Over the course of 2015, I vowed to live healthier. I got out, started exercising, and lost 50 lbs. It’s the smallest I had been in years. Over the winter, I kind of fell off the wagon. Birth of a new baby, lack of sleep, etc. I have since gained back 20 of the 50 lbs I lost. I didn’t really notice it until my clothes that I bought after the weight loss began getting tight. So I told myself I was jumping back into it full force.
WRONG. I jumped right into one of my Insanity DVDs, and ended up exacerbating an old ankle injury. Tack on working full time as a staff nurse, my ankle was the least of my worries. Trying to work while accommodating the pain has led to an increase in my already tight legs, hips, and back. In the past few days, I have been in constant pain from my legs to my shoulders. Getting up to work out at 5am has been greeted with my body screaming back at me in vehement protest. So exercise has been going by the wayside.
I knew I had to do something, but didn’t want to sit around. I had let my gym membership lapse because I wasn’t going, and wasn’t sure if I was able to have the time to recommit. So where to go from here. I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts the other day, and the guest was the show host’s personal trainer. On of the cohosts asked him about what to do when nursing an injury particularly an ankle. The trainer said balance training like yoga.
YOGA???? I am not doing yoga. Do I look like a hippie? I mentioned it to my wife who partake in yoga from time to time and told me that I should give it a try, and that I would enjoy it. But there is no possible way to lose weight doing yoga right? A quick Google search showed that in fact it can help with weight loss, as well as trimming up the midsection. So I thought, what the hell. I have nothing to lose, and the pain is getting to the point where it is affecting my work. Here lately it takes me walking the length of the entire floor before my ankle releases from its previous seized up position.
I had done several searches on YouTube to find something that would be effective and not too much “channel your inner lotus flower” vibe. So I typed in “yoga for men”. I immediately was brought to the channel of a gentleman from Florida with shorts, a T-shirt, and a buzz cut. Ok, this is good start. He’s fully clothed, and no pony tail. The videos were also shot in a park, not some random sweat lodge. Further investigation revealed this guy had over 500 yoga videos on his channel and added more weekly. Ok dude, I’ll give ya a shot.
So today after work, I went to the grocery store to pick up baby formula and something for dinner. My wife had the kids out on a day trip and hadn’t returned home yet. I popped dinner in the oven and started up this guy’s YouTube channel. I proceeded to lay on the floor of the living room, and while combating my dog who thought it was play time, I started my first yoga workout. The video lasted 20 minutes in its entirety, and during the course of it, listening to this guy, I realized he was a man’s man who’s only motivation was to help people. I enjoyed the banter that he would give between instruction and his witty banter. At one point, he said that many of us probably have an expression on our faces likened to having our toenails pulled off. Assuring that this was normal and ok gave me the sense of satisfaction that I was doing this goofy stuff right.
Upon completion the thoughts running through my head were still filled with skepticism. It didn’t feel like I had DONE anything. How is this going to get rid of my pain. I got up on my feet and went to check on dinner. WOAH…….. Am I standing up straighter? I haven’t felt this loose in years! My pain is reduced, my range of motion has increased, and I FEEL better. Folks, I am here to tell you that I am a convert. As I sit here and type this I can feel my back, legs, and core absolutely on FIRE that I normally don’t have unless I did a full ab routine. So to all those nurses out there who are having joint pain, back pain, hip pain, etc, and going to work just makes the problem worse, I’m here to tell you to give it a try. You’ll be surprised.