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    Necessity Is the Mother of Adaptation

    By Cinder Ernst–

    I discovered a useful and appropriate workout video a few weeks ago that I really love. It’s called “Intu Flow” by Scott Sonner. You can find the program free on YouTube. Start with the beginner series. Considering that I’m headed for a hip replacement in a few weeks and can barely walk, I’m thrilled to find a new workout and one that feels this good on my body.

    I have been challenged with hip arthritis for more than 20 years. I have always looked for and found ways to mitigate the discomfort and keep my mobility. I am continually following the trail of what’s working, what feels better and/or what can I do next. I am going to present some adaptations I’ve found and implemented along the way. Maybe you will find something useful for yourself.

    In 1992 I tore my knee up skiing and had my ACL replaced. During recovery from that surgery, I experienced my first bout of hip dysfunction. My knee did great but my hip was killing me; so, my surgeon sent me to a physical therapist who was known as the “hip person.” My hip was stuck out of position. The PT helped to correct the stuckness, gave me a brace and self-correcting exercises to do. I love the idea of self-correcting exercises and I love doing them, knowing I am helping myself. I still to this day use those exercises. Your first take away—find a good PT and follow through. Eventually the corrective exercises become preventive exercises.

    Some years later, walking on pavement became painful so I tried a shoe called Z-Coil. They were crazy looking shoes but I experienced so much relief that I lived in them. I had athletic shoes, hiking boots, dress boots and sandals all by Z-Coil. The shoes became hard to come by so I weaned myself off them. Recently I have been wearing shoes called Gravity Defyers and they have helped me to be more comfortable walking with severe hip arthritis. Gravity Defyers can help with foot, knee, back and hip pain. Second take away—find the right shoe and wear it.

    Through the years, driving has been mighty uncomfortable on my hips. I’ve been using the “AppleRound Air Stability Wobble Cushion” for about 10 years. You can use this on any chair or in your car. The wobble cushion helps to relieve the stiffness from prolonged sitting by encouraging small movements. I also use cruise control whenever possible to avoid stress on my right knee and to have more freedom to fidget. I produced a cassette tape called “Commuter Aerobics” years ago. If you’d really like to fidget in the car, email me and I’ll send you an MP3. Third take away—sitting is hard on your body; find ways to move.

    Your last take away is to adapt your workouts with as little kicking and screaming as possible. I love to box, but a few years ago my knee (that same knee I told you about at the beginning) became a problem. I kept boxing. I could not let go. Next my left hip (the one getting replaced next month) started to go out every time I threw a hook. I so did not want to stop boxing, but I had to. I moped around for a while and then I discovered Bikram yoga.

    I’ve never liked yoga, but I was so happy to sweat. I learned to appreciate the practice and got a lot of benefit. Last summer my hip started to feel worse when I did the yoga so I stopped going to the studio and did what I could at home. Then about 6 weeks ago, my hip would no longer bear my weight so I was doing stationary bike and going out for crutching walks while I waited to get my surgery date. Then I found the Scott Sonner program (see the first paragraph) and I love doing it. Your last take away—keep looking for an adaptation; your body wants to move no matter what.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. Her book, “Easy Fitness for the Reluctant Exerciser” ( http://cinderernst.com/easy-fitness-book/ ), is available in paperback and E-book. She specializes in fitness and rehab for plus-size clients, but her stress-free approach is suitable for all. Find out more at http://cinderernst.com