Sunday, December 01, 2013

49 Deliberate Acts of Exercise

High on my list of "49 before 50" life improvements is fitness:  49 Deliberate Acts of Exercise before I am 50.
Every year I say I am going to exercise regularly, and every year I manage a few days here and there before it all fizzles out. This year it has got to be different, because I know that it is all starting to go downhill.
I am not overweight; my mother says I am far too thin. But I have no stamina or basic core strength.
Recently I have been challenging myself to run up or down the hill when I go out with the dog. On several occasions, my knees just gave way and I slid off the path into the muddy ditch. Some days, for no apparent reason, I just can't make my legs go up and down quickly, however hard I concentrate. That's really scary!
And of course there is the pelvic floor issue... oh come on ladies, you know what I mean, do I really have to spell it out? 
So my fitness regime is necessarily a private one. I dare not join a gym or a running group because I risk humiliating myself in a puddle of... tears.
I own several fitness dvds: Darcy Bussell's Pilates (too slow and painful), various scary aerobic / dance routines featuring busty ladies in gold hotpants (fun, fast, and dangerously high-impact in places), and my old friend the New York City Ballet Workout.
This last one is my favourite. I remember it made a real difference when last I used it regularly. It is gentle but challenging. And there is enough space in my son's old room to exercise in peace and privacy, with sufficient warmth and ventilation.
So my initial target is to "do ballet" once a week. In itself, that would be 52 exercise events.
But I know I need to bribe myself with incentives and I need a variety of activities if this is going to become a habit for life.
When I can manage it, I do actually enjoy running. But I do not own a pair of trainers, or indeed anything you might call "exercise clothes". So I might make a small investment in those.  Running in wellies and a heavy coat is hard work!
Other things I plan to do to get fitter are: walk faster (especially when out with the dog - he will benefit too!); bounce on the trampoline (gently!); and go to the beach.
"Walk on the beach" is another of my 49 before 50 goals. I'll talk about that another day.
meanwhile, if you are interested in fitness, I do recommend this blog piece I saw last week.


sulkycat said...

A friend of mine sneaked out one time to have a go on the neighbour's trampoline. She then had to sneak out again - with kitchen roll and wipes. She said the only saving grace was that nobody else was around! So yes, avoid anything that might involve tears running down ones legs ;-)

velosewer said...

Walking in wellies is an act of exercise - it would be for me.
Stick with what you can achieve and are happy to do.
Most of us at the gym now go because we gee each other on. The first few times (weeks) I wasn't certain how I'd go at the gym. Now it's a habit :)

tingledfangers said...

Walking in wellies and coat is certainly exercise and quite good resistance training. Everything we do is exercise of one sort or another and with a bit of though, can be made more effective. You want to bend down to pick up something off the floor? Work at it until you can eventually incorporate a squat (that's one of my long-term goals; I wouldn't want you to think I can actually do that!).

If you have trouble with fast running, it might be as simple as your genetic make-up being ill-adapted for it. (No, I'm not making that up or suggesting it as an excuse. We're not all the same and some of us are simply not destined to be runners at all.) So, if you found the ballet exercises useful in the past, I'd certainly be using those.

And, well, I hesitate to suggest a personal trainer, because that's a whole other issue altogether and fraught with dilemmas; but a physiotherapist, particularly one who specialises in sports physio, might be able to make some good and useful suggestions that will help your particular physique. If you are having some problems with collapsing muscles and so on (for want of a better description), then seeing a physio would actually be a sensible idea. Good luck. I'll be cheering you on as I head entirely too rapidly towards 60!

Scruffybadger said...

Sounds you've got a great plan Roo.
In terms of those ' moments' I thought it was pretty radical to read an article in womens running mag by Nell McAndrew ( she of super model with kids who runs a lot fame) mentioning Tena ladies.....

And on another practical note, when you're looking at running shoes, if you're running mainly up hills and down dales and not on Tarmac roads, you could consider trail shoes as they are more waterproof and are designed for running across more rugged terrain. I love running off road myself - always such an adventure. I'm quite jealous you have such a playground and a four legged friend to enjoy it with.

mags said...

I'm nearer 60 now! My knees are shot and I can fully relate to the lack of stamina. I should swim really but I have so little time out of work. I got a Zumba DVD and liked it but only used it twice! Oh dear.

beate grigutsch said...

please be careful with your knees! broken miniscus is no fun!!!!
your area looks like its a good place for "wandern". so maybe buy some hiking boots and trekking sticks. if you use the sticks right then they do a lot for your upper body and arms (bingo wings?) start with 5 kilometer and a flat route, then go up and down hill and more km...
i need to get up too. but to go over the knee pain caused by this wet weather is not easy :-(

Jane said...

Have you tried Nordic walking?. It's much better for you than ordinary walking and helps with you core strength. I just suggest it because it sounds like you do a lot of walking anyway and this would be one simple way of increasing your fitness without too many changes in your routine.

madeinoxford said...

Gosh, it sounds like you've been risking life and limb! Exercise is something I know I need to build into my life, so I'll be jogging/limping/puffing along with you ;) Like you, I love dance, and have found there's a 'fitsteps' class around the corner from my work - I'll be up to Strictly standard in no time!

That's beautiful landscape to exercise in, but I can imagine it makes things challenging. Hope you find something that suits!

Lizzi said...

Just do it! Anything. For about 5 minutes then work it up. Doesn’t matter what you do as long as you get a bit breathless and sweaty.

Little and often - you are on the way with walking the dog - just do it all with a bit more attitude. Well done! You are on your way.

cutitoutstitchitup said...

I'm at the other end of my 40's, I've always been slim and reasonable fit but recently my regime has just been general walking and running after young children. It really is 'use it or lose it' and I need to get up and do more.

It look like you have a good plan...

Jen Forsythe said...

There are some great ideas there, and I love your 49 before 50 plan. At 47 I'm not far behind you. As regards your fitness, definitely start slow & build up. Hill climbs & running fab, but you definitely need the right footwear (no ankle injuries please), also pilates (maybe a class) or light weights. Books like Matt Roberts & James Duigan have some great at-home workouts. Also I use '' for my fitness gear. (I am a nutrional & fitness trainer) She has remnants & bargains, lovely & cosy for winter exercise! oh yea, don't forget to breathe!

jo90 said...

A regime of pelvic floor exercises prior to trampolining may be advisable!!

Jenny Wren said...

2013 was a wash-out for me exercise wise and like you need to stop the aging thing (how depressing it all is!) Give yourself a tangible goal - train for a 10K run (but do buy the running shoes - essential kit)
Me? I'm plucking up the courage to sign-up for a 1/2 marathon, but am already thinking of the agonising trials ahead of me. In it together virtually?

Linda C said...

After some crazy health issues end of and first of year (reactions to prescribed medicines) I have tried to really get back in shap. I went to the rehab gym for my knees three times a week and did weights and steps, several machines, stretches, lots of things- and worked up to doing each exercise 40 times on each knee (or leg)- or as they say "10 reps each leg, 3 or 4 times." Well my insurance yearly entitlement ran out October 16 or 18.

I also did a Pulmonary Rehab course from Sept.23 until November 13. I got really good on the treadmill and pretty good on the other exercises. Had planned to get to the gym. Husband had detached retina- so, at home, doing drops in the eyes. But, I could do exercises with a dvd I got in my classes- really need to. Amazing how you lose your strength so quickly.

Roo, when I was in the rehab classes. I saw how important it was to wear trainers. Many people would show up in sandals, clogs, house shoes or I would say bedroom shoes. One young lady even wore backless heels - for which she got a dressing down from the therapists. Danger of slipping, falling, etc.

Good luck and best wishes on the moving business, with the body that is.


acharmofmagpies said...

Good luck with this! I prefer my exercise to be be stealthy, so that I don't notice I'm exercising cos I'm actually having fun. Dancing is the only thing I've found that works for me. Enjoy what works for you, ballet sounds fabulous!