Thursday, July 14, 2016

Staying Healthy . . . I Hope

During our recent 6 month tour in our trailer, I got a bit lazy. Although I tried to walk as much as possible, there were many places we stayed where there simply wasn't a good or safe place to walk. We also ate out much more than we normally do. As a result, I put on a few pounds.

As I've aged, I've learned that good health really boils down to two things: diet and exercise. I've also learned that both must be done regularly.

Now that we are settled, I've gotten back into a solid exercise routine. Three days each week -- usually Monday, Wednesday, and Friday -- I walk. Our new neighborhood is ideal for walking. We live in a secluded community with only one way in or out. Once in the community, we have several streets, and if you take what I call the perimeter loop, you have a 1.5 mile loop. Right now, I'm walking 3 loops for a total of 4.5 miles on my walking days. I average about 17 minutes per mile, which is roughly 3.5 miles per hour.

On alternate days -- Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday -- I ride my bicycle. This is a bit new to me. My legs definitely are not in bicycle shape. It takes a different set of muscles to ride as opposed to walking. Although our community is on fairly level ground, we do have some high ground which creates a slow but noticeable slope when you are riding. As I go up that slope, my legs burn quite a bit. And the wind -- which really has been blowing hard lately -- makes a noticeable difference when you are biking. I've noticed that even when I'm on level ground, the wind blowing into my face slows me down considerably and makes my legs work harder. When I first started, I was only able to do a couple of miles on my bike, but now I'm up to 5 miles. Those first few attempts almost crippled me. After one of those rides, my legs were like rubber, and I really didn't even want to walk. My goal is to get my legs in good enough shape that I can bike the O. C. Fisher dam, which is a length of just over 7 miles, one way. Since I'll have to make a round-trip ride, that is a total of just over 14 miles. That's not far if you are a young bicyclist, but for an overweight old man, that is a pretty good ride. But I'll get it done.

In addition to exercising regularly, we are now eating more meals at home. We still eat out twice a week, but most of the time we stay home. We eat a salad almost daily, and we're starting to watch our calorie intake much more closely, something I stopped doing early during our trip. As a result, the pounds are starting to slide off. I gained close to 15 pounds during our trip, so I need to get that amount back off as quickly as possible. Then I need to lose a few more pounds on top of that.

A lot of people don't like routines or schedules, but they have always worked for me. I'm glad to be back on a regular exercise schedule and to be eating healthier food.

Today's bicycle day. Time to go burn my leg muscles.

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