My doctor is always after me to exercise, and my problem with exercise is this: I go at it aggressively, I make real improvements in strength, endurance, blood glucose level, blood pressure, weight loss ...
... but then when something knocks me out of my aggressive routine -- a cold snap, for example -- there's about a 50/50 chance that I will stay knocked off of it for weeks or months. I was riding the bicycle 10 miles a day, etc. for about a month starting in late November. IIRC, I did a 20-miler on Christmas Eve, or perhaps the day before that. Then there was a week of lows in the 20s and highs in the 40s or 50s, and I hate riding in the cold. So I stopped, and never really got back to it.
Now I'm taking a different approach. Instead of getting all hyped up and locked into something that's just too easy to let myself quit, I'm walking 10,000 steps a day. I got one of those little wrist monitors to keep track. Not one that keeps track of heart rate, sleep patterns, etc. This one just counts steps, estimates distance and calories burned, and works as a wristwatch (it also connects to my phone via Bluetooth for storage of stats and such. I paid $5 for it at Ollie's. So far, five days of 10k steps. I think this is something I can keep up and build on.
Naturally, about the time I decided to do it, a new study came out saying that 15,000, not 10,000, steps per day is optimal. But instead of jumping right in on that, I decided to start at 10k and then do one or more of several things:
- Raising my step goal by 1,000 ever yso often, once whatever level I'm at seems so easy that it's probably peaked in terms of benefit; and/or
- Start requiring myself to jog parts of my daily step goal, likely in 10% increments, intermixed with the walking a la fartlek.
- Adding in some other form of exercise in between walks/jogs. Maybe the bike (which I do want to get back to using for transportation anyway), maybe the kettlebell, whatever.
Complicating that is the fact that I do a good deal of the walking while holding onto a leash with a dog at the end of it. Since she's getting older and her legs are about six inches long, there are limits to how fast or far I can expect her to hang in there.
But anyway, I'm going to see if I can resist the urge to throw myself into the exercise stuff and get burned out such that I find myself stopping and not re-starting at the first excuse to do so.