I really hate walking as a form of exercise. A walk can be nice if I have an endpoint (like a coffeehouse), and there are interesting things to see, and it’s not a bazillion degrees out. But circling through my boring suburban neighbor isn’t my idea of excitement — it’s a metaphorical death march. But I really don’t have a choice because I hate gyms even more.
See, I went up the road to my doctor’s office for my annual physical the other week. A triennial physical would be more accurate because it’s been at least three years since my last one. I’ve had no excuse for not scheduling one other than sheer laziness and avoidance tendencies. No one likes to get bad news, and if I don’t go, no bad news, right? The last time I went for a physical, I was teetering on the outer margins of some unfavorable readings on my bloodwork, which was a bit of an eye-opener because I’d always had a clean bill of health. Thinking about it, it shouldn’t have been surprising. I am getting up there in age, my metabolism continues to downshift, and I exhibit the physical activity of a slug. Well, that’s probably slandering slugs — they’re active but slow. A more accurate comparison would be between coal and me — two immobile lumps of carbon. So, call off the lawyers, slugs; I retract my statement and issue a formal apology.
Anyway, the doctor’s office was deserted. I didn’t see one other patient waiting for the doctor, and yet still I sat in the examining room twiddling my thumbs, waiting, reading the charts and posters on the wall about ailments I never want to experience. An assistant eventually took my blood pressure, which registered good but not as good as it has been historically. One of the two measurements was borderline. I shouldn’t have been surprised, considering my aforementioned lack of activity and the fact that I can singlehandedly destroy an entire pizza like it wronged me. Finally, the doctor breezed in and listened to my heart and lungs. He noted the slight increase in blood pressure and the creep up in weight.
The doctor then launched into a sermon about everything I should be doing to maintain good health. He told me I should be exercising 150 minutes a week, which sounds like a lot, but apparently is only 30 minutes for 5 days a week. I told him I was a tad short of the mark, and he inquired by how much. By about 150 minutes, I replied sheepishly. Not amused, my physician told me to start walking briskly and said since I was a fatty, I could ease into it by doing 10 minutes for the first few days and then increase my walk time. He actually didn’t phrase it that way, but I was reading between the lines. Then he ordered a blood test and sent me on my way.
So, I’ve started walking some evenings with the Houseguest. She’s been asking me for months if I want to accompany her. She was working out with her boyfriend (newsflash, she has a boyfriend — I can’t remember if I mentioned that before), but it didn’t last (the working out, not the relationship). When she’d ask, true to my nature, I’d always mumble something about being busy and hinting I might accompany her tomorrow, knowing in my heart that tomorrow never comes. Finally, after the doctor admonished me for my idleness, I gave in and started perambulating with her (and whining the entire way about tight muscles and ligaments and how if God meant us to walk places, he wouldn’t have given us cars). I don’t enjoy it because it’s soooo boring in my suburban neighborhood. And it’s going to start getting hot here in Satan’s Backyard in the next month. But if I have to walk, it is better to have someone with me. I have been thinking about getting a book on Audible and listening to it when I go on walks by myself, which I haven’t done yet. Usually, if the Houseguest isn’t around, I can be found sitting down and thinking I should be walking.
To date, I don’t think I’ve hit the daily 30-minute mark yet, so I’ve gotten out my dumbbells and use them occasionally. My scale told me I lost 2 pounds (just shy of a kilo), but it’s an inveterate liar and rarely displays the same weight within 5 minutes, so I don’t really trust it.
Uh, it’s about that time. The Walking (half) Hour is upon me. Of course, the Houseguest isn’t here. And I’m really comfy sitting here, so…
Photo by Petr Ganaj: https://www.pexels.com/photo/red-snail-on-brown-soil-6637984/