Exercise…in a Whole and Healthy Life

So.  Exercise.  How’s it going?  What does it mean to exercise for health within a balanced life?  I won’t bore you with what the ‘experts’ say.  I’ll just bore you with what I’m doing LOL.

One of the big things I have always thought about is how much time do I want to spend exercising?  What is the lowest common denominator?–that is, what is the most benefit that can be derived from exercise in the least amount of time?  In my quest for a whole and healthy life, there are a lot of things I want to fit into the day.  Most days I do not accomplish all of those things.  So to spend an extraordinary amount of time exercising just doesn’t cut it for me.  But…  there’s that ‘healthy’ word that I stuck in there.

So I take at least a 30 minute walk 6 days a week. Most days I do two 20 minute walks.  One moderate paced, and lately one very fast challenging pace.  Then, my goal is to work out at the gym 3 days per week for 30 minutes.  Lately I have only gotten 20 minutes in, but that is essentially a complete workout–balanced amount of upper body and lower body exercises.  Have to admit that core is hit or miss.

Now, part of the 20 minute walking thing is that my knee and various other joints hurt.  A lot, most days.  So its hard to want to walk for more than 20 minutes when it hurts.  But I did know (intellectually, not psychologically) that it didn’t hurt worse to walk for a longer period of time.  So after Shelley talking about her Saturday morning 5 mile runs, I declared that I would take my old 5 mile walk to the Indian Grinding Rocks State Park.  Oh dear.  By Friday morning I wanted to back out.  But with Helen and Shelley goading cheering me on in the comments, I got up bright and early and set out shortly after 7 am on Saturday morning (because it was predicted to be a high of 97 degrees on Saturday!)

And we made it (Noah and I, that is!)  And I didn’t feel worse after the walk, I felt better.  In fact, today I felt even better.  Mentally more than anything else.  So I am going to add the long walks back in to the rotation.  I am usually at a loss as to what to do with Saturdays (after working for so long every Saturday) so this seems like a good way to start the day.

So with all these aches and pains in the joints (there is a surprising LACK of information on osteoarthritis out there on the interwebs) it seems like adding in swimming would be a very good thing to do.  I always get a little shy about getting back in the pool, but with this hot weather I’m pretty sure I’ll get over that shortly!

So that’s where my exercise routine is these days.  I have exercised a lot more in the past, and of course I have exercised a lot LESS in the distant past.  Right or wrong, for me right now, this is the lowest common denominator for exercise in my life.


11 thoughts on “Exercise…in a Whole and Healthy Life

  1. “what is the most benefit that can be derived from exercise in the least amount of time?” This is really important. You can go for hours and hours, but really to what benefit (hello 72 mile ride LOL). Unless you are doing something really fun, you just need exercise to give you the health benefit you seek in a time economy. There is no wrong way if you are doing it in a way that you will continue with.

    Have you talked to an ortho doc about an arthritis suppression program? If you can’t tolerate NSAIDs, maybe something like voltaren gel would be a good option.

    • I was going to mention, that is next on the docket! Gonna see my doctor for my regular physical, then ask if I should be concerned about the knee, and then tell her about the increased aches and pains in just the last year. And ask for an ortho or arthritis consult!

  2. Love this! You don’t have to spend hours at the gym to get great benefits. It matters far more what you DO while you’re there. And I’m not just saying that because I work out in much the same way. LOL

    Props for getting the longer walk in! I’m supposed to be doing a longer day each week, but I haven’t met that goal in the past two weeks. You’ve inspired me!

  3. I’m so pleased that our, um, ENCOURAGEMENT (LOL) got you out the door on Saturday morning! 🙂 🙂 🙂 I think that sometimes you and I suffer from the same disease, and that’s being our own worst enemy when it comes to just getting started. And it’s amazing how great you feel when you’re done. Which makes me wonder, why do I fight this? GOOD JOB!!!

    Now if I could just motivate myself to do some strength training like you do…

  4. I totally agree with you and I also want the most bang for my buck when it comes to exercise. I mostly walk, occasionally ride my bicycle and swim. I work in a few exercises with hand weights and the resistance band but, except for Zumba, it is not anything I really enjoy. If my health were not involved, I’d just be a lazy slug. Sad but true. 😦

  5. So now, when you don’t want to go, you hold on to how that walk made you feel good, right?! As I’m aging I’ve noticed the increase in the aches and pains too. For me, the important thing is to distinguish between aging aches and actual pain or injury. Sometime I’m not very good at that. I also think a lot about just how much exercise I want to do. I know I want to do some, but probably not even as much as I was doing 10 years ago and I also, very much, look forward to one day of complete rest!

    • Yes, I hope I will keep that memory at least until next Saturday morning!!

      Yeah, that’s why I need to go to the doctor’s–just to verify that these are aging aches, and not something that could be easily fixed.

  6. I’m satisfied with that goal of no less than 10,000 steps on my pedometer each day and one day of either hiking or biking each week. I’ve learned the costly way that I am simply not going to go to a gym. I hate them. I may not be the strongest girl in the world or able to flex any upper body muscles, but I can haul a heavy backpack for 12 miles. I’m satisified with that!! BTW, I much prefer hauling that backpack for ranges of 5-8 miles and as we discussed when you were in TN, I hope to do that walk with you one day!!

    • I agree. Between hauling the backpack, and walking the hills, you are getting plenty of functional strength training exercise!

  7. In the “for-what-it’s-worth” category: Last fall I was feeling more and more aches and pains, and sought relief from the orthopedic doc. X-rays showed arthritis in hips, knees, spine – not terrible, but there. I had read about sugar and its inflammatory nature and decided to do a one week trial to see if eliminating it would help. Really thought that at 73 it was a hopeless project, but tried, anyway. After only 5 days of rigorously avoiding sugar and starches (which turn to sugar in my body) at least 80% of the pain was lessened. After 5 months, I’m training for a walking half-marathon, and walking pretty darn well, thankyouverymuch. Maybe a short trial would prove to be of some help. Even the doc thought it wouldn’t be much help – but it was!

    • Thanks Donna! I pretty much minimize sugar and refined flour etc. in my diet already. I might keep track to see if there is a correlation between when I do indulge and when the pain is worse.

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