I’m pleased to be back on my regular routine at Paul Rutherford’s private gym. I had my seventieth birthday – and as though just as a reminder that I’m getting on a wee bit, I’ve started to have a lot of arthritic pain in my right leg. A few of you may have caught a glimpse of me limping around the West End. The exercise definitely helps so apart from looking a bit more svelte and feeling more flexible, that leg doesn’t give me quite as much gyp when I’m sticking with the exercise routine.
To tackle the problem from a different approach I picked up a wee book I saw in the library, ‘The Mindful Way – Pain Management by Dr Cheryl Rezek. On reading through the book it struck me that, without actually using the mindfulness label, a lot of what Paul had been passing onto me very much reflected similar ideas and approaches.
For example Rezek argues that: ’In the past people were told rest if, for example, they had backache. Now, however, the exact opposite has been found to be of particular importance,’ She goes on to point out the need to keep moving in order to keep muscles and joints in good health and so preventing muscle waste, poor circulation and stiffness. This is precisely they view Paul Rutherford takes and it seems to work.
I’m sitting around quite a bit but taking on board the tips that Paul has given me regarding keeping moving and drinking lots of water. I’m trying to develop good habits so when I’m sitting at the computer working for long periods I make a point of getting up out of my chair, having a stretch and walking to the kitchen to have a drink of water.
Another similarity I’ve noticed between Paul’s approach and Rezek’s ideas regarding ‘pain and movement’ is clearly reflected in the chapter of the book where an exercise regime is explained and illustrated. I noticed immediately that most of the exercises shown form part of the exercise programme Paul has devised for me. I’ve been amazed at how quickly I have been able to accomplish them with some ease and I’m certainly noticing the benefits.
Finally, something that both Paul and Dr Rezek emphasise is the importance of focusing on your breathing. In her book Dr Rezek explains how breathing plays a key role in the management of stress, which often goes hand in hand with pain. Paul also advocates focusing on your breathing and allowing this to happen in a natural, gentle way to ensure that you are as relaxed as possible. I think I’m getting better but I’ve noticed, as has he, that I have a tendency when I am concentrating to hold my breath – and this is just not the thing to do. The less tense you are the less you’re going to feel that pain.
So fingers crossed that by combining the mindfulness approach with my regular exercise routine, better eating habits and drinking gallons of water, I will gradually become lighter, fitter and pain free.
Contact Paul Rutherford, Private Personal Training: Email email@example.com
or telephone: 077 169 12968