Imagine that I have just come back from the hospital. My body is in some pain from injury and surgery, and I may still be suffering from the shock of it. My pain gives me a message that seems to say: “don’t move”. I have a healthy respect for the pain. I lie down in my bed at home and my fear puts me in a state of inertia, but the idea that I’d be better off just lying still to minimize the pain does not make sense to me.
It seems perfectly logical to everyone around me. My loved ones, my doctors and my nurses may be advising me, “Stay still. You need your bed rest now. . .” etc. Maybe my family is just trying to help make sure I follow my physician’s recommendations. In any case, I know they’re trying to look out for my best interest.
But there are at least three very negative results of following this “path of least resistance”:
- My recovery time is going to increase because of inactivity;
- My body, which follows the law “Use It or Lose It”, is going to begin immediately to atrophy;
- I am much more likely to feel depressed by my situation and helpless to improve it.
In this book, I decided to take a completely different direction and be more proactive in my own recovery. Of course, I should still listen to my doctor’s advice, but it’s very doubtful that he or she said that I could not move the rest of my body! By continuing to exercise all the parts of my body that are still healthy, I felt I could reverse almost all of the negative impacts of being bedridden or inactive for an extended period of time.
What’s unique about my exercises is that I can do all of them in bed—lying flat on my back taking as little as seven minutes per day to perform.