After walking just under 49 miles two weeks ago, I surpassed 50 last week. I felt happy two weeks ago when I walked more than my age (48) in miles in a week, much like I felt happy that I was able to do a slow/disciplined push up for every year up to and including my 41st birthday (my goal was to do this indefinitely, but lung disease ended that pursuit). I do wonder if I am exercising too much – every muscle and joint in my body throbs and aches. I am thinking of what my pulmonologist and GP have told me (when you have lung disease it is important to listen to the body) and I think it is possible to exercise (walk) too much when fighting fibro and AS – but sheesh it’s hard to stop. I enjoy walking, especially since ironically I don’t feel very well so when I walk I am able to take my mind off my illness. I also think I am lifting too much weight at the gym, but again, it is hard to stop.
I am averaging just under 6 miles per day of walking for the year (5.9), but am averaging over 7 miles per day this past week. Partially it is because I walk 2.5 miles every day to start my day, 1 or 2 miles every day at lunch, and walk 2 miles or so to and from the bus stop. But this week I’ve had to run a few extra errands and have walked or biked on those, so my miles are up a little. I love it!!
My muscle and joint aches have been high this week, and lifting weights has been painful, but my strength is up a little bit. I’ve reduced my reps in each set from 4 to 2 or 3 and am using heavier weights, since I am worried about my heart rate, which is supposed to stay down to aviod damaging my cardiovascular system. Strangely, if I do fewer heavier weights my heart rate stays down. I am up to 200 pounds benching, and 230 lat pull down, and back up to 300 pounds on the leg press, which isn’t too shabby for a 155 pound dude who doesn’t put a big premium on strength (I’d rather be fit than strong).
As part of my ongoing attempt to walk throughout the day — not just in the morning — I walked to the local park, circled the park twice, then walked back. All told, it took 40 minutes. I’m not certain of the distance,, but so far today I’ve walked 6.7 miles so it must be a little over 2 miles, perhaps closer to 3. I eat my lunch at my desk so I can carve out the time to walk, and I love it.
I was walking over 10 miles a day on our vacation in Europe, which makes the 5 miles I am walking this week seem paltry. So walked for 30 minutes during my lunch. It feels so good to take a moderate walk. It is bright and sunny today, and the temperature is 72 but it feels 80.
As I walked I thought about my week in the hospital in 2012, when I was too restless (or worried) to read, and didn’t feel like watching TV so all I did was walk the halls. The first trips were brutal (my lungs were recuperating from surgery) but I got stronger every day. When all else fails, I always feel better when I walk.
For a little under a dollar, I purchased a bouncy rubber ball, the size of a racquetball. Now every morning I take it with me on my walk, and it has made my walks so much more pleasant. Instead of thinking about random things, I just focus on that little ball, bouncing it to the ground and catching it again. Bounce, catch. Bounce, catch. Bounce, catch… Before I know it, my walk is over. Or, better yet, I’ve walked for miles more. This morning, I walked 3.5 miles and I swear it was not more than a minute-long walk. Very pleasant. And healthy. Like meditation without the effort of meditation 🙂
It is easy for me to exercise during the week — I do it first thing when I wake up, since I already have to be awake and to work early anyway, plus I walk to and from the bus stop. But the weekends take more discipline since I don’t have to be awake and around, and what I really want to do is lay on my butt. So the fact I walked 14 miles in and around town this weekend makes me feel happy. Probably 5 miles of that was exercise, the rest was walking to errands.
The only organic coffee shop is one mile away. Round trip walking that is 30 minutes. But in the suburbs I have to drive unless I want to risk my life on streets with no sidewalks. So I drive. But every block has a light that is red for 5 minutes, there are a few streets where there are no left turns so I must go a few extra blocks, and when all is said in done I am in my car for a frustrating 30 minutes. I truly hate the suburbs. We blame China for global warming but what percentage of that is the concrete and stoplight hell we call the suburbs. BTW I have no less than 3 or 4 organic coffee places with a 5 minute of my home in the city. If there is a hell out there waiting for me, surely it resembles the suburbian purgatory like the setting in Weeds.