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Being Prepared

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Keeping my weight at a level I like is purely for my own satisfaction. I would rather eat plates of spaghetti and pieces of cake everyday but I get a lot more satisfaction putting on clothes that fit. Keeping the weight at a reasonable level helps me keep up my energy and do all the things that I like to do and that I am willing to do.

However, exercising is another story. I like getting out on hikes, walking long distances, traveling, visiting museums, shopping and chasing my grandson. In order to be able to do these activities, I walk 2-3 miles briskly almost every day and I attend a Tai Chi class 3 times a week to help with balance. But I am not fond of doing floor exercises and strength training. I find the day is gone before I do any of the neatly printed sheets or turn on the easy Spark videos.

But I needed corrective foot surgery, nothing big just annoying. My right foot was getting painful if I walked more than two miles at time. So in September I scheduled surgery for January. I followed the Fall 5% challenge with three goals: 1) Lose the 8 pounds that crept up over the Spring and Summer, 2) Get through the holidays eating sensibly, and 3) regularly doing strength training and floor exercises.

I did lose the pounds by tracking and faithfully following all the rules we all know so well. I was mindful during the entire holiday season by cutting back on the amount I ate each day and just avoiding sugar. So I went to parties and had fun at all the events but just make good choices most of the time. And I did add in two to three sessions of weight training each week.

The nearby YMCA has great programs for adults and seniors and a nice sized weight room. I added a weight session after my Tai Chi class; nothing fancy just hand weights following my neatly printed Spark sheet. Some days I did the weight session at home using 5 and 8 pound weights. I believe that doing the strength training exercises helped me to lose the weight.

The surgery is over and I am spending 8 weeks recovering. I am fine with limited mobility because I cannot walk on my right foot until it is healed. But I can get around easily using crutches, walker and a kneeling scooter. By doing the strength training, my upper body strength has been crucial in being able to get up and out. Instead of being stuck in bed all day.

There is a real value in doing the strength training. I can get up easily, support myself when needed and pick up items easily. I do not have to wait until someone is available to help me I can get up on my own. Although I cannot do anything that involves putting any weight on my right foot, I am doing the Spark chair exercise videos which include working on core muscles and strength training. I have learned the value of strength training and realize that as I age being strong is really important. Being prepared also helps.

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