I think starting off from "active" works in your favor.
I'm not sure running is good. It places more stress on the knees.
Normally, your knee (singular) sees half your weight. Walking,
it experiences your full weight for brief instants (as your weight
shifts from both legs to one, then back to both). Running, it
sees 150% of your weight. And, it's a more jarring application
of that weight.
When I first started walking, MD was preaching "30 minutes, 3 times
"I walk 3.8 miles"
"Yeah, but how FAST do you walk?" (avg is 3MPH)
"4.0 MPH" (i.e. ~1 hour)
"Yeah, but how often?"
"On average, 5 days a week -- 19 miles per week" (at that time)
"Well, it would be better if you could do *20*..."
(Keep in mind, no less than 60 seconds earlier he was
preaching "30 minutes, 3 times a week". Now, I'm telling him
I do *60* minutes *5* times a week... and he's trying to get
a little bit more! I just gave him my best "stare of disbelief"
until he turned beet red -- clear up into his scalp...)
Yes, starting off healthy is a huge advantage.
I still recommend running. Mainly because you are outside covering
ground, and if you're walking 3.8 miles, who knows you might be able to
run a half mile. At the end, you'll have pumped up your muscles with
blood, and accelerated all your bodily functions like heart, lungs,
Unless walking makes you breath hard, I think you should speed up.
I wouldn't run more than a 2 miles at a time. Running is too rough on the
body (knees, feet). Find something else if you want more exercise.
You'll do more good and it won't take so long.
Of course, my opinion, but I feel like it worked for me. A while back I
was just walking because my feet hurt. Graduated to running, got back
into lifting, currently on a 3 year swimming binge.
I have to walk a fine line regarding outdoor exercise.
I have *lots* of seasonal allergies. And, live in a place
where *something* is ALWAYS in bloom. The pollen charts
just show one species peaking -- then giving way to another,
etc. -- all year 'round!
So, my lungs are often struggling to purge these inhaled
"irritants" (apparently, folks with allergies are predisposed
to things like asthma).
On top of this, I'm always trying to find the sweet spot
regarding outdoor conditions: I'm not keen on walking when
the Sun is high and it's 110F! I'll be *in* the sun for
that entire time (esp if I'm walking to library, post office,
etc.). And, not keen on having to carry water to stay
hydrated (No fanny pack, thankyouverymuch!).
At the other extreme, if the air is too cool (and terribly DRY),
it irritates my lungs. I feel like I want to scratch them
So, this leaves me with a narrow window to hit -- that I have
to mesh with my sleep/wake/work cycle. I.e., if I'm asleep
at the best time to walk... <shrug>
If I miss that window, I *drive* the mile to the local park
and walk their indoor track (no advantage to walking their
OUTDOOR track!). But, this is INCREDIBLY boring!
Around and around and around and around and...
Also kind of embarassing as I tend to walk much faster than the
other folks on the track. Especially those that are STRUGGLING to
walk at all! So, I'm constantly overtaking them:
"Excuse me", "Coming around on your left", etc.
During warm weather I tend to bike - but not on roads.
During cold weather the solution that has proven itself to me over a
number of years has been a PreCor Model 100 elliptical machine plus
music at the local Y.
I specify Make/Model because I find other elliptical machines to be
severely wanting by comparison.
In fact, before I discovered this thing I thought elliptical machines
were for wimps - that *real* men used the StairMaster...even had a
StairMaster knockoff in my garage.
But this elliptical machine gives me the most elevation in heart rate
with the least perceived exertion of anything I have ever done. It's
like swimming standing up.
Couldn't do it without music (or, maybe TV or a book)... but I have
music and the pleasure outweighs the pain long term.
On 2/23/2016 7:05 AM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:
There aren't many options here that don't involve roads -- without
"taking a drive". We can bike along the "wash network" but it
would be a leisurely stroll as you'd be biking amongst folks
walking (like on a sidewalk).
The city tends to be bike friendly. But, that doesn't mean the
*drivers* are! And, with most roadways 4 or 6 lanes, left turns
get to be a real hassle -- you either turn from the innermost lane
(and find yourself trapped against the median after the turn,
trying to "get right" across a couple of lanes of traffic), or
turn from a "middle lane" (rightmost left turn lane) and hope
you don't get clipped by through traffic while you wait to cross.
Most of the pro/semi-pro bicyclists who train here gain protection
by traveling in "packs" -- effectively occupying an entire traffic
lane! Hard to do that with one bike...
Excellent! I will try to track one down! I've been considering
buying something so I'm not governed by weather, time of day, etc.
with my exercising (walking). But, know too many pieces of equipment
that get bought then become dust magnets.
For me, the advantage to a machine is that I could rest a book on
the handlebars -- not possible to read while walking otherwise
(the book bounces around too much).
The problem with exercise (and diet and other lifestyle choices)
is that the costs tend to be deferred -- until a point where
you can't recoup your losses. OTOH, the (apparent) "savings"
are immediate: "I can enjoy this unnutritional -- but tastey -- meal
Time to load the car...
Have you tried music?
Probably not for everybody, but for me it introduces a feelgood factor.
Books/TV, OTOH, just distract me from the effort - not a bad thing - but
music actually enhances the sensation.
When I walk, I grab one of my PMP's -- depending on what sort of
mood I'm in. Usually something with a fast "beat" so it's not
competing with my pace.
Then, occupy my mind playing sudoku or just brainstorming
whatever project I'm engaged with.
I'm not fond of AM -- unless it's like 4AM (just before bed).
Instead, I aim for very late hours in Spring/Fall -- nighttime
hours in Summer. Winter is the only time when the temps
are comfortable enough during the middle of the day -- but the
Sun is very intense.
I exercise first thing in the morning, every day. I actually enjoy it.
One of the different things I throw in about every other day are the
core exercises my husband got from the physical therapist after his
spine surgery. They are relatively simple to do, but I can tell the
I do walk a lot. With my knees running is out of the question. We hike
a lot, kayak, and engage in winter sports as well.
Maybe the most important thing I have learned in 50+ years of obsessive
physical conditioning: The Pleasure Has Got To Exceed The Pain.
I tell people that they can put up with exercise being unpleasant for
awhile - and they will inevitably have to when starting out or
re-starting after a break.... but in the long run they have to find
something where they can feel more pleasure from it than discomfort.
Different strokes for different folks... but each person has to be aware
that they must keep searching/trying to adapt.
With straight, really good exercise like weight lifting,
the exercise itself will feel punishing. Not good.
Things like running have some payoff, you're outside seeing
scenery go by but it's still hard. Can't say why I find
swimming so much fun. I like perfecting strokes and turns.
I've always found increasing muscle mass or tone a delayed pleasure.
You have to balance short term pain against long term rewards.
I imagine there is some point in old age where you stop
getting stronger but I haven't reached it yet.
I always liked the sensation of gliding through the water
then doing a flip at the end and headed back the other way.
But, you need a LONG pool (olympic size) to not end up spending
all your time turning! Here, that means a public pool <frown>
Swimming, for me, also had the same advantage of walking:
that it becomes mindless and you can free your mind to think
about other things while your body keeps up the rhythm.
You can even (almost!) "turn off your eyes" in each case
to free up that much more of your consciousness.
By contrast, I found diving to be very intense -- demainding
lots of attention.
I'd still prefer having a clone who could spend the TIME
exercising (and, somehow, transfer its benefits to me!)
Bummer. In town we have an aquatic club.
Indoor swimming all year round.
There's a big health club with a pool nearby too.
Both have Olympic sized pools.
In my youth I spent most of my time in the pool diving.
I was on a team at the Y then at HS.
Now I think I did too much diving and should have
worked at swimming more. Today it's hard to find a place
with a diving board.
I keep reading about how a muscle growing pill is in the works.
We have similar places. And, local "parks" (e.g., there's such
a pool a mile from here, as the crow flies). I'm just not
keen on having to share with kids with dirty diapers, etc.
[I don't let folks swim in my toilet, either! :> ]
For me, it was just a requirement in Boy Scouts (the "Swimming"
and "Lifesaving" merit badges). It's an ... "interesting"...
experience to *fly* upwards without fear of the fact that
you *will* come crashing down (into *water*).
I never saw swimming as exercise (aerobic) but, rather,
relaxing (get into the pool and "soak", glide through
the water, etc.). E.g., much prefer side/back/breast to
crawl -- they let you "coast" for a while and feel like you're
floating/gliding; crawl always felt like you couldn't stop...
like flapping your wings lest you fall out of the sky!
I want just enough strength to handle the basics of living.
I don't need to impress anyone with the fact that I can
lift/press N pounds.
I am more concerned with maintaining dexterity/range of motion.
And, keenly aware of the prevalence of essential tremor and
parkinsonian tremor as age increases. I've relied on fine motor
control for most of my career; the potential for losing it
(or compromising it) is... "disturbing". :<
I have found that, with strength training, there is room to make it at
least neutral while actually doing the reps - and pleasurable afterwards
as the pump sets in. I'm not saying it's the greatest thing in the
world, but it's something I can deal with 2x per week for a half hour to
supplement the 1 hour cardio I do on the other days.
On 2/22/2016 5:46 PM, (PeteCresswell) wrote:
I don't find anything "pleasurable" about exercising (walking).
I don't find anything pleasurable about flu shots, either! :>
Rather, I see this as part of being responsible (to myself).
Like "eating your vegetables" (instead of JUST the iced cream).
So, I try to "con" myself into rationalizing the JOB performed by
the exercise. E.g., it's 2.4 miles (IIRC) to the local library branch
"via the back trails" (longer in a vehicle). So, rather than spending
10-12 minutes driving that distance, parking the car, etc. I will walk
there (40 minutes -- it's uphill). The 5 or 10 minutes I spend there
gives me a chance to rest up, a bit (as well as rehydrate -- I tend
not to carry water with me... bad!) before making the walk back home.
So, 80 minutes to cover 4.8 miles -- instead of the 56 minutes that
I would have put in normally for the 3.8 miles. But, it has only "cost"
me 56-60 minutes (discounting the time it would have taken me to
drive it!). Feels like I "got a bargain"... :<
It's a comparable distance to the post office (walk to mail a letter;
stop by the grocery store and buy a few items for the trip back).
Even my MD's office (3 miles each way).
The tough walks are when it's raining (I still go!).
You don't *have* to -- but, when you later complain about THIS ache and
THAT pain... <shrug>
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