One Little Commitment

Just one.  I’m not a person for New Year’s Resolutions, and yet … I seem to have made a commitment to myself.  And to my knees.  It’s just one thing, it only takes about 30-60 minutes a day, and yet it seems to have completely eaten my brain.

What is it?

Going.  For a walk.  Every.  Day.

Not “Eh, most days.”  Not intending to take a walk daily.  Not “I’ll try.”   Doing it.

I don’t know how long it’ll be.  At the moment I’m not walking far; sometimes a half mile, sometimes a little less, sometimes on the treadmill, sometimes outside.   Usually it’s 15 minutes or so of actual walking.  But it seems to be taking a lot of my attention to not forget, to not put it off too long, to get it done.

It is very much a pianissimo approach to my knee problems.  I could probably walk further if I took an occasional day off.  But that’s also the problem; days I don’t walk I get a bit stiffer and the muscles and joints don’t flow as easily.   I’m walking fast enough to get into the “aerobic range” for someone my age, and I don’t mind it, but that’s not my focus either.

I don’t push for longer.  I just push for doing it every day.

Okay, there’s a part 2.  Part 2 is: some sort of strength training for my legs.  Most nights it’s chair squats or leg lifts*, but one night I did some yoga poses.    Oddly enough, this has been the easier part.  It generally takes between 10 and 30 minutes.

Why am I doing this?  Because I’m tired of limping and pain and not being able to keep up with the man of the house, and because less consistent approaches to my knee problems haven’t worked.  So right now I’m focusing on consistency.

I don’t know how long this will last.  Part of me doesn’t really care.  I do know I’ve got 11 days right now, and right now, that’s good enough for me.

*Since I often get asked: Single-leg raisesseated leg extensionsside leg lifts.

16 thoughts on “One Little Commitment

  1. That’s terrific! Here’s hoping it helps matters, and that you can keep going. Eleven days of consistent walking is nothing to sneeze at, but I feel quite confident you can manage the whole 365.

  2. I wish you luck with you & send positive vibes. Good for you! I wish I lived somewhere without a driveway covered with ice. I love to be active, & right now I am having to walk around in the house, which is still moving, but doesn’t feel as good to me as getting outside & walking the streets, going to stores on my own if I feel like it, etc. So I will keep moving as much as I can inside & try to enjoy your outdoor adventures vicariously. I am guessing that ice is not a big issue most of the time in Seattle & I envy you that, I have to admit. Oh, well, probably only another three months or so! (Long winters in Maine.)

  3. Yoga will change your life. I’ve always had issues with my knees. Surgery and all. Yoga finally gave me strength in my legs to not feel pain in my knees anymore. One thing, if you do have pain after doing yoga poses, ice your knees. You won’t feel pain the next day.

  4. Been there, done that, cannot do the treadmill. We had one once & my balance issues from the CP are serious enough that I cannot walk on any moving surface, cannot try to walk on a moving city bus, for example, & am unable to ride a train. I tried one of those Nordic skier machines at the Y once, & it was not a pretty sight. I guess it also goes without saying that it would not be a good idea for me to buy myself some of those “rocker bottom” fitness sneakers…you know, the ones which supposed tone your legs & improve your workout (& help you lose weight, lest we forget the promotion) by keeping you off balance & causing you to work harder to stand up. I do that already, in any shoe & on any surface. :-) However, the home treadmill sounds like a good alternative for those who can use them.

  5. Hi,

    I have been lurking for a long time, but have enjoyed your blog tremendously. I am of the superfat variety down in Portland and I have to say that walking my kindergärtner to school every morning is wonderful–when we don’t walk I miss it–it changes the whole day for me. It is a great excuse to move–I actually worry when there isn’t school how I will get my movement in…I should just walk alone, I know, but somehow being with my little guy (and sometimes my husband) makes me feel more comfortable…I don’t think I am afraid to walk alone–I just don’t know what to do with it mentally. Weird, I know.

    Anyway, I so appreciate your blog, have explored it in its entirety and miss it when I visit too often and there isn’t a new post. Thank you.

    alex

  6. Great plan.

    I’m doing something similar right now. I’m entering my eighth month of pregnancy right now, and I found that my old plan of scheduling in specific amounts of exercise 5 days a week was not working for me. If the baby is up in my lungs, or my sciatica is acting up, there is no way I’m making 2 miles. And, if I have “2 miles” penciled in for the day, I end up feeling like a failure if I don’t do it. On the other hand, I might wake up feeling great and energetic on a day when I had no exercise scheduled.

    So, until I’m full out of the pregnancy and post-partum period, I’m not scheduling anything and just planning on walking every day, for as long or as short as feels right. Most of the time I end up doing a 15-minute mile; sometimes I’ll do one mile in the morning and another at night. Sometimes I go 5 minutes and decide I’ve had enough for the day. But it’s really nice to know that, as long as I did something, I met my goal.

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  11. Hi

    I love walking in the park listening to my MP3 Player. You do not have to watch out for traffic, just goose poop. It is exercise and relaxation in one activity.

    William

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