Sitting Too Long is Not Good!
I’ve spent a lot of time sitting since 2014 when I had my severe bout with diabetic feet and leg ulcers. That is what put me in this wheelchair. Since then, my body has been in the sitting position most of each day. My butt and hips hurt a lot – especially the left side. I had lost the ability to stand straight because of lack of leg strength and shortened tendons and muscles.
I read a good article about the harm of sitting too much. “Here’s what sitting too long does to your body”. I learned that in many ways, your body shuts down after a long time sitting:
- Your risks of heart disease and diabetes, go up.
- Risk of cancers (colon, uterine and lung) go up.
- Digestion and brain function slows down.
- Strained neck, shoulders, and back problems are increased.
My Health Push
When I began my health push this year, my goal was to lose weight, get out of this chair, and get rid of my diabetes meds. so far I have lost weight – 25 pounds and can now stand up from my chair pretty easy. I can also stand straighter. I’m still working on the blood sugar meds and walking more than a few steps. I can now use my walker both in the house and outside my home and I’m using it when walking into stores and offices when I don’t have to stand a long time.
Using Walkers to Get off my Booty
I actually have three walkers. A regular one with a seat that I can take when I intend to go walk for a distance and will need to sit down regularly to rest and two identical very lightweight foldable ones. These are great – they take up very little room when folded and are light and easy to use and maneuver.
I liked the first one so much I decided to leave it in the car and purchased another one to keep in the house since its easier to use and fits in tighter places and I have plenty of places to sit down in the house if I need to. These walkers are called Able Life Space Saver Walkers. They are Lightweight, folding and height adjustable adult travel walkers and they have fixed wheels with rear glides. They have rotating wheels you can purchase to replace the fixed ones. Mine are a nice blue color.
I’ve also purchased a carry bag to use with them that comes in handy for carrying things since I have to be holding onto the walker itself.
What Did I do?
I decided to do physical therapy and chiropractic treatments. The physical therapy is over (I did two rounds). I was able to gain a lot of strength in my legs, thighs, and straighten out the shortened muscles in my booty and upper thighs. At times, the PT was pretty painful and I worked up a real sweat every time I went for a session. It was good that the physical therapists pushed me, even though it was not comfortable at the time. Even now that the PT is over, I still do several of the exercises they showed me each day so I can retain my strength and mobility.
I’m currently in a long series of Chiropractic treatments, aimed at reducing the pain in my hips and going down my legs and fixing the spinal curve I had developed. According to my chiropractor, my spine has some curvature issues both in the upper spine and also in the low back area. I will be doing this treatment (over a year) until next August. My 2nd thermal scan showed that some improvements have been made and some days I can really tell that the pain from the left hip is decreased or even almost gone. I love when that happens!
One thing I recently did was to purchase a special cushion for my wheelchair. I read about this cushion when researching things to do to help paint in the hip.
The cushion I purchased was listed on Amazon at $24.99. It is called a “Coccyx Cushion Pillow For Chairs | Pain Relief From Back Sciatica Pinched Nerve Piriformis Syndrome Lumbosacral Spondylosis Fibromyalgia and Bruised Tailbone”. It has been some help for me to use it. I notice I can sit longer periods without pain, so I’m pretty happy with the purchase. I’ll be doing a detailed review of it soon. Meanwhile, you can see it here.
Since I do still spend much time sitting, either in my wheelchair or in my recliner, I’ve found a few stretching and flexibility exercises I can do each day while sitting. I’ve found that doing this each day helps keep my hips and legs from getting too stiff and relieves pain too.
Here’s a nice video workout that includes:
- Leg lifts (various ones), leg and arm slides,
- Leg and Arms in and out,
- Sitting walking, marching and running movements.
Here’s another video workout mainly for the upper body and can include hand weights.
The weights I use look like this:
Thanks for looking at my site and coming to this page. I would love for you to leave any questions or comments below. In addition, I’m open to new topics to research and comment on as they pertain to my own health and experience living with diabetes. Please share your interests and questions in your comments. – Shirley