I was up early on Monday morning but didn’t dress for the day at that time. Instead I put on shorts, a vest and my runner’s shoes and spent some time on the treadmill….running. I had neglected my treadmill exercise routines to the point that I was using the treadmill very infrequently and I had to correct that. For the past couple of weeks therefore I have disciplined myself to spend more time on the treadmill as I had been doing previously. In just a short time I found myself improving with each session, pushing myself just that little bit more each time and feeling the benefit for it. For quite some time I have been taking walks and here too I have noticed a steady improvement, walking faster and going further is the trend but I knew it would be. After my stint on the treadmill I went for a walk later too. You see for many years exercise has played a major part in my life and I know the benefits regular exercising can provide. The key word here is ‘regular’, it is of no use exercising sporadically because that can be worse than not exercising at all. Sudden exercise for someone not used to it can cause heart failure in some people as well as other physical problems. If one is to take exercising seriously then it should be planned, short periods of light exercising at first then progressing to harder regimes over a period of time. Marathon runners and sprinters, swimmers and cyclists didn’t start at the peak of their disciplines but gradually built themselves up over a period of time by exercising regularly and improving slowly along the way. There is only so much a person can do when exercising and much of that is affected by their weight, size, capability and age not forgetting their health status. Know your limits should be your motto. Your body will tell you if you are overdoing things and if you are you must take note. Improvements and benefits are gradual but they do happen eventually for those who exercise on a regular basis. As I am fast approaching my 72nd birthday I know I can no longer run as I used to and neither do I want to. There are those who at my age and even older will think nothing of running a marathon or two and if that is what they want I am happy for them but for myself I don’t think I need to aim that high in order to benefit from exercise. All I know is the exercising I take gets better each time, gets longer each time and I feel good each time I do it.
With all the hard work I’ve been doing at home lately I’ve not really had the chance nor even felt like taking some exercise on the treadmill. I have been out on my bike a couple of times though and I have managed to take some exercise on the treadmill but not as much as I would like. I cannot overdo things however, that would be stupid. On Sunday morning after a nice extra lie in bed I dressed for some exercise on the treadmill and went straight to it. I surprise myself sometimes. Not thinking I would manage much I found the opposite to be true! As long as I don’t leave it too long between sessions on the treadmill I find I can pretty much take off where I left it. I found the same to be true when doing outdoor running too, often going far more than I’d anticipated. I suppose it is down to stamina. At the moment I am building up my stamina through hard work most of the time. Use it or lose it is the key phrase. Sitting on one’s butt and stuffing one’s face with food may be some people’s idea of living it up but it’s not mine much as I like doing those things sometimes. No, I discipline myself and try to do what is sensible, after all it is only myself who will suffer any consequences of a bad lifestyle. I think I am quite a fit person for my age, in fact I know I am. There are not many women my age who could do what I do physically speaking. I know many women my age who really look their age as they say and lack the stamina I have. Many are far too overweight and it is usually down to the way they have lived their lives. They have all sorts of physical ailments which a normal healthy person doesn’t have and they suffer as a result. I wonder why people choose to be they way they are, for it is a lifestyle choice. A week or so ago E and I were in a carvery having lunch, well dinner to be precise when we noticed a couple of, shall we say, ‘extra-large’ women. They were so large they had to sit on the lounge furniture away from the main dining area. Now you would think they might have limited their meal to something small or even a salad but no, their meals looked twice the size of mine! On another occasion three rather large people came into the same carvery with a child, two women and one man. The women filled their plates to capacity and the man likewise but he left the table after finishing his meal and returned a couple of minutes later with another plate full of food! He even complained that he couldn’t have extra meat unless he paid for it! One can eat as much vegetables as one likes in these establishments but very few take up that offer, I mean isn’t one plate of food enough? Apparently not for some people though.
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.
Last week was a busy time for me so by the time Friday arrived I was well and truly ‘wacked’ as they say. I promised myself a weekend of rest and that is what I got. On Saturday morning however I wanted to do a stint on the treadmill so I arose quite early to do that. I’d slept like a log and woke very refreshed. Within a half-hour I was downstairs in the cellar doing my thing. Surprisingly I found that my stamina had increased even more than I had expected; it has been getting better over the last few weeks; accordingly I found I was running further and for longer periods without feeling the need to slow down. I generally do what I call ‘training cycles’ in order to ease into the exercise and build up stamina, which means a few minutes running followed by a short break of speed-walking until I am ready to simply run continuously for as long as I am able. On Saturday however there was hardly any walking done at all except initially. I had been too tired to even think about using the treadmill for six days yet I was able to do more on it when I used it on Saturday. That is a good indication that my stamina levels have risen. It can only get better, as long as I take the exercise regularly. The rest of the day I spent relaxing and I did much the same on Sunday too. I didn’t simply sit on my butt all day though, I did get up and about doing various things around the house and even went for a long walk down to and along the beach on Sunday. I treated myself to some red wine later in the day on Sunday as I hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol for quite a number of days and felt I deserved it. I haven’t visited the pub for nearly three weeks either, I simply don’t feel like doing so just at the moment. I have long breaks away from the pub as it suits me and I am trying to cut down on alcohol anyway but it is nice to go there occasionally and meet up with some of my friends. I actually had time to watch some of the events at the Olympic Games too but not too many, I am not interested in all the different sports. My preferences are the athletics field and track events, the swimming events and maybe a few others like the rowing events and cycling events for instance. Aside from those my interests are quite limited. I have ordered some sportswear over the Internet for personal use and now wait for the delivery. I needed some shorts, new running shoes and socks. My old shoes are beginning to fall apart and needed replacing soon anyway. I hope I get the chance to use them before the end of this week.
This past week I have been using my treadmill several times, far more than I usually have done and it has become somewhat of a drug for me, just as when I used to go running early in the mornings. Rain didn’t keep me indoors and neither did anything else except deep snow and solid ice, too dangerous to slip upon. Having the treadmill at home is a definite advantage, especially if the weather is really bad but it is great to know that I can pop downstairs anytime for a session of exercise without worrying what the weather is like. Of course at this time of year the weather is irrelevant if going for a run outdoors. I find life a bit of a treadmill experience at times, same old thing day in and day out with little excursions for socialising breaking the monotony. Even the things I like doing sometimes become a chore and I have to get away from them, a bit like not wanting to go to the pub for instance, a regular thing with me at times. When I am on the machine I have nothing else to do aside from the walking or running and it gives me uninterrupted time for thinking, one of the reasons I liked going for a run outdoors. I remember some of the runs I did when living in my previous house. About two hundred metres or so up the road from my house and I was in the pine woods (red squirrel reserve) beyond which lay the sand dunes and then the beach. It was a particularly great place to live. Now I live but eight miles further north where the sand dunes are about three-quarters of a mile by road from my house (about a half mile as the crow flies) with the beach just beyond. There are no pine woods though, they are five miles away toward where I used to live along the coast. I remember especially the cold winter mornings with clear skies and stars shining brightly overhead and I would be out running at two-thirty to three o’clock along the pathways through the woods and down on to the beach. Very eerie but very beautiful too, not a sound except from the occasional hoot of an owl or the weird yelp of a fox or two in the distance, or maybe close-up. I wouldn’t have been able to tell anyway in the dark! You don’t get that on a treadmill, you only have the advantage of not having to leave the house to do a spot of running. I run for pleasure and I run for the exercise, I run for life, a better one hopefully by staying as healthy as I can as long as I am able. Throughout my life I have been an active person. My work also keeps me on my toes sometimes, not as much as it once did but still it keeps me active, climbing ladders and stairs and generally keeping moving. So whether on my treadmill or elsewhere I continue to run for life.
This is the area where I used to live and run, https://maps.google.com/maps?ll=53.5628,-3.0702&spn=0.1,0.1&q=53.5628,-3.0702+(Freshfield)&t=h (Look for Dunes Drive nearer the woods and follow into Blundell Avenue into the woods. At the end of Blundell avenue just before it turns to the left there is a track which carries on straight and down through the sand dunes to the beach and another track in the same place which goes to the right and into the woods, although you are able to turn into the woods anywhere along on the right)
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.
I am sitting here at my computer at 2 o’clock in the morning of Saturday 29th and have been drinking Bacardi and diet cola since around 7 o’clock last night. I am not boasting about that but simply pointing to the fact. I am in good spirits (sorry) and am enjoying the moment. During the last few hours I have been watching television and specifically a film called Bridget Jones, Edge of Reason. A lovely film. Already I have written about this and I’ve also written the next five posts which you will have read by now and I am beginning to think of something else to write about but you will have to wait for that. What I am proposing to do within the next hour or so is to go for a run on my treadmill for I am not in the least bit tired at this point. It will mean me getting to bed around four in the morning but who is counting? The beauty about being my age is that I can do these strange things without any problem. I am not restricted to the constraints of abiding to the clock but I can please myself what I do. It means that I often miss breakfast so that my first meal is my lunch but even then it need not be anything but my usual breakfast. Now that I am semi-retired, well almost, it is re-assuring to know that I do not have to conform to the rigidity of a ‘normal’ working day. Predator 2 is presently showing but I only have a cursory interest in it. It is more for background noise than anything else. I often find that having a radio or television on in the background is company even if I am taking little notice. It will be Thursday by the time you read this and it will have given me a little rest from having to write each day. Even so, no doubt I’ll have thought of something else to write about by now.
A slight addendum… it is now 03.15 hours and I have just completed my exercise on the treadmill. I can recommend anyone to buy a treadmill for the flexibility of being able to exercise at one’s leisure. I digress. Whilst on the machine I had a message from the Lord. I was being told to ‘Be ready for what I have planned for you’ and it was repeated three times. Now I am wondering what it means.
These last two weeks have found me very busy at my electrical work and has provided me with some extra income which I shall put to good use, when I stop working of course! I have a small job to do this morning, Friday but I shall have to decline further work, if I get any, for this afternoon as the other post below indicates. Although I am working part-time I am finding that I feel tired in the afternoons and don’t much feel like doing anything. I have been spending a few late afternoons and evenings in the pub lately and although I enjoy the escape I find it an effort to actually walk there but I do. Wednesday was a fine example, I hadn’t been working in the morning as I have been doing but nevertheless I had to make a concerted effort to go out. Admittedly I had been on the treadmill and perhaps that had made the difference. It was quite windy on Wednesday, not the kind of weather to go walking in if one didn’t have to but I wanted to spend some time at the pub and so I made the effort. It’s funny really but when I am working I seem to have the energy to do all the work I get but as soon as I stop I sometimes feel exhausted and just want to sit down and rest. It may be more psychological than physical but I am not getting any younger am I? Already I have work planned for next week and no doubt the phone will be ringing throughout the week but it’s nice to be back working after the recent bout of having almost none.
Over the last few days I have not had much to do, my work isn’t coming in and although I could find things to do at home I don’t wish to do so at this time. After my visit to see the nurse on Monday I decided to restart my exercise regime yesterday after neglecting it over the last couple of weeks. That being the case I got up early and went downstairs into the cellar where I have the treadmill. It is in the same room as the boiler so the room is quite warm and that is a blessing in the Winter months. It isn’t so comfortable in the warmer months though so I leave the doors open if I am exercising on the treadmill. After my thirty minutes of mostly running I went back upstairs to my room. I spent the next half-hour colouring my hair then off to the bathroom to rinse it out and have a bath. Whilst I was dressing and applying my make-up my eldest son and my daughter-in-law came to pay us a flying visit. When they left I had lunch and then took out the washing I’d put in the washing machine earlier. The rest of the day was spent doing practically nothing! I am going to find retirement so boring unless I get my act together!