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    Focus for Less Knee Pain

    By Cinder Ernst–

    In the last three years I’ve had a lot of leg drama including cancer in my thigh and groin, a hip replacement and a complicated knee. I’ve managed beautifully, learned some great focusing techniques and grew my fitness coach tool kit. Now I am even more valuable to my clients struggling with physical discomfort and chronic pain.

    Take away #1: Silver linings are everywhere.

    In May, I grew my professional influence by offering a complementary 3-day training to my online community utilizing my newer skills and my 30 years of fitness experience. The training was positioned to attract plus size women with knee pain into my new program, but it was such a hit for everyone that I thought I’d share it with you. The training is called the 3 Day Knee Enlivenment.

    Why enlivenment? Online coaches everywhere offer free “challenges” to help their people to move forward on a specific subject. Challenges help these coaches to attract clients. I, however, don’t like the word or the idea of a challenge when it comes to helping plus size folks with knee pain. It seems like there is already enough challenge in the situation. Challenge also feels like it creates more resistance. Instead, I offer three points of focus that will get around resistance and put you on a path to stronger, happier knees. So, the 3 Day Knee Enlivenment was born.

    Take away #2: If you’re facing something hard, hitting it head on may not be the best idea.

    If you want happier knees, you may need to get stronger. If you want to get stronger you probably have to exercise (not as much as you think, but still … ). Exercise is hard, overwhelming and frustrating for many people. Here is a focus that can help you to circumvent exercise resistance and make way for knee strengthening small steps.

    Considering fitness, you may think and feel like you’re not doing enough or anything at all. In Day 1 Knee Enlivenment we looked at where you are already moving in your life. Experts say that everything counts but it doesn’t count if you don’t count it. I don’t mean count by numbers, but give yourself credit. Do you have stairs in your house or the subway? Do you walk to work, at work and/or to the bus? Do you walk your dog? Do you love museums and wander around there? Do you get up and down from a chair or toilet frequently? Do you shop? Take credit for and appreciate the moving that you are already doing. Aim for feeling satisfied and readying yourself to do more.

    Take away #3 Giving yourself credit for the ways in which your body is already moving around will soothe exercise resistance and set you up for next steps.

    For Day 2, create an evidence log. I’m working with a business coach right now and she has us do an evidence log every morning of what’s going right. (You can get her app, “Speed Dial the Universe.” I highly recommend it.) When you look for evidence of things going well and find it, soon you see evidence everywhere that things are going well. I recommend that you do not make this about your knees or your body or health to start. Look for easy things. Maybe you hit more green lights today while you were driving or found a quarter on the ground. Look around; things are going your way. 

    Take away #4; You will find what you are looking for.

     Ten years ago, when I was in life coach school, I mentioned to my mentor that my hips hurt all of the time. She asked, “Do they hurt right now?” I paused, and well, they didn’t hurt right then. I guess they don’t hurt all of the time. I had never taken the time to notice when my hips did not hurt. When your knee hurts, it gets your attention. Of course, it does. You probably don’t have any attention on when that knee doesn’t hurt. For Day 3, notice the times that your knee (or any part) doesn’t hurt.

    Take away #5: Expand your noticing of knee comfort or ok-ness.

    Follow doctor’s orders and always have a plan for literally moving forward with your fitness goals. We all experience setbacks. Just don’t let them take over what in reality may be a much more hopeful situation than you at first might think.

    Cinder Ernst, Medical Exercise Specialist and Life Coach Extraordinaire, helps reluctant exercisers get moving with safe, effective and fun programs. She specializes in fitness and rehab for plus-size clients, but her stress-free approach is suitable for all. Find out more at