Thursday, April 26, 2012

One Step Forward, Two Back

I am only too aware that I don't get enough exercise. I spend too much time sitting and reading. I get out of breath when I walk up stairs or up a hill. I know I badly need to work on this. A couple of years ago, I joined a fitness center for women. Their program involves a circuit of exercises, where you move from one to the next in a set amount of time. The problem was, I couldn't keep up the pace. I ended up out of breath and dizzy.

A while back I wrote a post about Sjogren's Syndrome. I was diagnosed with it years ago. It's an autoimmune condition that causes your immune system to attack your body's ability to create moisture; the symptoms are dry eyes, dry mouth, dry skin, etc. I have learned to treat the symptoms and live with it. But a year or so ago, it was in the news, when Serena Williams was diagnosed with it. She was tiring easily and had to drop out of competition. I wondered if the same thing could be affecting my endurance. Also, it can get worse as you age.

I've been thinking about this and decided to do the best I can to get into better shape and get more exercise. So I joined our local YMCA. Our Y is very well equipped and has a variety of great activities for all levels of fitness. I went for my orientation last Monday. Then I stayed for an aerobic exercise class. It wasn't a high level class, and all of the participants were about my age. The class was 50 minutes long. I was doing fine until about the 30-minute mark. Then I got tired and felt like stopping, but I kept going. Now I know that was a mistake. I've been exhausted and out of breath for two days.

I am not going to give it up. But I am going to take it slower. I have learned my lesson. I am going to go at my own comfort level. The people at the Y tell you this; they say do what you can, the important thing is to keep moving. So I am going to keep moving, but at my own pace. Now I know this is more important than ever. I believe that, at my age, I am at a turning point. I must decide if I want to have an active lifestyle or give up and be sedentary for the rest of my life.

Update: After I wrote this post this morning, I got back "on the horse". I went to the Y and took a cardio class that was less strenuous than Monday's. I told them I might not make it the whole fifty minutes, but I did. It got my heart rate up and I worked up a healthy sweat, but I felt good afterward, not exhausted.


Natalie, the Chickenblogger said...

I think you've got it: you own pace!
I'll be with you, today, and I'll remember to do something active... at my own pace. We have to start somewhere, and then let's keep going! Thank you for the inspiration.

judy in ky said...

You are welcome, Natalie. You inspire me, too.
(See my update.)

Bearette said...

good for you!

judy in ky said...


the veg artist said...

I've a very old back injury that I have 'annoyed' several times by trying too hard in yoga classes, so I know what you mean. It pays to listen to your body, but we seem to forget all too easily!