In 1976 Dorothy Hamill took a gold medal in figure skating at the green age of 19, now in her 50’s Hamill still manages to keep active despite having the chronic pain and discomfort of osteoarthritis. While exercising has always been seen as a chore for Hamill, she has found many other ways to stay active, keep skating, and maintain her pain management with Osteoarthritis.
Dorothy Hamill spends a lot of time on the ice still to this day, but she does admit that with her Osteoarthritis it takes more time to stretch, warm up, and get moving. Even with a vigorous warm up and stretching routine, Hamill says there is still stiffness in her neck, hip, and knees which renders her less flexible. While for many this would stop them from doing something like skating, for Hamill it motivated her to keep moving and to work through her symptoms. It’s not without purpose, however, she does follow some simple techniques to stay active and on the ice.
Walking everyday has been a big help for Dorothy Hamill. While she claims daily exercise routines is a chore for her, walking her dogs through her Baltimore neighborhood is something she actually enjoys and looks forward to. It keeps her loose and physically active while maintaining a low impact cardio routine that is essential for treatment in Osteoarthritis. She also spends more time warming up on the ice to really utilize the temperature differences on the rink from cold and hot to keep her muscles loose. Hamill spends more time using stretching and relaxation techniques while doing some yoga to keep as much flexibility as possible.
Dorothy Hamill uses skating as her motivation. It is her passion, income, and a way of life for her. Focusing on the goal of continuing that, Hamill has found a way to work through her symptoms and continue to skate. Keeping active, making healthy food choices, and add simple yoga to her daily routine have allowed Hamill to continue to be a driving force in the Olympic world and an inspiration for all.
Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/aapd418/8382749298/