Workin' on it


The word is out: to maintain weight, women need to exercise one hour per day. This is especially true if you aren’t going to live on a perpetual diet.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/03/23/health/AP-US-MED-Middle-Aged-Spread.html
http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/short/303/12/1173?home

I’m a foodie who watches what she eats, but who wants to eat food that is delicious. I’m relatively slim for my demographic (late 50’s). I’m the person this study is talking about. And I have watched the pounds steadily increase, and the excess fat start to cluster in my midsection.

An hour of exercise per day is daunting, but it is a goal that is easy to measure. It is also a goal that sets healthy priorities for my life, from work to play.

Once upon a time, I used to get my exercise over my daily lunch hour. When I worked at a small conference center, I took my dog to work with me. He and I would go for a long walk together at lunch. Later, when I worked in town, it was easy to go for a walk through village neighborhoods, or to do errands on foot. These days I work in the country along a road that terrifies me when I think of walking along it. Shoulders are narrow, there is no shade, and there is a steep drop-off from the road to swampy lawn. Traffic comes hurtling down the road at 50-60 miles per hour. Add to that my MS, and the weakness I develop when I walk in the heat of the day. There is no way that I am going to take lunch hour walks along State Highway 68.

R. and I have been pretty consistent at starting our day doing 20 minutes of yoga along with Rodney Yee. When I feel the cumulative difference those simple exercises make with how my joints feel, I consider this exercise to count towards my daily goal. So 20 minutes are done before breakfast.

I insisted upon getting a Wii Fit for Christmas. We are both using it more consistently. R. thought it was silly at first, but he has programmed a yoga and strength building workout that he likes, and does it almost every day.

As for me, my goal is to alternate Wii Fit workouts, Pilates, aerobic dance, and walking to fill out my hour. The Wii Fit works well on a workday, and weekends will be for variety.

My variety yesterday came from firewood moving. We are moving wood put up two years ago in our storage woodshed up to the woodshed on the back of the house, and stacking wood cut this year in its place. There will be more of that today. I hope I hold up better today. Yesterday I felt like a golem from David Brin’s Kiln People, running out of elan.

As for the Pilates: I am having surgery next month. The better shape my core is in, the quicker I will recover. Pilates is on the menu today, and on as many days as I can fit it in.

An hour a day. Measurable. Attainable in a healthy way of living, where there is enough time to do your work, have some fun, and take care of yourself. An hour a day.

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