Bearnaise Sauce Dogs, Grrrls, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Walking

5 by 30

We're looking for new routines here. After 8-and-a-half years, life without a dog or two is very quiet and very strange. I've been waking up early, coming home at lunchtime, walking morning and afternoon, letting furry paws out and back in at the latest possible hour…that's all gone. 

I remember that in the early years, I stressed about fitting in enough activity time for the dogs around my work schedule and parental responsibilities. I may possibly have groused about having to get up early every single day to try and prevent accidents or disasters. But now, of course, I only want to do all those things. 

While revhoney was here visiting last week, we talked about exercise, and I acknowledged that I loved being out with Sam and will miss the walks through our favorite parks and the neighborhood. He was a fantastic dog, on leash and off. Being in the fresh air (even in the winter) was good for my brain chemistry. 

"How can we get you walking?" she asked.

Good question. 

Just last week I clicked on a link at an RA blog, leading to My RA Fit Kit. Amazingly, my RA has been pretty manageable despite the extreme stress of the past six weeks. I took the exercise survey and got advice that was actually unsurprising, because it echoed the advice given my my primary care doctor when I first started to take better care of myself, pre-RA, in 2007. I should be aiming for 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic exercise. That's 5 30-minute walks, which is about the length which my knee and the joints in my feet and ankles will tolerate. The rest of me would like to walk longer, but I have to listen to the joints.

RA is improved by exercise, but not by overuse.

Keens LP and I talked, and we agreed that we both needed that walk in the afternoon. So today, even though it was brisk, we put on our sneakers and took off for Walk #1. I had to guess what would make a half-hour walk. It's been a while since Sam took one of those, because even before he had cancer, he had iffy elbows beginning this time last year. 

It was also good for us to get back in our neighborhood and walk, to reclaim our space and not let it be lost to grief.

So we took off on a familiar route, and we walked and talked, and when we got home, having moved faster without a dog then I could do with him, it had been 27 minutes. 

I'll be scheming a way to make it take a little bit longer. But that's a good start.

(The strength training? We'll see about that.)

16 thoughts on “5 by 30”

  1. I LOVE my strength training.
    And, this is coming from a starting place in which I used to be nauseated at the thought of going to the gym to meet with the trainer, being embarrassed that I could barely lift the baby weights over my head, and really looking like a spaz.
    Why do I love it? Well, because I feel…you know…STRONG! It really does carry over from feeling physically strong to now feeling more emotionally strong.

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  2. You are so right! YAY for you. Exercise is one of the primary reasons I have stayed relatively sane during this last year of loss and grief and stress. I’ll be your virtual walking partner, ok? reminding you on those occasions when you might decide to NOT walk, that you really will feel better if you just go out for a short one…and then you can remind me of the same thing. It takes a village to move through stress, grief. Love you.

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  3. Good for you and LP for going walking — I know that for myself, when Rusty is away or I am somewhere else, I tend to become a couch potato again. I foresee another, smaller, dog in your future someday. Or maybe a kitten?

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  4. The first step…well, you know all those sayings. I’m so glad that you’re taking those steps and keeping your eye on moving for strength in more ways than one. Lt. Lyme, in my house, is supposed to be moving every day just a little bit…Chronic Lyme mimics RA, Polymyalgia, Fibromyalgia, etc., and his doc is sure that diet and exercise would make him “suffer” less. So I’ll be cheering you on from afar and hope that you cheer Lt. Lyme and Southern Belle on from your vantage point! Blessings and much love.

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  5. I so hear hear you. For us it’s been six months and still almost single time I come home I think as I turn into the driveway that the dog will be waiting there at the door for me, and of course she isn’t, and it’s sad all over again. And I should be doing that walking, and I’m not, which is also sad. I’m going to try to make you my role model.

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  6. Good for you. It’s easy to crawl into bed and pull the covers over the head–much harder to take that first step. And you’ve done it. Brava!

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  7. Of course, today it was raining so hard the parking lots were flooding. But there are still three more days left in this partial week. So I am not giving up.

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  8. It really takes a deal for me to drag my feet.

    You’ve done a great job. Having RA and going out for exercise is a big one. Your’re quite an inspiration. Keep it going..

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