Exercise and Knitting

I am adding in the bit about exercise as I thought the knitting on its own might be rather boring.

Recently I’ve had hand pain, side pain and shoulder pain. All caused or aggravated, I fear, by the Tunisian crochet. So I will get back to it one day but will try to not do too much at a time. Hence to a certain extent why I am knitting at present.

The shoulder pain has been worsening for some time now and just got bad enough to make me feel I should do something about it but not bad enough to see a doctor as I can still do everything I want.

Having realised that you could pay for physiotherapy privately and, given that not only am I making some extra money by selling my patterns but spending less due to life restrictions during Covid, getting some professional advice about the cause and cure of my shoulder issues seemed a good idea.

Well of course, as I expected, I now have exercises to do.

What I hadn’t expected was that exercises needed equipment.

band and dumbbell

The dumbbell is mine and looked to be exactly the same as the one the physio produced. The yellow stretchy band I was given.

Unfortunately when you have arthritis in your wrists suddenly doing exercises where you need to use your hands  can be problematic and having seen the physio on Wednesday and started the exercises that evening, I had to give myself Friday off to let my hands recover. I think, though, that I have worked out how to minimise hand issues in future.

The above isn’t exactly what I wanted to say about exercise though.

I have three exercises that I have to do twice a day at least six days a week. I have worked out how to space them out and do them at times that I can hopefully keep up but altogether they take about thirty minutes which is quite a lot when some days I don’t feel energetic enough to do the housework.

This made me think about my attitude to exercise for health.

For the last ten years or so I have been doing Yoga style exercises on the Nintendo Wii with Wii-Fit. Ideally three times a week for about twenty to twenty five minutes but give me a Chronic Fatigue relapse and I might not do any for a few weeks. Even without a relapse anything and everything can get in the way.

For July and August Garmin, who made the fitness device that I wear, offered me Brownie points for doing five hours of Yoga during the month. Never one to avoid a challenge, with the help of a little extra Yoga on YouTube, I managed to keep up my exercises all month and complete the five hours both months.

Having done this I realised two things.

One: that doing yoga made me feel energised and Two: that doing exercise because it is for my well being seems terribly self-indulgent and that is part of the reason I find it so easy to drop it for something else, even just resting!

How do you relate to exercise? Waste of time? Boring but necessary? Enjoyable? ——————–?

So now for the knitting.

At first I just did a bit more of my second sock.

sock and yarn

But when my hands felt a bit better I started the rib for a hat.

knitted rib

Lovely soft wool. Rowan Brushed Fleece – colour: Tarn. 65% Merino Wool, 30% Alpaca, 5% Nylon / Polyamide. Chunky: so wouldn’t take very long at all except that I am taking it very gently.

14 thoughts on “Exercise and Knitting

  1. I go swimming. I enjoy swimming and pootle up and down trying not to get in the way of those powering through their self imposed regime of so many lengths in so much time. I don’t think of it as exercise or that would certainly stop me in my tracks.
    I go for walks, but then I am either talking to a companion or looking about me.
    I garden, the grass cutting is hard.
    So my exercise is an incidental to doing something I enjoy rather than “exercise” . Or a chore like grass cutting.
    Not sure I would ever get going if I thought I had to exercise.
    Maybe you could try dancing to something fun.
    Hope your aches and pains improve, good luck with the knitting projects.

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  2. I was useless at sport at school and it put me off exercise of all sorts. I love walking though.
    I do Cross Crawl exercises which are supposed to help both mind and body. I realise the recent sciatica is probably due to an increased time with the crochet hook – so I do need to fit more exercise in my day.
    I do hope the exercises, you have been given help,. Living with pain is exhausting!
    The sock is coming on well, nice yarn. 🙂

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    1. Luckily the pain is mostly when doing certain things but I didn’t want it to get to a point when it hurt all the time. I was like you about sport and only started doing the Wii-Fit in my sixties to stop getting stiff and weak in my old age. Though I suppose it will happen to a certain degree anyway.

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  3. I battle to get into a regular routine with any kind of exercise; the best thing for me was taking Pilates classes because they were at a fixed time twice a week. After a couple of years I moved a distance away from the area and never started anywhere else. Since then, Karen and I thought we should take up yoga. We went once – the people were lovely and nothing too taxing was required, but my muscles were so shocked by what I was trying to do with them that I spent most of the hour in the recovery position. Karen didn’t seem to have any difficulty but she said we were the oldest people in the class and she was never going back.
    Since then, I slipped a disc in my lower back. I never want to go through that agony ever again so I do try and keep up with exercises that my physiotherapist gave me. I don’t feel self-indulgent doing them, or even going for the occasional walk, but I am lazy. I have recently started rolling around on my yoga mat with a tennis ball under the sore bits in my neck and shoulders – not exactly cardio (!) but it does help with the stiffness and, if I do it later in the evening, it helps me relax for bed time.
    It sounds like you are being very sensible with your hand and arthritis problems – it’s a bloody nuisance, isn’t it?! Am glad you decided to get medical advice. I tend to minimise possible health problems and that really only make things worse in the long run. I never learn!

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    1. I did a yoga class in my forties and gained a frozen shoulder because the teacher was rather exacting. I think yoga is suitable for older people but I think one probably needs someone who understands the problems of older age and can go gently, That’s why I do Wii-Fit rather than classes as there is some monitoring but any criticism or correction doesn’t make me feel anxious (mainly balance as mine is very bad!!) and the praise is cheering. Doing a little focused exercise does seem necessary as we get older. Glad you have found what helps you.

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    1. Yes getting private physio was good. It’s not so easy to get on NHS. I did try a Pilates class once but unfortunately it was an hour class and although I felt fine if a little drained after the class, later that day I had a massive Chronic Fatigue relapse and felt awful for a few days/weeks. So no more Pilates. Some of the exercises for Pilates were similar to Yoga but more movement and counting.

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  4. I’m not hugely enthusiastic about exercise. I’m the sort who doesn’t ever want to do it but does quite enjoy it once under way. I’m learning that to be pain free with my OA I have to do it to work the stiffening pain out of my joints. My routine now starts with 30 minutes first thing in the morning and the endorphins carry me through the day. I also have a private physio for a dropped hip I never knew I had and I also have a selection of bands from her, even though I have a good selection of my own already. It must be their latest thing 😄 For my hands I have some silicon eggs to squeeze. They make different parts of the hands work which is nice as well as the gloves and heated mitts. I also love it when my manicurist give my hands a massage with warming cream. Always nice when someone else does it. Just go gently and doing what suits you is at least something.

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    1. Always good to hear other people’s experiences. I have a stress ball somewhere and did wonder if it could help strengthen my hands.
      My present exercise routine from the physiotherapist seems to be causing some delayed pain, so I am going to have a few days off then start again but not the full number. I am wondering if it has been too much too soon.

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