Things I Can Do to Improve My Physical Fitness

I had an intensely frustrating physical therapy appointment this morning. I told the physical therapist that, despite the semi-orthopedic shoes and the ankle-foot orthosis, I still walk with a drop foot after roughly 20 minutes of walking. She is going to bring my shoes and the AFO to the orthopedic shoemaker and the guy in charge of the AFO yet again, but I’m skeptical there’ll be a solution. I feel very frustrated that, a year to eighteen months ago, I could easily walk for an hour several times a day and now I struggle to walk for fifteen minutes. That, my staff later countered, may be related to my lack of physical fitness too. In other words, I need to build up stamina again. Now that I have nothing better to share, I am going to list ways in which I can improve my level of physical fitness.

1. Go on the elliptical for ten to fifteen minutes at a time three times a week. I used to try to go on the elliptical for 25 minutes at a time and aim for five times a week, but that’s not realistic right now. Besides, I hate that thing with a passion, so making myself go on it five times a week right away is guaranteed to fail.

2. Go for daily walks again. I have been avoiding walks because of the pain the AFO causes me as well as the hassle involved in trying to judge the weather, whether I need to wear sunscreen, etc. I really need to make daily walking a habit again, even if it’s only a ten-minute walk around the day center.

3. Throw a ball. This doesn’t necessarily strengthen my legs and it isn’t quite cardio level either, but any movement counts.

4. Weight training. I really need to get into the habit of doing weight lifting again, if only three rounds of ten a few times a week. This is arm training, since I cannot really do core training at all, but again, it will help me get to a higher physical fitness level.

5. Doing the exercises I originally did with the physical therapist for my back. I am not sure why I list these, but they can’t hurt.

Ultimately, I would really like to go to a gym at some point. The day center has a stationary bike too, but I’m not sure I can use that.

Do you have any suggestions as to ways for me to practise physical exercise?

9 thoughts on “Things I Can Do to Improve My Physical Fitness

  1. Ah, how I understand what you mean with feeling frustrated at comparisons between your level of ability now and only a short time ago. I’ve had similar experiences with my knee arthritis and varying mobility over time. It can indeed feel devastating at times and fuel a lot of rumination. Ultimately it’s good practice in living one day at a time and being in the moment. You just have to focus on what you can do now to help the situation.

    I really recommend any kind of strengthening exercise too. These can be really easy to fit into the day when you can just go and pick some dumbbells up, it’s not very daunting. Balance, strength, and stretches are all very helpful— so yoga is also very good. Can really recommend stationary bikes too, and they can be an ideal warmup into further physio exercises.

    Mini trampettes are also excellent for training balance and strength. Standing on one leg too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words! The frustrating thing about my condition (mild cerebral palsy) is that it isn’t “supposed” to get worse, like arthritis does. That being said, I’ve heard many people, though they are mostly older than me, say their mobility lessens with age.

      Thanks so much for all the tips on improving my physical fitness level too.


    1. Thanks so much for your supportive words. Yes, it’s a shame my shoe issue can’t seem to be sorted, as I just can’t believe the orthopedic shoemaker hasn’t seen more complicated feet.


  2. Do you have access to a pool (whether therapeutic or not)? That’s what the therapists I’ve seen in the past recommended to lessen the impact on my joints and my bad knee. They can provide a regime of gentle exercise in the water, and walking up and down (with support or not) is one way to get the walking in too. I hope you find your new goal helps. Having little to no stamina is the pits!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, there is a pool here in town, but even the shallower therapeutic pool would be too deep for me to walk in I think. I went there with my staff once and did like to swim in it a little. I totally feel it could be beneficial to me and indeed the staff said that if I paid for my and their tickets, they’d be happy to take me during day activities (when I have one-on-one support so don’t need to pay a fortune for that). Thanks for the suggestion!


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