, you may have seen opportunities to register for professional development courses such as Moving and Grooving, Music and Movement, Movement and Menus or Let’s Move. You can find other selections of trainings to help you as the educator get children to move for their own health… But, what about you?

Let me first share with you the reason why I am writing specifically about movement.

During the early part of the COVID pandemic (March 2020), I had COVID and became very ill. I spent over a month at home in bed recuperating. When I was able to get out of bed, I was physically weak and drained. Every step I took I was out of breath and exhausted. My energy was just depleted. This fatigue came from being in bed for that amount of time and not moving my body and muscles. It took me 25 minutes to walk from my bedroom and down a flight of stairs that only has 14 steps. Yes, you read correctly. This slow movement and the lack of breath was the “aftermath” of having COVID. I became very frustrated and at times depressed. My primary doctor instructed me that I would need to get up every day and try to move for at least five minutes every hour. This was very difficult for me, but each day was a little better.

As time went by, I was able to walk downstairs. The next task as instructed by my doctor was to go outdoors and start with a 5-minute walk and then increase the time each day until I got to an hour. This task was very difficult for me. Within 3 minutes I was out of breath, exhausted, and frustrated. I had to use an inhaler to catch my breath. It took me months to move around but by the end of August I was able to walk outdoors for 1 hour only stopping a few times to catch my breath, and I have been moving ever since.

Now, lets get back to you.

Movement is very important even if you are healthy, not feeling well, or at any spot in between. Everyone needs to get up and move. You don’t have to join a gym to move – just get up and move. Find an activity that you enjoy that would get your body moving. The following are movement activities that you may want to look into and then try at least one.

  • Walking can increase your cardiovascular and pulmonary (heart and lung) fitness and reduce risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Yoga can improve your strength, balance, and flexibility.
  • Cycling can increase muscle strength and flexibility and strengthen bones.
  • Running can help build strong bones and strengthen muscles.
  • Swimming can tone your muscles and build strength and help to maintain a healthy heart and lungs.

Over the last year, I implemented walking and other movement activity into my daily schedule. The knowledge that I learned about my own body and the importance of movement has been life changing.

Since I am not ready to go back to the gym, I turn my Smart television on to the YouTube channel and follow Leslie Sansone’s 1 Mile Walk. These walking segments are very easy with only 4 basic steps that you can do anywhere in your home from 10 minutes to 30 minutes a day. 

I do hope that the next time you get your children in your program up and moving you will also remember that moving is important for you too.

Tags : movementSelf CareWalking

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