5 Things you can do, right now, to improve your quality of life:
- Eat two fruits every day and drink at least 32 oz. of water during the day. Decide how much liquid you can drink in one sitting, 2 oz., 4 oz., etc. Do you like it cold, room temperature, iced, hot, add lemon, lime, or an orange if you need a flavor. Alternate your favorite beverage with a glass of water. Other liquids count (except for alcohol and fruit juices/sugary drinks), but they are not the best..
- Walk. If you do not currently walk, start low and go slow. 5 minutes daily then increase by 2 minutes every week until you can get to 30 minutes per day. You can do 10 minutes three times a day. Some days may be better than others, be kind to yourself and get back on track as soon as possible.
- Strengthen your legs. One exercise is to do chair stands, place a pillow on the back of the seat and sit down and then stand up (you may need to use a chair or table to steady yourself). Do 5 repetitions twice a day two times per week. Three times per week, when you get stronger. Goal is 8 to 12 repetitions without having to use a chair or table to steady yourself. Ankle circles (10 rotations each way while seated), Knee flexion (stand behind a chair and lift your leg up towards your bottom- 6-10 each leg), Knee extension (Seated in a chair extend knee as straight as possible, hold for 3 to 5 seconds and slowly relax back down to floor), Calf raises (use a chair for balance and raise up onto your toes, hold for 2 seconds and go back down & do 6 to 12 reps)
When strengthening – slow, deliberate and controlled movements are needed
4. Breathe. Practice lying down until you are comfortable with this exercise. Should you become dizzy or light headed, stop. Place your hand or a magazine on your belly, take in slow deep breaths (4 count), you want your belly to rise and not your chest. Breathe out through pursed lips (4 to 6 count). Do for 5 minutes two or three times per day.
5. Take charge of your healthcare needs. Get educated and learn what your best options are (use reliable health information). Get organized, have your powers of attorney completed, make your wishes known, have the talk with loved ones and get on with living. When you say or think to yourself, “I can’t,” get rid of that phrase! At least make it in to “I can’t, right now, but I will get there.” Listen to your body. Remember, you are a part of your healthcare team and all team members need ti be working towards optimal health.