A Matter of Fitness

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I’ve been thinking long and hard for a while about my fitness level, which is to say, I don’t really have one. I’m five foot seven and weigh 293 pounds. My back is more often than not in some level of pain, and my knees wouldn’t be up to running long distances even if the rest of me were in shape to do so. My fitness routine up until recently has been to walk leisurely around the complex, which is about a half a kilometer or a third of a mile (or less, depending on how my back is doing that day). More recently, it’s consisted of three round trips down and up the staircase leading to the apartment, which winds me and makes me feel much more like I’ve been exercising than the walk ever did. The thing is, the reason I only do three is that my legs don’t feel like they can do a fourth round trip.

I know I get more exercise than that, but there’s nothing tracking my steps here in the apartment, since I don’t usually carry my phone with me, preferring instead to leave it on its stand on my office shelf. I’d love to get a Fitbit or some other wearable someday and see just how much exercise I am getting here at home. I’d also like to ramp what exercise I do get up a bit.

One of the books I’m currently reading, The Anxiety & Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD, recommends thirty minutes of vigorous exercise a day, four days a week. The easiest way of getting that done is going to be by walking as briskly as I can around the complex. It’s also the safest for my knees and my back, and it’s something that I can trade out for trips up and down the stairs on days when my back isn’t feeling like much. I can do the stairs very slowly even on days that my back is really bothering me and still get a fairly decent workout out of it.

The timing of this decision is not ideal, however. I just opted to add a couple of new definitions to my daily checklist a week ago and I don’t want to take a chance on overloading myself with new things to have to do and then not doing any of them. So this push for more exercise will likely have to wait until the next round of upgrades at the end of this 60-day period, once the new stuff has become second nature. I know that it’s supposed to take 21 days for a new habit to form, but I’ve found that I’m apparently a slow learner when it comes to new habits, so I’m sticking to 60-day increments right now.

That’s two things that will be new at the end of this 60 days – between the upgrades to my learning and exercise, I think I’ll have my hands full, especially when it comes to time management.

I’m not giving up, just being realistic about my abilities and my limitations when it comes to forming new habits, and I really don’t want to lose forward momentum. I’m scared that will bring everything crashing down around me.

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Backed Into a Corner

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On May 11, my doctor asked me to start logging my blood pressure three times daily, which I’ve mostly done since then. Yesterday, my blood pressure escalated throughout the day to the point that the reading at around 10:15 pm was 205/119.

So off to the ER we went.

It’s back down now (relatively speaking) but still quite high, something like 162/109 at last reading about an hour and fifteen minutes ago.

But I’m in a quandary.

I know that exercise is going to be vital to getting my blood pressure lower, but with it being as high as it is, I’m scared to go walk just in case something happens while I’m out there alone.

At this point, I really don’t know what to do and I won’t have a doctor on board to advise me until the end of June. Walking in the evenings is going to be difficult due to the limited amount of time my wife and I have then to get everything done that we need to do at night, though that’s going to be rectified soon enough when her work schedule changes in a couple weeks. I’m just scared to wait until then; I feel that it’s a matter of extreme urgency that I start to lose weight and get my blood pressure down to manageable levels.

Anyone have any advice on what I should do?