Walking isn't enough exercise for body maintenance.

I walk daily. My daily goal (I have a Fitbit) is 5,000 steps. 7,500 is the next goal, followed by 10,000 steps.

However, I have found that walking just isn't enough exercise.

I need flexibility and balance exercises so my muscles and joints remain flexible.
I need strength and weight-bearing exercise so I don't lose what little strength I have left.

Thus, as I've mentioned here before and in my book (Fed, Safe, Sheltered; we renamed Suburban Stockade to better fit the market we're aiming at), I do more than walk.

I'm thinking about this again as I look out the window at the wintery mix sleeting down. I can't go out and walk on ice.

This is where a variety of exercises that you do *at home* really comes in handy.

We alternate (Bill and I) with yoga and strength exercises that come with the Wii Fit platform. Yes, it's an exercise program from Nintendo and like every other exercise program, it works to the extent that you're willing to do it.

We also, as I've mentioned before, vary the program with the Royal Canadian Air Force exercise program which doesn't need anything other than your own sweet self.

I make all my exercises (whichever they are) into weight-bearing by adding weights.

I wear wrist and ankle weights, adding an additional thirteen pounds of weight.

To protect my joints (I learned the hard way) I wear knee supports and elbow supports. They help enormously and I no longer stress those joints.

How do you vary your workout to do more than the cardio that walking provides?
This exercise is separate, by the way, from the exercise you get as part of your day job or from routine daily activities such as housekeeping or gardening.

David Trammel's picture

I definitely need to start a physical program. When I worked I was very physical, one of the reasons I retired. The old body just couldn't anymore. With my retirement last year, and the pandemic I've been way too sedate. I was walking a mile or so every morning but with the weather stopped. Its in the 50s today and might be the time to start them again.

Yes, I also need to start doing some basic stretching and movement exercises. Just before the pandemic I was signing up for a stick fighting course, but that was cancelled. The Learning Ritual Magic course has some relaxation exercises but I need to get proactive with keeping my range of movement and flexibility or I'll end up like many of my peers, in bad shape.

Something to think about.

Start working on your fitness today and you might avoid some of the indignities of old age. I'm watching the deterioration of my parents.

They've got other issues but an underlying one is that although they were always active and walking, they never (either of them) did regular strength and flexibility exercises. Walking and household chores were enough.

Well, they weren't.

The other reason for the weightbearing exercise (in addition to whatever else you do every day) is your bones. Both my parents suffer from severe osteoporosis. They're spines are bent like hunchbacks. My dad is worse. The reason he's still breathing is decades of trombone playing expanded his lung capacity. The only dairy products he ever ate were hard cheese and ice cream. My mother will eat yogurt but drinking milk is for little kids.

No weightbearing exercise and little calcium in the diet lead directly to your spine collapsing upon itself.

Get moving and get more calcium and vitamin D!

David Trammel's picture

Vitamins and calcium I'm getting. I did some serious research at the start of this, as to what someone my age was typically missing as well as what seemed to cut down the chance of getting covid. Before that I typically took a senior multi-vitamin.

Hopefully as I make the move and settle into the new place, my sister and I can come up with a plan on better meals and using more health options for food. One problem is my sister's eating habits and grocer purchasing is pretty non-sustainable. She will pop out for a spot buy for that evening's meal, now its Walmart curbside mostly. She's also finicky in what she likes or will try.

On the plus side she does do a lot of cooking, though its often dump the stuff out of a can. Best thing I did was buy her one of those small steamers, which she's taken to using. I figure small portions that if she says she doesn't like, means I just put the remainder into a tupperware and put it in my small refrigerator downstairs.

Unfortunately this year's garden is going to be just a few bucket containers if that. The good thing is St Louis has several good farmer's markets in the area, from which I can buy fresh produce to make up for the lack of home grown veggies.

By sedate do you mean sedentary? I think of sedate as being calm, placid (or sedated, meaning drugged) rather than inactive.

David Trammel's picture

I used to work a very physical job, pushing around huge pieces of metal into a saw, walking several miles a night just getting around a large warehouse. Now I mostly sit in front of a computer. Yes this pandemic has been bad for me but I can't really blame the illness as much as accumulated laziness. Especially the last 3-4 months. Luckily I'm forced to get off that wider butt, since I'm in the last 90 days of moving to my new residence.

I'll try to post some pictures of that soon. We had a major bit of repair recently, ended up tearing out two full walls of old plaster, to take a look at the studs underneath it, as we insulate. As well as replace the two windows in the room with better ones. Now I'm in the basement repairing wall cracks and setting up the laundry area/kitchenette first.