Transforming Your Life through Self-Care: A Guide to Tapping into Your Deep Beauty and Inner Worth
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Chapter 10  


Have you thought about what exercises you can do if you have limited body movement or physical challenges? Many of us have some limitations because of age, accidents, or diseases. That should not stop you from exercising. You just need to know your body very well, understand your physical limitations, and work with your healthcare professionals to design the right plan for you. I like to think of it as using your different abilities to the best of your ability.

One of my friends and inspiration is Jose Flores. At forty-one, he is a husband, father of two sons, and the author of Don’t Let Your Struggle Become Your Standard! As a toddler, he was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a neuromuscular disease that weakens the muscles. Today he is in a wheelchair.

Growing up wasn’t easy for Jose. He suffered from many insecurities and feelings of insignificance, not knowing where he would end up in life. One day he made a choice to start living life to the fullest and not caring about what other people thought about him. Through his perseverance and faith in God, he has been able to overcome many obstacles. I asked him about his exercise routine. He said, “Carolyn, I love getting into the swimming pool and doing my water exercises, because when I am in the pool my body is free. In the pool, I can do strength training fitness and squats, which is a compound full-body exercise that strengthens my primary muscles, such as the thighs, hips, and buttocks all at the same time. Also, I can sit on the lower steps in the pool, and push my legs out and pull them back repeatedly. I feel so great after a good water aerobics. I try to get to the pool at least once a week.”  

He had an alternative for the days he could not get to the pool: “I work out in my wheelchair. It has an apparatus that helps me with muscle contractions and generates a functional movement that will lift my legs and lower my head, allowing me to repeat this action as many times as I want to keep my muscles moving. It is a great workout for my heart.” Then he said some words that will always serve as a great inspiration to me: “Carolyn, my disability is visible; the world can see my limitations. But other people may have secret limitations—limitations in one’s mind, the fear of failure, negative thinking, poor performance, lack of self-worth, complacency, and the list can go on and on.”

Jose Flores’s Beautiful Family

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About Carolyn Brent

Dr. Carolyn A. Brent, is an award-winning bestselling author and a National Physique Committee (NPC) Masters Women's Figure Champion at age 60. She is an expert on both self-care and caregiving; she is the founder of Across All Ages and two nonprofit organizations, CareGiverStory Inc. and Grandpa's Dream. Carolyn's research and extensive collection of published works have made her a notable figure in her field. For seventeen years, she worked for some of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies and has worked as a volunteer at various assisted-living facilities. Her award-winning books include The Caregiver's Companion: Caring for Your Loved One Medically, Financially and Emotionally While Caring for Yourself and The Caregiver's Legal Survival Guide: Navigating through the Legal System.

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