Wednesday, April 8, 2015

ALS "Move Along" (ALS Exercise Tips)

Our bodies need to move, and for most folks just taking care of normal daily activities meets their body’s need for movement. But for those of us with ALS (or related conditions), “normal daily activity” just isn't possible anymore.

Gone are the days of tossing a load of laundry in the washing machine, on the way out to water plants in the garden followed by toting a bag of garbage out to the curb. Most likely, we PALS watch someone else do all the moving. And that’s not good.

We need to build moving into our day.

I’m not talking about exercise, I’m talking about moving. To me, exercise is a special time of day (or week), when maybe for a half-hour or more the goal is to increase strength, flexibility and/or heart-lung function. It’s a set time used to learn a new physical skill, improve athletic performance or just let off a little steam. On the other hand, moving includes all the physical activity that goes into having a busy day.

Unfortunately, the symptoms and progression of ALS accumulate to prevent movement. Weakened muscles cause us to move less which causes more muscles to weaken. It’s referred to as “disuse atrophy” - - a vicious cycle that opens the door to a cascade of additional negative health conditions.

We PALS need to build moving into our day - - simple, functional, playful, easy moving.

Have you ever watched young children on the playground during recess? They’re not standing around doing arm curls or down on the ground counting push-ups and sit-ups.  They’re busy swinging their arms, twisting their bodies, twirling and kicking in the air - - just moving.

We PALS need to take our own “recess breaks.” Breaks from the hours spent sitting and watching others move.

I take "recess breaks," and have been for the past five years that I've been living with ALS. As a result, I feel more alert, am engaged in life and have energy that lasts all day long.

While we're moving our muscles our brains release several chemicals that make us feel better: dopamine, contributes to feelings of happiness, satisfaction and pleasure. Serotonin and endorphins are mood enhancers and tension relievers. Moving our muscles increases blood circulation, deepens our breathing and stimulates digestion. We even sleep better!

Every day, at least once every hour, for just 5-6 minutes we all need to stop sitting still - - and just move!

And if right now you’re in agreement with me but drawing a complete blank as to how to start or what to do - - I have a suggestion.

MOVE ALONG with me!

Click on the video below to join me. We’ll move together!       

Having trouble viewing the video? Use this YouTube link:

Dagmar Munn
ALS and Wellness Blogger














"See physical fitness as a practice, not a goal."

Terri Trespicio

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for the "NEW" exercise video that works for those of us that can't move like we use to.....i was right there with you getting my much needed exercise in for the day.....going to make it an appointed daily routine.....always nice to have someone to hang out with, its so easy to sit back and not get to it....but your video motivated me to jump in right along with you, girl...some of us can't do the exercise video of today, they are impossible, so why try.....so it is with gratitude that i thank you for making this one...carry on exercise guru, we are here waiting your, "lets do it ladies".

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  2. I really enjoy this video! I have als and this is easy for me to do in my wheelchair.I am going to do these every day. Thank you

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    1. Great to learn that the video works for you! I'm planning to make a few more...so stay posted!

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