In the 8th grade, I was a HUGE fan of Cindy Crawford's Shape Your Body workout. We'll come back to that later.
Since my MS diagnosis, I've been living with my parents in a very remote part of Texas. Gone are the days of walking to my favorite yoga studio in NYC. Gone are the days of walking around NYC, period!
My first year living with MS, I focused on conserving energy and resting. Sweating through 90 minute yoga classes 5x a week had been easy. Rest was hard.
This January I realized that my rest was paying off, I was feeling better--physical therapy had long ago helped me regain my ability to walk and see properly--and now my body was almost crying out to start working out again. [Check out the health update video here. And if you want to skip to my super silly video working out with Cindy, scroll down.]
What do I mean, my body was crying out? I starting getting pain from NOT working out; getting sharp, searing sensations in my shoulder and upper back. I realized I needed to redevelop those muscles because they were being overly strained too easily when carrying luggage or heavy bags.
I started with resources I had near me. And let me say that working out in your parent's living room, surrounded by knickknacks and pictures of yours truly with braces and bad hair is SUCH a different experience than practicing at my beloved NYC yoga studio, with my favorite teachers, and my friends to attend with. The environment matters. Sometimes it's what gets us into the practice in the first place.
Enter Cindy Crawford.
I'd hung onto the 1992 masterpiece, Cindy Crawford Shape Your Body VHS (yes, VHS), until my brilliant friend-and-professional-space-organizer helped me sort through (AKA purge) my apartment. (Sarah's an amazing. Check out Embrace Your Space NYC here.) While this dear friend made/helped me purge the VHS, she surprised me with the DVD afterward as a gift. And so this old favorite became a new treat, all new-fangled on DVD.
So in the absence of friends to go to TRX or kundalini or vinyasa flow with, I suddenly had Cindy. Would the workout be as "cool" as it had been when I was working out to it in 1993?
Oh, even more so.
- The music is am-ah-zing, featuring Seal and other 90s faves.
- The workout isn't crazy; the initial breathing and stretching was so perfect for my entree back into working out.
- Cindy's body is suuuuuper inspirational. Because it's not "skinny". It's toned, healthy, not extreme.
- Note: The abs section is a little dated, so I do other movements that don't strain my neck.
Why I'm even talking about this.
Our bodies need to move. If they aren't moving in the way we want them to, let's start with movements we CAN do. Those will be a gateway to more. (For me, I now get dizzy doing some basic yoga positions, so I've had to find other workouts to get excited about doing regularly, while slowly working yoga back in.)
Moving the body helps our bodies and brain.
Because when we move, endorphins (neuropeptides that are natural pain and stress relievers... I like to call them magic happy juice) start to flow through us once we do.
What do YOU do?
Ok, so I've told you the whoooole story about my journey to getting back into a workout routine.
This path, for anyone, is filled with emotions and aspirations and occasional disappointments.
But it's a super important journey for us to be on, so let's find the way to support ourselves along the way.
Share your story. Answer any (or all!) of the below:
- What is your favorite work out?
- Is there one that you hate while you're in it and love once you finish? (I'm looking at you, barre class.)
- If you have MS or other health complications, are there adjustments you've made to your routine?
- What's your favorite post-workout treat?
- Do you have a special workout ritual that makes you happy (like Saturday yoga followed by brunch w/ the gals?)
Leave us a comment. Can't wait to hear from you! xxM
Oh right. As promised, here I am, working it with Cindy. (:50sec)