TONY JACOBSEN

The Art of Adapting: O.I. & The Versatility of Physical Activity

Hello there, fellow warriors and well-wishers of the Osteogenesis Imperfecta (O.I.) community! Today, we’re diving into a topic that’s close to many of our hearts (and bones) – physical activity. If you’re imagining the high-octane energy of a CrossFit session or the bendy exploits of advanced yoga, hold onto your hats. We’re about to redefine what it means to move with O.I., and spoiler alert: it’s way more fun and versatile than you might think!

Why Physical Activity Matters (Yes, Even for Us!)

“But I have brittle bones!” you might protest. And while that’s valid (trust me, I’ve been there, done that, and got the T-shirt), our bones, despite their unique challenges, still crave movement. Physical activity offers benefits like improved cardiovascular health, enhanced mood, and, quite crucially for us O.I. rockstars, muscle strengthening which provides better support for our bones.

Redefining Physical Activity for the O.I. Community

When most people hear “physical activity,” they probably picture intense gym workouts, marathons, or maybe a high-impact aerobics class from the ’80s (leotards and leg warmers, anyone?). For some O.I.ers these activities might be a possibility, but for others, not so much. Either way, it’s all about understanding our limitations, then stylishly working around them!

1. Water Aerobics – Making a Splash!

Water is a fabulous equalizer. Its buoyancy means less stress on joints and bones, but you still get that resistance for muscle-building. So, slip into your most fabulous swimsuit, put on those waterproof headphones (playing “Under the Sea” is optional), and make waves, both literally and figuratively.

2. Tai Chi – Slow, Steady, and Oh-So-Stylish!

Ever watched someone do Tai Chi and thought it looked like a dance where the dancer got the song’s rhythm all wrong? Here’s the thing: this ancient practice is an excellent low-impact way to enhance balance, coordination, and calmness. It’s like meditation in motion – perfect for O.I. bones and souls alike!

3. Seated Workouts – Sit Down & Tone Up

For those days when standing feels like a marathon task (or for those of us who face mobility challenges), seated workouts are the unsung heroes. Think seated leg lifts, seated marching, and even seated shadow boxing (because sometimes, you gotta punch those Monday blues away). And the best part? You can do these while binge-watching your favorite show. (Anyone else addicted to The Office?)

4. Dancing – Groove While You Move

Okay, we’re not necessarily talking about breakdancing (pun intended) or tap-dancing here (though if you can, hats off to you!). But putting on your favorite tune and moving to the beat can be both therapeutic and physically beneficial. Chair dancing, swaying, or even just moving your arms to the rhythm – it all counts! I love moving and grooving whenever I get behind the decks and DJ my favorite tunes!

5. Resistance Bands – Stretch, Pull, Repeat!

These colorful bands are like the Swiss army knives of the workout world. Low-impact, versatile, and easy to use, they can help strengthen various muscle groups without putting undue stress on our delicate bones. Here’s a solid list of exercise equipment that I recommend and you’ll find some great resistance bands in the list!

Discover What You Love

The trick is to find what you enjoy. It’s not about following the latest fitness trend but discovering what makes your heart race (in a good way) and leaves you feeling invigorated, not exhausted. Remember, it’s all about the joys of movement, not the rigidity of exercise.

Safety First, Always

A word of caution: always consult with your physician or therapist before taking up any new physical activity. We want those bones happy, not overly adventurous!

Celebrate Every Movement

Here’s the fun part about redefining physical activity with Osteogenesis Imperfecta: every movement counts. Whether you’re swaying to jazz, making waves in the pool, or engaging in a Tai Chi session that makes you feel like a slow-mo movie star, it’s all about celebrating the versatility of movement.

So, to all my O.I. compadres out there, let’s embrace the art of adapting. Our bones might be brittle, and we might break our bones sometimes, but we’re ALWAYS BREAKING BARRIERS and elevating toward that #UNBREAKABLE life!

Here’s to moving, shaking, and rolling (sometimes literally) with the punches! Cheers to our unique, fabulous selves and our ever-adaptable bodies.

Tony Jacobsen is the author of “Disable Your Disability: Live the Healthy Life You Deserve!”, the first book to explore the delicate relationship between brittle bones and fitness.

He’s also a Certified Personal Trainer and creator of the #UNBREAKABLE Body Online Fitness Club.

To learn more about the #UNBREAKABLE movement and Tony’s endeavors, visit his website at https://www.tonyjacobsen.com

Tony Jacobsen

Tony Jacobsen

Tony is the author of "Disable Your Disability: Live the Healthy Life You Deserve!"
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