In order to follow through with this high a level of self-care you are going to need well planned spaces to help you get structured enough and inspired enough to follow through… as in, every day my friend!
In order to be effective, in order to actually move that stubborn needle on your fitness-o-meter (I think I hear your joints begging for consistency right now) you will want to do the majority of your exercise at home. Why at home? Because that’s where you will be your most consistent!
“Motivation is overrated. Environment often matters more” says James Clear in his book Atomic Habits. Well, the majority of my workouts happen in my own environment: at home in our den and out in nature around the neighborhood. In the den, I have a stationary bike; a rebounder that I love to dance on; a yoga mat; stability ball; ankle and wrist weights and hand weights. These didn’t cost a lot of money. And they don’t take up a huge amount of space and that’s why the den is so perfect for them. The den is also where the big flat screen is. When I work out, I allow myself to watch Netflix and Amazon Prime movies. The rest of my days are so tightly scheduled that there really isn’t much time for television. Most of my free time is spent on learning about arthritis and personal achievement studies, two topics I’m passionate about.
So I don’t know about you, but a designated, in home space for exercise is really necessary so that I can be consistent on a daily basis, not just when I have time to go to the gym. Going to the gym allows too much room for excuses. I’d have to do my hair better or drive somewhere or I’d get sidetracked by other issues. Sometimes even the short eight minute drive to the club and finding a parking spot and walking to weight room can be too much when compared to the thirty second walk to my den. So I will leave you with one last thought on working out at home. A fancy stand-alone exercise studio is great and yes, many of my clients do want and have these but please don’t let this stop you from planning your own at home exercise spot. Practicing this one habit alone will make a huge difference in your pain level, your balance, your overall strength and even your appearance. And I want that for us both!
Now let’s talk about the kitchen. I'm going to use my own as an example. My pretty red VitaMix blender and my handsome Breville Compact Juice Fountain juicer both have special places in my kitchen. No they don’t have specially designed cabinets. They are actually out on the counter and part of the kitchen’s overall “look” or “décor”. Every morning I make myself the most delicious green juices (if they didn’t taste so good I wouldn’t spend so much time making them!) from romaine lettuce, kale, cucumber, cilantro, apple, lime or lemon and chia seeds. I’ll admit it, juicing is time consuming! If I had to keep the juicer tucked away in a cabinet, it would require an extra step and with my arthritic thumbs it would add the risk of dropping it on my floor, or worse, my toes! So fresh green juices, consumed within 15 minutes of extraction or placed on ice in the freezer are a real game changer for those of us with arthritis. For me, they are non-negotiable. Truly, they are loaded with enzymes and micro-nutrients that our bones and cartilage need to improve bone building.
My blender is also out on the counter and I use for my weekly hummus and delicious, homemade vegetarian soups. They blend up in a jiffy and clean up pretty quickly too. They can even heat your soup right there in the jar.
What else about my kitchen? Well, I have large D-shaped door and drawer pulls. My light switches are rocker style and the dimmers are easy to use. I have a lever style sink faucet. Everything in my kitchen that I need to take excellent care of myself is easy to reach. I designed it that way.
Arthritis is a degenerative disease, and my home was built with several Universal Design elements so if I have more severe physical limitations in the future, I know my home will support them.
So why is home so beneficial to your well-being? Besides being the place where you make yourself excellent food and hopefully now, practice much of your exercise, it’s a place where all routines happen and it’s proven that routines contribute to discipline and success. Think about it. When you go to restaurants do you feel tempted to veer from your eating plans? I know I do. I am invariably tempted by the bread and wine, both big no no’s with arthritis. At home, I have my routines that keep me successful. Does your home fill you with energy? Does it drain you? Does it inspire you? Does it function at its highest level? Is it appealing to your eye? Those are things to think about going forward. How do you want your home to look and work in the coming years? Is it ready for the degenerative changes that arthritis often brings?
I grew up in a household where we constantly ran out of things like batteries, light bulbs and toilet paper, or things were misplaced, like scissors or scotch tape. Or things didn’t work properly. I knew someday that my own home whether large or small, costly or not, would work well for me and my family. It would be beyond just looking beautiful. It would feel beautiful too and things would be in their places. My intentions came to fruition because I have had that for many years and I rely on it now that my body requires so much care.
And guess what? I do occasionally run out of toilet paper!
Live beautifully. Eat beautifully, Shiree’
And if you want more arthritis related design and wellness guidance, click here... "Pain Free Design and Wellness" and you'll get a free chapter of my powerful new book that helps women with arthritis create beautiful, functional homes and take better care of themselves every day!