It started with a trip to the library. While perusing the DVDs I came across the Essentrics Pain-Relief Workouts : Standing, Floor and Barre Workouts. I loved how at ease I felt while doing the exercises. The best part was that I felt much more limber after doing a workout almost-first-thing in the morning. (By the way, you do not need a barre - a chair serves as your barre.)
What I love about these exercises is that they are gentle. Miranda Esmonde-White, who retired from the National Ballet Company of Canada, knows her stuff. If her routines are good enough for the Montreal Canadiens and Cirque de Soleil, they are good enough for me! (No, you don't need to be a high performance athlete to benefit or to take part.
In the beginner DVDs, Miranda cautions you to respect your body. If it hurts, don't push into the pain. Instead, go back to the point where you didn't feel pain, thereby allowing your brain to send the message to your body that it is safe to move to that point. Do what you can, while respecting your limitations, which will more than likely change for the better over time. You're encouraged to relax while you do lazy, circular movements, reminiscent of T'ai Chi, that help to lengthen and strengthen your muscles.
As a person living with rheumatoid arthritis, you know that range of motion exercises are vital, especially if you wish to maintain the mobility that you do have. Your often-neglected hands and feet aren't forgotten in Essentrics. A full-body workout in 20 to 30 minutes. Isn't that worthy of your time? As always, check with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program.
I have also checked out Classical Stretch - Age Reversing Workouts for Beginners - Mobility and Bone Strengthening, Aging Backwards - Connective Tissue Workouts, Essentrics - The Ultimate Stretch Workouts, Essentrics - Strength and Stretch in Motion, Essentrics - Toning for Beginners - Standing, Floor and Barre, Essentrics - Full Body Toning - Standing and Floor, Essentrics Body Sculpting Series - Volume 1 and Essentrics Body Sculpting Series - Volume 2. (I found the latter two DVDs more challenging to do in the morning, but they were much easier to do in the afternoon.)
The library also had Aging Backwards - 10 Years Younger, 10 Years Lighter, 30 Minutes a Day. It is a wonderful "User's Manual," that introduces you to your muscles, ligaments and joints. You'll learn about the difference in strengthening your muscles concentrically (by shortening them as in weight-lifting), and essentrically, (strengthening by lengthening, as in Essentrics). Aging myths, fitness and disease prevention, injury recovery and exercises are also included in the book.
Apart from the cost of the DVDs, which I'd class as $$, you don't need expensive gear. Maybe an exercise mat if you have hardwood floors, a sturdy chair and an exercise band. For the exercise band you can use a towel, or braid your old pantyhose if you'd prefer something stretchy. (I remember doing that in the 80s when I did those Jane Fonda exercise videos. Do you remember VCR tapes?)
My feet tend to slip on the carpet, so I put socks on that have a rubberized non-slip sole:
Do Better When You Know Better
In my 20s and 30s, I taught fitness classes. If only I knew then what I know now, bolstered with the information I gleaned from Miranda. It is what it is, so by applying the principles I've learned from Miranda in her Essentrics program, I can do better in order to live better.
Perhaps if I were 10-15 years younger, I'd consider beoming an instructor. Similar to my Auntie Stress hat, I suspect that I would become my own best client. That's how much I believe in the Essentrics system.
The movements I've learned and practiced in the livingroom accompany me as I go about my day. I am more mindful of how I walk and stand (something that is covered in the How To section of Classical Stretch Posture and Pain Relief DVD). I have even incorporated some of the movements into my pool exercises.
Now, my biggest challenge is to choose one of the DVDs from the many that are currently on special. If you are interested, the 30% special ends December 27, 2019, at 11:59 pm, EST.
No, I am not being compensated for this review! Darn! 😉 I'm sharing this information with you so that you can take back the reigns of your life and giddy-on-up to feeling and doing better!