I was released from physical therapy, finally! Don’t get me wrong, I liked my physical therapist, even though he made me work hard during our 45 minutes together each week. So, what did I gain from physical therapy?
I feel like I gained a lot more than just the ability to walk more confidently in the ankle-foot orthoses that I wear due to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. I feel better walking in them and hope the new ones allow me to do more. I’ve gained some strength in my quads, and I’m working on building up my core. Strengthening those muscles will help me when dealing with steps and inclines. I do see a difference with steps, sometimes. If I am tired, then steps are still tough. It is weird, but I find going up the steps more difficult than going down. I hope it will improve as I continue to do the exercises at home and at the gym.
I have never been one to go to the gym; in fact, I do not even like to exercise. I know the benefits of exercise and that it can help keep the muscle strength I have. I know exercise can help me lose the extra weight and maintain it once I lose it. I know all that, so I drag myself to the gym or pool to exercise for at least 45 minutes. I am just not one of those people who enjoys exercise. I watch Netflix and listen to Audible or music to make cardio more bearable, but it is still a chore. I know I need to do it and that it is good for me, but that does not mean I have to like it.
My physical therapist helped me design an exercise program that is beneficial for my CMT. I start with some cardio, my least favorite part. Then I do some weight-training machines and squats. I hadn’t known how beneficial squats were until I started going to physical therapy. I now do squats every day, with weights to add to the benefits, which I am seeing slowly. It is easier to get in and out of chairs and up from the floor when I am sitting or when I fall (the more common reason for me being on the floor). It makes sense to do these exercises at home and at the gym. Once I am there, I do my workout. I’ve learned that I need to go directly to the gym from work, as if I go home first, I probably won’t go out again.
My time in physical therapy gave me the confidence to go to the gym and the pool. I’ve learned I can exercise and work out as long as I do not overdo it. I am working on getting to the gym more often and doing some of the exercises at home. It is truly a work in progress.
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