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Happy New Year ~ By LuAnn Kleemeyer

Happy New Year to everyone that is reading this! I hope that everyone has a great 2015 and can or will continue to strive for an even better year to come. If you are like many of us, you indulged a little too much over the holiday's and may be feeling a little guilty about it. Well don't! You can start today and clean that diet up and begin to eat better and if you want to lose a few pounds (who doesn't) now may be the day to start!

As many of you may know I am an advocate of swimming. It is great for your body and easy on all of your joints. No matter what kind of amputee you are, you CAN swim. The biggest hurdle you may have is getting over yourself about showing your limb that may not be the prettiest, to the public. Trust me on this one, after the other swimmers see it a few times they will not even "see" it anymore and will welcome the new swimmer to the group. I endured the stares, whispers and questions and now I am just one of the gang. The water feels so wonderful on your aching body and swimming is so good for the whole body. I am missing my whole right leg and wear a fin on my left leg, but my favorite way to swim is just with my arms. There are different types of fins you can use if you are a upper body amp and there are fins you can put on your limb if you are a below the knee amp. As the saying goes: "Where there is a will, there is a way". It may not be pretty at first but you will get better. I swam with a ski belt on for 6 months till I learned how to swim. Yes, I didn't even know how to swim when I started. Now I swim with a Masters swim group and do about a mile or more on Saturday morning.

Another great item I got over Christmas was a Fitbit. I was looking for something that would measure my steps while on crutches and this little device does that. I was intrigued about the sleep setting too, so I could see how well I was sleeping. I don't know for sure how that little thing does it but it works with everything I throw at it. Once you make an account and get it all set up it is fun to see how far you walk, how well you slept last night and I also log in what I eat through the day because I have 10 more pounds to lose, so it is tracking my calories. I am not endorsing this brand but for me I am impressed that it works while I am on my crutches at home. Most days I am on them and take many steps in the house.

So that is my little encouragement for you to try something different in the new year, if you have been wondering what you could do for exercise. I belong to the local Y here is town and they provide a wheelchair for me to use as I go on my crutches. I give them my crutches, they give me the wheelchair to use and then I use the chair lift at the pool to get in and out. One nice thing about the Y too is you can use your card in any city in the USA too. Which I have and it is nice to see other Y programs and what they have to offer.

I pray for you to have a Wonderful, Happy and Healthy New Year!

Blessing & Peace-

LuAnn Kleemeyer

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