Tag Archives: health

Health Perils of Working on the Web

Web design and development can be fairly glamorous. You’re creating and maintaining tons of web pages and graphics that other users reference and link to, all with just a few key presses and clicks. (Or, if you’re a designer like me and have to use Backspace or Undo a lot, there’s quite a few more key presses and clicks involved. 😛 ). And it’s quite an ego boost to learn that your page is getting views from other people; suddenly, you feel like your 15 minutes of fame have started.

Most people who aren’t in the business think of it as an “easy” career or hobby. All you’re doing is sitting in front of the computer typing, right? Most of the work is in your mind–how hard can that be?

The Health Risks

But web designers and developers, along with all the other jobs that involve sitting for long periods of time working on a computer, are putting themselves at risk for several health problems, including the following:

  • Stiffness/muscle pain in the neck and back
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Arthritis in the hands and wrists
  • Eye strain
  • Sedentary lifestyle, leading to possible heart and joint problems, obesity, diabetes, etc.

Of these problems, carpal tunnel and eye strain are the most work-endangering; when you can no longer type or read your screen without pain or problems, you will not be able to work as a web designer or developer anymore. I remember my grandmother suffering arthritis and carpal tunnel when I was a child–her hands were literally gnarled up so badly she could barely hold anything, and to try to grip anything was agony. Typing was completely out of her range of motion. And eye strain is no better; it can lead to the need for new glasses much faster than normal, and it can also affect your long-distance sight whether you’re far-sighted, near-sighted, or blessedly 20/20.

I’ve suffered a number of these health problems ever since college, when my computer use went way up and my walking went way down because of injury. The amount of neck stiffness and eye strain I had, especially in college, led to bad headaches (and still does on occasion). Sitting for 10 straight hours coding a website–not the smartest thing I ever did, for several reasons. xD And these days, I find my wrists are more often achy than not. I worry I’ll end up just like my Nannie, unable to even uncurl my fingers or bend my wrists without wincing.

I’ve also seen how my imposed sedentary lifestyle (part choice, part necessity) actually contributed to loss of flexibility in my injured joints, especially my knees. Now that I’ve been doing weekly Zumba classes, doing physical activity, I notice that my knee joints are feeling just a bit easier to move. If I had not started doing more physical activity, who knows where my stiff and sore knees would have landed me?

Avoiding These Health Problems

Thankfully, there are ways we can avoid these types of problems without having to permanently stop doing the design and development we love. Just a few small changes to how we work, and where we work, can save us doctor visits and even later surgery!

Easing Tired Eyes

  • Set a timer for 20 minutes. For every 20 minutes of internet work, look away from your screen for 20 seconds at something 20 feet away (I usually try to look out a window if I can). This is the old “20-20-20” rule, taught for years in school.
  • Use a gel eye mask that can be chilled in cold water, especially after you’ve been staring at the screen for a while. I find that this helps the puffiness around my eyes as well as indirectly calming itching and irritation from long staring at screens. Plus, it forces you to shut your eyes and reduces the sense of ambient light, which might just make it easier to rest!
  • Turn down the brightness on your computer screen just a touch–I find that slightly dimmer computer screens are easier on my eyes than working with it on full brightness. Also work in a room that has an equal amount of light as your screen if you can. Working in complete darkness staring at a bright computer screen, for some reason, drives my eyes bonkers.

Helping Stiff Muscles

  • Add something to the 20-20-20 rule by standing up and stretching every 20 minutes, while you’re looking away from your computer screen. Be sure that when you stretch, you let your head go back so that you’re looking at the ceiling, and your arms are stretched up above your head and somewhat behind you. This gets some of that tension out of your neck, shoulders, and back (where most of mine ends up, at least).
  • If you can’t afford to stand up or don’t want to, at least let your head tilt back so that you’re looking at the ceiling for at least 20-30 seconds. Sometimes I even do this at stoplights. 🙂
  • Massage the sides of your neck and down into your shoulders, rubbing in circles, if those muscles are beginning to get sore. Anti-inflammatory medicines like Advil and Aleve are also good for helping soreness.

Avoiding Carpal Tunnel/Arthritis

  • Before starting work, and every 30 minutes during work, do the wrist and hand exercises which are so excellently detailed on eatonhand.com, a site for helping patients prepare for, recover from, and avoid surgery on the hands and wrists.
  • Design your office space, especially your keyboard and mouse setup, so that your wrists don’t have to be positioned at weird angles. And you might not need those ubiquitous wrist rests, either. Check this WebMD article on office ergonomics for more information.
  • Simply take breaks from typing. Visit a site that requires no typing and mostly browsing with the mouse (with one hand), and let the other hand rest. After about 10 minutes, let the mouse-using hand rest and switch the mouse control to the other hand. It might be a little awkward to use the mouse with your non-dominant hand, but your dominant hand will thank you.

Getting a Little Bit More Active

  • For every hour you work on the computer, try getting just 10 minutes of exercise. Walk around the office, do a bit of housekeeping (sweeping and picking up trash helps the most, with all the bending)–anything that gets you moving for 10 minutes. Your eyes and hands will also thank you for being away from the productivity machine for a little while.
  • If you’ve got the money and space, invest in a treadmill desk (a less costly DIY version plan can be found here). This ingenious invention combines a fairly sizable workspace with an actual treadmill underneath you, forcing you to walk to stay close enough to your desk. I don’t know if this would actually work for me, but at least I wouldn’t be walking for nothing!
  • Fidget while you sit. Even just wiggling your toes or trotting your leg can be good to just keep blood flowing around faster than glacier speed. Just make sure it doesn’t disturb anyone else working near you, of course


Working as a web designer/developer doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your health. To be sure you can code happily ever after, you need to start now maintaining at least some healthy habits. After all, we webmasters don’t want to end up unable to type and unable to move from our chairs, right?

Wisdom Teeth and Headaches Gone

I had my wisdom teeth extracted on November 3rd…as in, 10 days ago.

I bet you’re wondering why you’ve seen so much more of me on the Internet since then, instead of seeing me drop off the face of the Internet. One reason: the headaches I have had for EIGHT MONTHS are finally gone.

Symptom: The Burning-Sensation Headache

I started having burning-sensation, throbbing headaches in my temples around April of 2011, and I thought it was just another one of my body’s quirks. Since I’ve suffered migraines, blood-pressure headaches, menstrual headaches, and tension headaches throughout much of my life, I figured this was just another headache to add to the mix.

But this type of headache was odd. It behaved somewhat like a migraine, except misplaced–it didn’t occur in my eye or in the veins in my forehead like all my other migraines, but it made me feel nauseous and sensitive to light, and left me with no energy. And yet, it behaved something like a tension or cluster headache, too; my neck and shoulders stayed tense all the time, and it felt as though the headache rocketed back and forth along the trigeminal nerve. But that wasn’t all: if I pressed a fingertip to the source of pain at my temple, I could feel what felt like a corded blood vessel, pulsing and pounding just like a blood-pressure headache. It seemed that this headache had multiple personality disorder.

I suffered these headaches, often up to 10 times a month for 2 or 3 days at a time, for seven months; they were untreatable by most medicines, so I had to suffer through them. By the time October rolled around, I had had inexplicable trouble sleeping (going to bed at 5 AM and waking up at 1 PM, anyone?) combined with the headaches, and all throughout the month of October I felt as if I was too tired to live my life anymore. Pain was constantly with me, in the burning of my temples, and my life had shrunk to what I could manage versus what I wanted to do.

The Health (and Dental) Epiphany

To add insult to injury, at the end of October, my bottom right wisdom tooth began to act up–it and its three brethren had been playing hide-and-seek with me since I was 20, painfully bursting through the gums over a period of weeks, staying out for a few months, and then partially covering themselves back over with gum tissue. I figured this was another episode of the same stuff, so I did nothing about it, just switched over to eating softer food for a few days until the gum quit complaining.

But that was the odd thing: it didn’t stop complaining. In fact, it got worse, so much so that my jaw ached and it caused another one of those burning-sensation, normal-life-ceasing headaches. In desperation, I called my dentist, and they scheduled me for an appointment later in the week.

When they saw me, they first did an X-ray to see what might be the trouble; the X-ray results came back a few minutes later, and the dentist (an old pharmacy-school friend of my parents’) said, “Looks like your wisdoms are infected.”

Come again? INFECTED? How the heck could TEETH become infected?

But infected they indeed were–he showed me on the X-ray where the infection in each wisdom tooth had eaten into the jawbone, showing up as a small black spot behind each wisdom tooth. Ugghhh. I was sick at hearing that, but even sicker was the thought that the infection might have been going on much longer than I thought.

Out, Out, Darned Teeth!

An appointment was quickly made with an oral surgeon in the same building to extract all four wisdom teeth as soon as humanly possible, after a 10-day course of antibiotics had been run through me to dispel the grave infection. And so, on November 3rd, after 13 days of worrying and lots of praying, my dad drove me to the oral surgeon’s office to have my wisdom teeth removed.

I was so nervous about the surgery that my blood pressure and pulse were well above normal–the attending nurse noticed that the blood pressure reading was 133/90-something, though I didn’t catch the pulse reading. In fact, I was so scared that my nervous quivering was literally vibrating the dental chair underneath me. It wasn’t until the oral surgeon himself came in that I began to calm down, and that was mainly because he explained everything that was going to happen, including the effects of the general anesthesia I had opted for (I wasn’t about to be conscious during this stuff).

A peace I still don’t understand descended over me, just before the oral surgeon numbed my arm to put the anesthesia in. A minute or so after the anesthesia had been administered, I began to experience my vision fluttering, like the vertical hold on an old television gone slightly off-kilter, and then…blessed nothingness.

Well, I shouldn’t say exactly “nothingness.” I did have a dream under anesthesia, about my uncle (my mom’s late older brother) talking to me. As I recall, the dream felt about 2 minutes long, and felt absolutely real…and then I awoke to the nurse asking me if I felt like walking to the wheelchair they had waiting for me. I was clumsy as ever getting up out of the dental chair, so I figured I was back to normal (LOL). My jaw and mouth were all over numb, and I felt like I had Jay Leno’s chin extending out from my face, even though I was not swollen externally much at all. (“Phantom sensations,” I think they call that.)

I recovered quickly in the office’s recovery area–the guy in the curtained-off area beside me wasn’t doing very well, bless his heart. Not sure what was going on with him, but it sounded like he was in a lot of pain. In comparison with him, my experience was a cakewalk. Dad drove me to Cook-Out, where I got a lovely vanilla milkshake (doctor’s orders)–it quickly became a vanilla-and-blood-flavored milkshake, but I was able to eat soft foods and able to talk within hours of the procedure.

The Unexpected Blessing

2 hours after the surgery, I realized something. The blinding, face-ripping headache I had experienced the night before the surgery, which had tempted me to consider tearing the trigeminal nerve out of my head to spare myself any more agony, was GONE.

Not only that, but it has stayed gone, even 10 days after the surgery. Sure, I’ve had a little bit of burny pain in my temples here and there as the wisdom tooth sockets heal and the other teeth get used to not having their pushy neighbors around, but it is NOTHING like what had dragged me down for eight months. I am left to conclude that my wisdom teeth and their infection were to blame for my headaches and inexplicable fatigue…and now that they are gone, my energy and my old personality are back. I finally have mental energy enough to play Clix with my boyfriend again, to design and update my websites again, and I feel like hanging out with people again…it’s like I got 75% of my life back by removing 100% of my wisdom teeth.

My only regret in this process? That I didn’t get my teeth seen about months ago. If I had, maybe I could have actually LIVED more of 2011 outside my house instead of lying in my bed, clutching my head and crying. Moral of the story: if you have burning-sensation headaches that you just can’t explain, your wisdom teeth (if you still have them) might be the hidden cause!

You Can Get Fat With Friends, But You Have to Get Healthy On Your Own

As a “fat girl” for the last 14 years of my life, I have struggled with my weight and my shape, trying all different types of lifestyle changes, eating plans, and even exercise programs. I have alternately hated my body and tried to love it, tried to use exercise equipment and then eschewed it, etc. I’ve tried walking alone on a track; I’ve tried doing various diets (even low-carb, for about 5 minutes); I’ve tried exercising with music on headphones. Nothing worked for a very long time–I got bored, I got out of the habit, and then it was back to living like I was, relatively sedentary because of my lower body’s arthritic injuries, and avoiding anything green and leafy like it’s got mold.

Does “Healthy Living” Always Have to Equal “Lonely Living?”

During these years of struggle, I’ve noticed something: “living healthy” is a lonely process, like I referenced in the title of this article. It’s very difficult to get people to eat healthier with you, or to exercise regularly with you, due to scheduling, different food needs and likes, and just plain being too busy or too disconnected. And since I’m such a social creature, liking to do things with other people than by myself, it makes it doubly hard to stick to any plan. Not only are the plans difficult to follow because they’re SO different from the way I live my life and they often cause me lots of physical pain, but I have to do everything alone. Doing things alone is a great way to unmotivate oneself.

Perhaps I sound like a crybaby. No matter; I’ve been called a crybaby many times during my life, and I’d say that my sensitivity makes me a much more impassioned writer and a better artist than it makes me a well-adjusted human being. It’s just that if I have to go through something as life-altering, painful, and tough as “getting healthy,” then I’d like a little support. After all, there are support groups for everything else in life.

“Anti-Health” Support Groups, Ahoy!

In fact, I’m comfortable making the assertion that we currently have unintended “anti-health support groups” in America and around the world. There are plenty of people to help you eat all the wrong things, but if you’re on a super-healthy diet, you eat alone. There are plenty of people to help you laze around and watch TV all day, but if you’re going to exercise, you have to do it by yourself. We all help each other sink farther and farther into unhealthy activities because those unhealthy activities feel so darned good and the healthy activities feel like punishment.

In light of this, why are fat people like me subjected to teasing, ridicule, and blame, when we ALL are to blame for being rather hedonistic in our choices of lifestyle? Somehow, it’s still completely “our fault” for being fat, even when the culture immediately around us rewards bad choices and punishes good choices.

When Good Health is Associated with Bad Emotions

I’m tired of being lonely during exercise, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. Apart from my Zumba experience, which has been amazingly awesome despite not being able to do quite all the moves yet, my exercise repertoire in the past mostly consisted of boring workouts that somehow manage to leave me unbearably sore and bedridden the next day.

Walking, for instance, BORES ME TO TEARS. Just walking and walking around in a circle not doing anything else productive is not relaxing for me–it makes me anxious about the time I’m wasting doing this useless junk when I could be at home working on a project I’ve got coming up. Walking and other “10-reps-of-this, 20-reps-of-this” exercises drive me insane. There’s nothing to THINK about except how much pain I’m in, and how much pain I’m going to be in tomorrow, and how airless my lungs feel. There’s an incredible isolation that descends upon you when you’re in pain–no one else can feel what you’re feeling at this moment, and quite possibly, no one even cares how much it hurts. When exercise is associated with humiliation and pain, it’s no wonder people don’t want to do it.

I’m also tired of being lonely at the dinner table, and I know I ain’t the only one. When everyone else is indulging in wonderful treats of all types and you’re stuck with a “Rabbit’s Delight” salad, you begin to feel like the odd one out. If you’re the only person counting calories, watching carbs or fat, etc., you feel like you’re in “Food Time-Out.” Starving oneself while everyone else eats heartily, eating something that tastes absolutely disgusting just because it’s “healthier” than what you like, is not my idea of culinary fun. As a very picky eater, hating almost all vegetables and fruits because of the nasty pulpy/crunchy textures and brackish dirt/water tastes, it’s hard for me to find healthy things that I can eat, though even I draw the line at Taco Bell’s ground beef these days (it’s more grease than meat, or is it just me?). I try to choose the least of the food evils and eat smaller portions of whatever I get, but I still feel like I’m depriving myself–and I end up hungry 45 minutes later, without fail.

Do We Deserve “Body Punishment?” I Don’t THINK So!

When “getting healthy” is lonely, boring, and horrible, it doesn’t exactly help anybody join the program. And yet, it seems there’s an idea of “body punishment” for those who have to get healthy to live longer lives–somehow, it’s perceived that we “did this to ourselves,” so we “deserve” all the pain and hardship we go through to get healthy. Not everyone who is fat and/or unhealthy got that way by life choices; sometimes, as in my case, our genetics chose for us.

A Side Note about How My Genetics Chose for Me
As a young child, up to about age 10, I was actually fairly slim, and tall for my age. In fact, my grandmother once got mad at my parents after seeing a photo of me at age 8 on a recent beach trip–she saw the dark circles under my eyes (hereditary) and the slenderness of my whole body and thought that they weren’t feeding me enough. But I went from being that tall and almost-too-skinny 3rd grader to being a rounded, textbook endomorph model in 5th grade. I was 90 pounds and 5’3″ at the beginning of 5th grade, and by the end of 5th grade, I was 145 pounds and 5’5″. I had just turned 11 years old, and went from skinny girl to fat girl almost overnight, gaining butt, breasts, and hips, and a wonderful little muffin top belly which has helped me look pregnant ever since. It was like a switch flipped off, and my metabolism crashed, with absolutely no change in exercise level or food intake. My mother, my aunt, both female cousins, and my maternal grandmother all went through this same body change at onset of puberty as well, so I know it’s not just peculiar to me.

I wish all the skinny Minnies who run diet and exercise plans understood this, how my own body betrayed me and made me a target for all the school bullies, both male and female. Because of how I was treated, especially in middle-school gym classes, exercise became strongly associated with feelings of unpreparedness, humiliation, and sub-humanity. It has taken over a decade to even begin to break down those psychological associations of punishment and pain, and I’m fairly confident my experience is all too typical.

How Can We Start Helping One Another?

Yes, I will say if somebody’s just sitting in bed day after day stuffing themselves until they’re almost sick, they’re doing themselves a disservice. But even so, they deserve support too. Otherwise, there will be no motivation to leave their comfort zone, and they will sink further into their painful and insidiously dangerous lifestyle. While I’ve never turned to food as an emotional void-filler, I do know the hopeless feelings associated with diet and exercise, and it’s no place for any human being.

If you truly want to help someone become healthy again, you don’t treat them like dirt–you offer them support in the form of being an “exercise buddy,” a “going-out-to-eat buddy,” whatever kind of buddy you need to be in order to keep them accountable (and keep yourself accountable, too). Knowing that someone else actually gives a rat’s rear end about what you’re doing is a wonderful motivator; I’ve seen it work with me and with other people, too. When other people reach out and care, when others connect with you, want to know week by week how you’re coming along, you start thinking “maybe I’m worth being cared about.” That healthy attitude change is the first real step to becoming healthy in body again.

Pain Can Change Us

When we hear of torture that makes people reveal secrets they would never have revealed otherwise, some people might say “Well, they’re just weaklings. Why couldn’t they last through the pain and just keep their mouths shut?” But the prevalence of pain relievers in pharmacies across the country and around the world seems to say that we humans actually don’t have a lot of pain resistance.

This LiveScience article, The Pain Truth, calls pain a “silent epidemic,” and it certainly is–it’s an epidemic that is downplayed and even trivialized by those who do not suffer pain as often. Pain is not merely a physical symptom of illness; it also has an emotional component of suffering, which in long-term cases leads to personality changes and life changes. I have experienced these firsthand.

My Personal Experience with Chronic Pain

Pain has been a constant companion of mine for several years, with old lower-body injuries galore, headaches and migraines, and random shooting pains that seem to have nothing to do with any injury at all. I didn’t realize how much my personality had shifted to deal with these various pains, however, until we discovered and began to treat some of the pain sources.

Getting rid of my constant burning headaches with chiropractic therapy opened my eyes first. For the first time in MONTHS, if not YEARS, I was able to go about my day without having to spend at least part of it lying in bed trying to tame a headache. How liberating! And how surprising! I could finally live without having to constantly endure the “ice pick” in my temple. Some of my friends and family commented on this change, saying that they were glad to see me smiling again–I had been suffering such pain for so long that I didn’t even realize I wasn’t smiling much anymore.

Other effects of pain on my personality were subtler, but only just. I was much more irritable and more easily frustrated–after all, my life was being controlled by a force I couldn’t stop, so anything else that slipped out of my control was that much more infuriating. Plus, with the lower-body pain, I had had to shape my life’s day-to-day rhythms carefully so that my ankles and knees would not get aggravated with too much activity/standing per day. (Usually, standing in line for 10 minutes = ankles are DONE for the day.)

Pain had, in essence, transformed me into a cranky, isolated, less active version of myself. I hated this change, but I literally could not do anything about it until at least some of the sources of pain were treated. And that, I think, is universal for all pain sufferers.

Why Pain and Its Personality Effects are Not Well-Understood

Unfortunately, pain is a feeling and not an observable condition; even scans of your body cannot see the sensation of pain, only can see potential causes of it. And others cannot feel your pain as you do–thus, they cannot truly have empathy unless they have suffered the exact same condition.

Some folks, however, don’t even make any attempt at empathy, telling chronic pain sufferers to “suck it up, take an Advil and quit complaining,” etc., not understanding or caring how insensitive and insulting they’re being. (These kinds of people are just about as infuriating as my chronic pain itself.) This dismissive attitude only adds to the mystery and confusion around pain, since some people just don’t experience it as much and therefore cannot understand why it affects us so strongly.

That’s why I’ve written this article and added my own personal experiences; pain can have a huge effect on your personality and indeed your whole life, especially if it goes a long time without being treated (as mine did). Pain is not something that only weak people feel or talk about–it’s a human condition which causes suffering (both emotional and physical), and so it must be treated seriously.

Exercise: Not My Idea of Fun

I’m currently 5’8″ and nearly 300 pounds. Yep, I said it. And traditional exercise, which has been touted as THE way for me to achieve fitness, is not fun for me, for a variety of reasons:

My Beefs with Traditional Exercise

  • Boring – nothing to think about but how much pain I’m in, how much this stinks, how much I’d rather be doing ANYTHING else (such as getting a root canal)
  • Isolating – none of my friends do any kind of exercise that I can get into, and none of them do what I’m interested in
  • Painful – everything hurts/gets sore very easily, and I hate the breathless, about-to-die feeling I get

A Little History: I USED to be a Thin, Active Little Girl

To understand how and why I’ve ended up this way, you have to know some of my background. I’ve been a fat girl longer than I was a skinny girl, but I do remember the days of being bone-thin. I was tall and fairly lean through most of elementary school–I played basketball during the school year, swam a good bit during the summers, and played both outside and inside. I also didn’t sit down to dinner long enough to really eat much, though I never went hungry, either. (As an extremely selective eater from early childhood, I chose foods based on texture almost more than taste, and ended up eating from a very limited palate which has persisted to this day.)

What Changed: Emotional Associations with Exercise, Onset of Puberty, and Injuries

Starting in fourth grade (age 10), however, my level of activity began to change, albeit slowly. I was cut from my basketball team because I had lost much of my speed to a foot injury and hadn’t really improved my playing skills. But to be honest, I had started losing interest in playing sports–I knew I wasn’t very good at physical activity, and I was beginning to be picked on for it. I just never was fast enough or quick-reacting enough, though I could pull off a surprise basket on occasion. As a result, I started doing more indoor, sedentary activities with my newly freed time.

By fifth grade, I had the basics of my adult hourglass figure in place. But fifth grade was also the year I entered weighing about 90 pounds and left weighing 145 pounds, with little to no change in my diet and regular P.E. exercise just as I had had for the previous 5 years of elementary school. This same body change has happened to all the women in my extended family–rapid weight gain and a radical body shape change around puberty, much more significant than other girls’ body changes. (I have wondered, in the years since, whether some form of endocrine imbalance or some form of hypothyroidism might be to blame, but most doctors seem not to know what we’re talking about, despite having a body of anecdotal evidence covering several lives and at least four decades.)

With womanhood barely a year away from me at age 11, puberty had thus backhanded me with an entirely new body–one I quickly learned to hate, just about as quickly as the other kids learned to tease me about it. My “muffin top” and “rolls” earned me so many jeers and so much physical abuse that I eventually quit trying to do much in P.E. at all. (Wouldn’t you have, if every time you so much a dribbled a ball some idiot would run over to you, grab the ball out of your hands, and smack it against your stomach hollering “FATTY FATTY FATTY! HAHAHA!”) Exercise, as a result, became less associated with fun and freedom, and more associated with pain, humiliation, and anxiety.

I gained about 10 pounds a year after puberty’s horrible 50-pound prank, and by college I battled to stay around 230-240 pounds. Several incidents, however, led to even walking being painful; going to class in the ice and snow led to repeatedly injured ankles and knees, which I could not get treatment for without having to WALK to the campus infirmary. (Explain that one to me!) Having always had weak ankles and flat feet (thanks to heredity), the injuries did not heal properly, which has left me with constant pain while walking. I even have a handicapped sticker, one which I am grateful for but wish fervently that I did not have to use as often as I do.

Would I Like to Exercise? Yes! Does Any Exercise Interest Me? NO!

The thing that annoys me the most about traditional exercise is the heavy emphasis on pointless repetition of mind-numbing activities. I know, I know, we’re supposed to be “training muscles” and whatnot, but it is as maddening to me as doing 30 identical math problems for homework. It’s a huge attack of “same stuff different day”–there’s nothing new, nothing interesting, nothing challenging mentally.

And, if my brain is not kept busy, then its only remaining focus is the condition of my body–you know, the straining muscles, the joints in pain, the sweat in my eyes. If exercise is repetitive (and most of the traditional programs out there are), then I end up tense, anxious, and eventually angry that I’m wasting my time doing this stuff and I’m going to waste even more time trying to recover later. (Keep in mind, I have a lot of injuries, so my body normally takes a longer time to recover from exercise anyway.)

How to Solve This?

An ideal exercise routine for me would be:

  • Fun – keeps my mind as well as my body busy
  • Social – involves friends and family as part of a get-together
  • Less painful – I know exercise is going to hurt, but it doesn’t have to hurt this much!

Let it be known that just walking on a track like a rodent in a wheel doesn’t cut it for me, nor for most like me, I’d imagine. I and other people in my same condition want more out of exercise than just doing 10 reps of this and 10 reps of that for an hour or so. Doesn’t that make sense?