So one of the things I most loved about starting to exercise more was taking time out of my work day to walk along the esplanade along the Willamette River here in Portland, Oregon. As someone who was used to eating at my desk without a break, it was both a mental and physical ‘stress time out’ to get some time outside in the sun (yay, Vitamin D!) with just my thoughts and a podcast or two.
And at first, I’d come back from my 2.5 mile walk feeling refreshed, energized & ready to tackle the rest of the day. Until I realized I was dragging one leg behind me after a mile or so…had bad back cramps & pain that kicked in an hour or so after the walk…and other funky symptoms.
(I’ve been dealing with this problem for years now, going as far as getting an MRI 2 years ago after complaining of back/leg pain on my right side. Doctor’s advice after seeing the MRI? Your spine’s fine, but you’ll feel better if you just lose some weight. Did that. Pain shouldn’t be getting worse, should it? Nope…)
So I hustled myself over to a chiropractor & got an unexpected verdict: I have short leg syndrome. Aha – feeling like I have to push my right foot down into my new sneakers several times over makes sense now. So does the fact that my hips and glutes are way too tight on the right side (the short leg) ’cause I’m overcompensating.
The walks that were so very good for me, in theory? Not so good after all.
Time for Plan B:
- Ok, it’s back to water aerobics. Swimming laps. Stationary bicycles. Maybe ellipticals (although I hate ellipticals) for easy cardio work.
- Use the alternative care benefits for weekly massages. Learn how to stretch out the affected leg daily. (Use the yoga strap I bought to help with that.) Add in some random core strengthening classes if possible (they have mat Pilates at the new gym…)
- Go back to weekly yoga classes (with my friend Sabrina, yay!)
- …and back off of anything that’s weight-bearing. For at least the next month.
I’d wanted to start a free weight program – but I’m going to wait until October before I tackle that. In the meantime, I’ll console myself with the hot tub & sauna at the gym…but only after I take a class or two first!