After feeling a little under the weather yesterday I awoke this morning feeling full of energy.
No walks today though as I don’t take walks every day but perhaps three or four times a week. The weather hasn’t improved however, in fact if anything it is worse today than it was yesterday. It is much windier and it appears to have been raining more often through the night. Just letting us know that Autumn is near. This weekend in the UK is another Bank Holiday and many will say that is why the weather is so bad! It isn’t true that whenever there is a Bank Holiday the weather turns nasty but it does quite often. I’m not going anywhere, I am staying at home and keeping out of the weather at least for today. I am still awaiting delivery of one of the three items I ordered last week, one of the bundles of bamboo cane, the larger canes. The projected delivery dates were between the 20 th and 23 rd but today is the 24 th. Hopefully it will be delivered today but I have to remain at home to accept it. It is not yet six-thirty in the morning as I write this but I haven’t been idle. Today I decided to bake a fruit cake, something I haven’t done for quite a few months.
Maybe that is because home baking and the warmer months of the year don’t mix. I suppose we think more about baking and the comfort foods we tend to eat only in the cooler months of the year. That maybe true but I like cake any time of the year though I do confess I eat more of it during Winter. I love the smell of home cooking especially when cakes are being baked. Visiting someone’s house when they have been baking something makes their home more inviting. They say that prospective house buyers can be influenced by the smell of home baking as it reflects in their minds what the house would be like if they lived there, homely. Whether that is true or not is a matter of conjecture but it does encourage a feel good factor. I feel even better having baked my cake this morning anyway.
Let me get one thing straight, I am quite happy being me and being the age that I am. I have no problems with that, I have enjoyed my life as far as I was able and when I look back over the years I know I could have made better decisions but of course it is easy to say things like that with hindsight isn’t it? I think I am quite fit for a person my age and well surpass many my age in being active to the same extent as I am. I put that down to having been active in one way or another all of my life. My occupation keeps me active though I do admit to not being as active as I once was, that is only natural, I cannot keep pace with those much younger than myself. I first noticed the slowing down process a few years ago when out walking and being overtaken by younger people out doing the same. Their pace was not something I considered fast but it was fast enough for them to leave me behind! I tried walking at the same speed and found I couldn’t but I was 60 years old! At least I was out walking and not sitting around on my butt. Last November E and I purchased a new bathroom suite and shower. They were stored in one of the garages on delivery and soon afterward we took some of it indoors and stored it in a spare room upstairs. Two items were too heavy and awkward for E and I to take indoors, one was the unit for the hand basin which is quite wide and the other was the cardboard covered glass panels for the shower. At that time our two sons took the bath indoors for us because we couldn’t have done that either. I could have managed with the assistance of one of them but as they were both at home at the time they did it for us. I am not sure when we will have reached the stage in the bathroom project whereby we will want to fit these things but we had to arrange to get them upstairs so that they would be to hand when we are ready for them. A couple of weeks ago we asked our sons if they could do it for us but it had to be at a time when they were both available. That day was Sunday last. I had thought it would take them twenty minutes to carry the two items upstairs together but once I opened the garage door the eldest son walked in, took a hold of the rather large package containing the heavy glass and promptly walked out and straight up the stairs with it in minutes. His younger brother grabbed hold of the large box containing the basin unit, which was difficult to hold because of its dimensions and weight, and he too was off like a shot and straight up the stairs with it. Neither of them stopped for a breather and neither of them were out of breath! I think I would have need a stop along the way. I can remember a time when I could have done the move myself but that was a long time ago. Later our eldest son followed me into the cellar to see if I had any metal of the type he required for a small project he has but alas I hadn’t. However I was able to give him a long length of timber that he also required. While we were down there he talked about exercise and weight-lifting in particular as he took a hold of the weights we have down there. There is a bench-press with weights standing alongside the treadmill that has been there for years and was used by both our sons when they lived at home. I of course didn’t! He found it very easy to lift those weights as according to him they were far below what he was used to at the gym. I believe him. He had a go on the treadmill whilst he chatted with us and I operated the control in steps of 1 mph to a top speed of 11 mph. the limit of the machine. He coped well and even asked me to increase the inclination! He reached a heartbeat of 143 beats per minute when I switched it down to a more respectable speed level. He got off and I got on and did 6 mph for a couple of minutes and my heartbeat level reached 133. I found it easy to run on the machine, not because I have been using it lately for I haven’t had the time but because I am generally fit. Nothing like as fit as in my youth though!
When I’ve been ill or unable to exercise as happened late last year I have gained weight by being idle and most of the time didn’t feel at my best. A little exercise changes all of that and if done in the morning sets you up for the whole day. Until a few years ago I used to get up very early, most often at 02.30 and be ready to go out in all-weather to do a four or six-mile run after which I would return home and get ready to go to work! I am well-past doing that sort of thing now but I still like running, though now it is usually on my treadmill. For years I owned a bicycle too and spent many an hour riding around on it but always during the day or evening, never in the early hours of the morning! Running is very much different to cycling and in some respects not as good. Each exercise has its own benefits of course. As I have explained in other posts I am beginning to improve my exercise regime since my last period of inactivity caused by the accident I had and I am finding it less strenuous. I have noticed an improvement in the speed I can run and my stamina has improved quite a lot too. Exercise that leaves one a little breathless for a while makes sure the heart gets the exercise it needs too and with each period of exercise undertaken a greater feeling of well-being results. Whenever I do some rigorous exercise I can almost feel my arteries dilating and the blood rushing through them and that feeling lasts for hours after. People who likewise exercise this way will know what I am saying, it just makes you feel good all day. Apart from anything else it burns calories too which can’t be bad for my waistline! I’ve done quite a considerable amount of exercise over the last few weeks and after a long spell of inactivity I can tell you which I prefer!
Since my accident two months ago I had been suffering a little with my health, dull headaches and pain behind my eyes until a day or so ago. Things have improved for the better but through it all I had to continue working. One thing I had to forgo was heavy or strenuous exercise which meant no running on my treadmill allowing myself only to walk either on the machine or outdoors. I have been able to use my bicycle as I don’t ride at pace on it anyway, it isn’t built for that, being a road bike, not that I have ever ridden bikes at a pace anyway even when younger. I did like riding for miles though but these days I don’t go so far, probably ten miles being the furthest I would go. So I have had to limit what exercise I can take. Working hard during the week has kept me up and running as it were and I have been using some spare time to fit in a short walk or two either outdoors or on the treadmill. I am fighting back against the tide of inactivity for I know that too long sitting down doing nothing isn’t a good idea and it is harder to get back into some sort of exercise regime the longer it is put off. Then there is the weight problem to consider. Sitting down all day doesn’t burn much calories and weight gain soon overtakes us making it even more difficult to exercise and having to do more to compensate when we do. Over the last week or so I have been very busy at work, which I enjoy for it keeps me active but work alone isn’t enough as a form of exercise, better than nothing but more is required to stay fit and healthy. The body is a very complicated machine and like any machine it needs maintenance and preventative maintenance too! Lethargy may be all right when we are ill or if we have been working hard, physically hard that is but it is a dangerous partner to dance with. Bad habits tend to get a grip on us if we are not careful and the consequences can hard to put right unless we are prepared to do something about it. I do my best to keep on-track with my health and I am fighting back against everything that stands it the way.
Phew! Or that was the week that was! I’ve had the busiest week at work for a long time. I have been so tired each night that I have retired earlier than usual and have been able to get to sleep very easily. I have woken up more refreshed after a good night’s rest and ready to start over again. This is the way it used to be when I was younger but in those days I worked much harder, now I find it much harder to work! I do pretty well for my age and I know for certain that I would leave many my age looking as if they are standing still. I think many folk let themselves go once they reach a certain age and don’t look after their physical fitness as perhaps they once did. Illness aside, there is no reason not to keep one’s self as fit as possible. It doesn’t take much to don a pair of shoes and go for a walk for instance and if you are serious about keeping fit this way well there are plenty of outlets where you can purchase suitable footwear and clothing to be as adventurous as you want. Walking is a good way to keep fit and it need not be strenuous either. You just go at a pace you feel comfortable with as go as far as you are able. Your stamina will slowly build as with any regular exercise and you begin to enjoy it as opposed to endure it! Working as hard as I have this week has left me too tired to exercise in other ways as much I normally do and that doesn’t really matter, it’s all a question of balance. I still manage to get on the treadmill nevertheless. There is of course the danger in overdoing things, both at work and at play so one has to be careful in these matters. No sooner than I’d done my last job for the week I received a request to do a small job on Monday morning! That is the way it goes sometimes. I was working for a lovely lady on Friday and we got on together very well. She took a great interest I what I was doing and she even gave me a helping hand where she could occasionally. On receiving that request she exclaimed ‘That’s the problem when you are self-employed and advertise, you have to make time for yourself otherwise your life is not your own’. How right she is! If I feel I am doing too much I do take the time out and offset my schedule to accommodate a work-free day when it suits me. To be perfectly honest I did not think that I would still be working at my age, not because I didn’t want to but more because I didn’t think I would be capable. I am glad I was wrong. My working life can be stressful if I allow it to be so I try to keep a lid on things. Now it is the weekend and I am planning to relax more………well, after I’ve been on the treadmill.
Tuesday morning I got up quite early dressed and went down into the cellar to do a stint on my treadmill. I have been quite busy on the treadmill lately so it came as no surprise that I found my session fairly easy to get into. I usually spend between 20 and thirty minutes on the machine burning off plenty of calories but it isn’t so much the calorieburn off that is important as getting my heart to work hard for a time. This builds stamina and keeps the heart and circulatory system in good condition. For quite some time after exercise calories are still being burnt off as the metabolic rate has been increased during the exercise routine. It’s like having a breakfast without the calories! After my exercise I returned to my bedroom to cool off before I could bathe. I watched the news on television for half an hour then bathed and got dressed for the day thinking I was going to be working. No sooner I was dressed I received a call to do an electrical job which I did around ten o’clock before returning home to cook the chicken we had in the fridge. It needed to be cooked on the day so I decided to have my main meal for the day once it was cooked at 12.30. After my dinner I got changed out of my working clothes and into something more appropriate for an afternoon at the pub. I just had to do that because I hadn’t been out of the house throughout the weekend and Monday too. I spent a lovely afternoon meeting and speaking with at least five people I’d never met previously and then with a few friends whom I see quite often. I returned home by 8.30 as I had to get my rest and sleep for a busy day on Wednesday. During my stay at the pub I saw many people coming and going, some dining out for the afternoon or evening and some just coming in for a drink or two. I love people watching, it’s a fascinating hobby of mine and I can almost predict what they will do each time they visit the pub. It was a hot and sunny day on Tuesday and many folk sat outdoors to eat and drink but I stayed indoors, preferring to keep out of the sun.
Having enjoyed a lovely afternoon on Friday and having consumed a fair amount of red wine I wasn’t particularly interested in having some exercise on my treadmill the morning after, which was Saturday. During last week I had not been able to exercise for a couple of reasons, not least of all was the fact that I had been suffering with back pain so I really needed to exercise even if I didn’t feel like it. As it happened I didn’t get to bed until two o’clock in the morning and didn’t fall asleep straight away as usual but when I did I had a good night’s sleep. I awoke at seven, a mere four and a half hours after falling asleep, very much what I do nearly every day and dressed for a session on the treadmill. Forty minutes later I felt great, had a quick light breakfast then bathed and dressed for the day. Nothing to do on Saturdays I caught up with some reading and played around on my guitar. I always find that when I am not in the mood to exercise I do it anyway and never regret it. It is all about discipline of course and I suppose if I were to give in to laziness rather than exercise I would be in a sorry state. What professional footballer remains so if they refuse to exercise? How long would a boxer last in the ring if he decided not to prepare himself because he didn’t feel like it? I sometimes don’t like the idea of exchanging a comfortable bed for a stint on the treadmill but I force myself to do it. A few years ago I would be up and about at two-thirty in the morning and out on the street at three o’clock running a few miles come rain or snow. That takes dedication and determination and it didn’t do me any harm, in fact quite the opposite! I therefore make a special effort to exercise the day after some self-indulgent eating and drinking when it is time for me to do some exercise.