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Paula Abdul stretches twice a day: ‘Stretching is a form of meditation’

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Paula Abdul has a new interview with Parade Magazine that my local paper included in an insert called “Spry Living.” I enjoy Paula and she usually gives a good interview. Paula talked to Parade about how much she loves being a judge on The Masked Singer and about her rheumatoid arthritis and how she keeps active. Paula, 58, said that stretching is key and that she tries to stretch in the morning and at night. I’m reporting this to get myself to stretch more, honestly. If I talk about it enough maybe I’ll finally do it. Here’s more of what Paula told Parade:

What do you do for rehabilitation?
I’ve done Pilates. I take ice baths. One of the things that works for me is Voltaren, a pain relief gel. And now that I’ve been able to implement this into my daily routine, it helps prolong my life as a performer. I was used to being in pretty bad pain, but the pain relief is almost instantaneous and gets me through my performances. One of my best friends also gave me a mini Theragun [a handheld deep muscle massager] during the pandemic. I can fit it in my purse and I can massage out my muscles and joints. And for me, that’s just part and parcel to something else that’s good for me.

What does your day-to-health routine look like?
I try to eat anti-inflammatory and alkaline foods [to maintain an optimal pH level in the body]. I’m not crazy with it, but I do everything that I can in moderation and that definitely helps me. And I don’t like saying “diet.” To me, that word sets me up to fail. I just try to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

What are some stretching habits you live by?
It’s very easy to succumb to being a couch potato and watching TV, especially during the pandemic, but not moving is the worst situation for anyone who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Stretching is critical. I stretch in the morning right when I get up, and I stretch before I go to bed. And that’s a form of meditation. I set a devotion in the morning and meditate on it, same thing before going to sleep. I also stretch while watching TV. During the commercials, I will get up and do a little bit of movement, stretch, take that time to dance it out. Even if it’s five minutes here or there, then all of a sudden, you’re at 15 minutes.

What have you done to keep your excitement and creativity up?
I love to try new things. I recently took an online ballroom dance lesson. It’s pretty funny when you’re doing one part and you see the instructor doing the other part, but you’re dancing by yourself! I’ve also done some cooking lessons online. I’ve been cooking and baking up a storm.

[From Parade]

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Paula also talked about losing three of her dogs during lockdown, which sounds heartbreaking, and how she’s not dating because she’s not even hanging out with her friends. I love that she’s taking things seriously. So many people aren’t, particularly celebrities who seem to be hooking up with new partners left and right.

Apart from how much she stretches I could relate to a lot of what she said. I also love baking and cooking now and have taken dancing lessons on Zoom. Dancing is one of my favorite things too. I will gladly do hard cardio like kickboxing and spinning, but it’s hard for me to slow down enough to stretch or do yoga. As a result I’m having muscle soreness and pain now that I’ve upped my workouts, which is ridiculous. I meditate about once a day, but I either want to go full speed when I work out or just rest, there’s no in between. I definitely need it though. Oya teaches tantra yoga once a week and I love that because it’s slow and you get to rest a lot. It’s much more like meditation than typical yoga. Maybe that’s similar to what Paula does when she stretches.

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