We all reach an age where we are aware of our own mortality – especially when the media write obits describing passing stars younger than myself as veteran, senior or (heaven forbid!) ‘well preserved.’ I know that I sit at my computer far too much, especially in the winter months. Having a tiny garden means that I don’t even get out to do those jobs that got the muscles working and there is very little I can do at the allotment when it alternates between soggy mud patch and frozen tundra.
I know that I need to exercise, but nobody has ever been able to describe me as sporty. I did belong to the school gym team for a short time, and the hockey team for half a term but two broken ribs and a concussion seemed to persuade the games teacher that I was something of a liability! I later discovered that this was due to an, at that time, un-diagnosed dyspraxia – huzzah not a clumsy clot after all, but dang it, playing team sports, where agility is generally demanded and when I can fall over my own feet the moment I try to run, will never win me friends. And if I am brutally honest – though I can enjoy the social side of joining clubs I really don’t enjoy the physical part of any sport that much, so don’t need a great deal of dissuasion.
I do like to walk, however. Especially in the country with all of the benefits that it gives to body and soul. Where I live in a city has few large public parks within easy reach, which means that I must get in the car to reach suitable walking places. Now that is fine perhaps once a week but takes up far more of my writing time on a daily basis than I have to spare. The alternative is aimlessly wandering the same cookie-cutter streets every day just to get a little exercise, which gets old very quickly. And before anyone suggests it, pounding a running machine in the gym drives me nuts after ten minutes – and that is before we get into the soundtrack most gyms insist on playing at bone jarring volumes, which no headphones can cut out – but we shan’t go into that here!
So – walking. It does feel like the obvious answer so how to get over my natural antipathy to routine?
I have been reading guidelines recently on the quantity of ‘steps’ required to build fitness. Many advocate 10,000 steps per day. At a brisk pace this is calculated as approx 5 miles and should take (at 20 mins per mile, allowing for hills) around 2 hours… Everyday? Not going to happen without somewhere to go – meaning a purpose for the walk beyond walking for walkings’ sake – if you see what I mean. Yes I could indulge in walking meditations, or plotting for the books, but I’d need to be able to make notes 😊
Reading further I am told that for ‘women of a certain age’ 3,000 steps per day is the minimum requirement for basic health, with further studies claiming that 4,000 to 4.500 is the sweet spot. Any more being good but not bringing further benefits to general well being 4,000 steps is approx 2 miles and a far more realistic goal for me. The 4,000 target does not burn that many calories but studies have concluded that, in the case of older women, can help ward off the onset of various age related conditions including arthritis and dementia.
With all of this in mind I bought a fitness tracker and discovered that the walk into town is approx. 3,500 steps. So even if I get the bus back (come on guys – its mostly uphill 😊 ) I can easily manage the remaining 1,000 just doing those everyday household things.
Keeping an eye on those steps is interesting – though I do wonder how long the poor counter will survive my lamentable ability to kill anything with a battery purely through being about my person for any length of time.
For this reason I do take it off at night – but this morning saw that it had recorded 87 steps overnight while sitting on my bedside table… and I don’t suppose I can blame the cats…
Good luck Jan, I need to start walking too x
LikeLiked by 1 person
If its only leaving the car and walking into town for coffee a couple of times a week its something 🙂
Every little helps! I miss having a dog, that used to get me out.