The Healthy Gimp
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Many people would perceive the term, "The Healthy Gimp" as an oxymoron. The words Healthy and Gimp are not contradictory terms. A disabled person can be a healthy person.
I was injured at the age of 18. I quickly realized that to keep up with the able bodied, I had to be healthy and physically fit.
Secondly, I was amazed at how good I would feel one day and then how bad the next. I reasoned that, if I feel good one day, why not every day? I began taking mental notes and later started to keep a diary keeping track of my daily activities and the way I was feeling.
The process was much more complicated then I had first imagined but I soon realized it was worth the effort. Some of the things I discovered are listed under the basics.
1) You must move! If you can not move under your own power, then you must devise ways to move passively. In order for the human body to function and cleanse itself, it
needs to move or be moved. Stretch and move all joints on a daily basis or as often as possible.
2) Eat healthy. Follow the basic principles which apply to everyone. A good diet will improve your energy level and ability to recover from exercise. I have found that a diet high in fiber helps me to maintain regular bowel function. Drink plenty of pure water to minimize urinary tract infections and help prevent Constipation.
3) Exercise. The easiest way to exercise is to build it into your daily routine. You will feel better if you exercise. Besides stretching, you need to do both Aerobic and Strength training exercises. Start slowly and consult with your doctor or health professional if you are unsure about proper forms of exercise. Find the level of exercise which causes you to feel the best on a daily basis. An excellent from of exercise is hand-cycling. see Seven Wonders of Hand-Cycling.
4) Education. Educate yourself about health and your specific type of disability. This can help you prevent possible health problems and enable you to better work with your doctor to maximize your health. If you want good answers from your doctor or health professional, you must be able to ask good questions.
5) Routine. Experiment and develop a routine which optimizes your health and feeling of well-being. Treat it like a job and something that has to be done. Keeping a diary can be a big help. Things you do today may not effect you for several days or even weeks. A diary will help you keep track.
Sometimes things which seem simple can greatly affect the way you feel. Watching more than a couple of hours of television will cause me to feel depressed. Reading will tend to make me feel better. If I eat pizza and only pizza for dinner I will wake up with a hang-over, even if I did not have an alcoholic beverage. By limiting my pizza to two slices and having a vegetable, I will feel fine.
Please remember! Everyone is different. What works for one person may not work for you. Find what works for you. The rewards are high, but you must work at it.
It is not what happens to you that determines your fate but what you do about it. - author unknown
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The Healthy Gimp