Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Getting back to Curves

This morning I'm lying in bed and blogging. I need a "rest day" because my shoulder is hurting.

The past two days I've worked out at my local Curves gym. I had stopped while I settled back into part-time work. While I had yoga workouts on the wiifit, a treadmill I didn't use, a bike I've discovered I just can't balance on, I found I just wasn't getting any exercise.

Exercise is always an issue with chronic illness. It takes up precious energy, and energy needs to be rationed. But it also helps to regulate blood sugar and mood. It helps to control weight. And it helps keep joints and muscles working.

I like the Curves workout because it has everything: strength training, cardio, and stretching. That's all three areas of exercise covered in a workout of about half an hour. The other thing is that I can do it at my own level. Our local Curves owner Sue, and her staff, are all incredibly understanding and they know there are days when I'll just "go through the motions" rather than push myself. They're OK with that because they know about my condition, and that some days just turning up is more effort for me than an intense workout is for some of the fitter ladies.

The other thing about Curves is that it's full of women like me - not necessarily lupus patients - but women who are there because they want to improve their health. It's not a competition to be the fittest, or the best built. There's no mirrors on the walls so we don't have to see which bits are wobbling from all directions - and no windows that passers-by can look through to watch us.

There's also this cool little computer program called "Curves Smart" - which means we all have little smart card tags that tell the machines who we are - and a computer measures what we're doing compared with what we're capable of - there's instant feedback on the energy we're using, our range of motion on the equipment, and heart rate.

It is a commitment of money, and money is hard to come by. But it's less expensive than a number of other gyms around, another thing that attracted me.

If you go to Curves at Keperra, you'll know me. I'm the woman who winces every time she has to move her left shoulder.

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