At best, I have always been an infrequent jogger. There was always this extra around the middle and on the thighs that would demotivate me. You’re thinking, “If you’ve got that extra weight on your body, then that is exactly why you should want to jog, to burn that stuff off, right?!” This is excellent logic, but it wasn’t for me. If I had extra weight and was trying to jog, to me it would be the equivalent of trying to jog with a ball and chain or a backpack turned around to the front. It just wasn’t going to happen! Not only that, but in the back of my mind I am aware of slamming the pressure from the extra weight on my joints since I am over 50. So I was content to walk.
I’ve walked off and on for at least 15 years. It has been a joy to walk outdoors and see in slow motion all the things you can’t notice when you are driving a car. The foliage, the landscaping, the textures of material on someone’s home with a fresh breeze has always been enticing. Where I live there are a lot of interesting homes on old city streets to enjoy, so my daily walk was always nice. The streets got fuller with more and more cars and on the main thoroughfare the air became “less fresh” with the buses used for mass transit. Add to that, winter time changes and then a crime element that has grown, walking the neighborhoods became less feasible. Eventually I joined a gym and used the indoor track. The material used on the track was easier on the joints too.
Interval training has been touted as an excellent way to improve upon your cardio. In interval training, you do short bursts of a faster pace. I have done this in the past, but honestly wasn’t into doing it much. Yesterday at the gym, I decided to do interval training on the track. No pressure, but I would walk 1/2 the circle of the track and jog the other half. I decided that I would do this as long as “it felt good”. Remember, being an almost senior citizen, I didn’t want to overload my heart or my joints. For 20 minutes I did this and felt great! It feels so liberating to be able to pick up the pace and jog comfortably. In a way of thinking, I jogged 10 minutes total and walked the rest of the way for a total of 1/2 hour.
This morning, it is just cool enough and just warm enough on a Saturday to do some interval training around my building. The cars were gone and it was safe and the morning breeze was delightful. I found myself wanting to jog! Again I didn’t make big demands on myself. I did it for as long as “it felt good” as my goal is fitness, not to become a marathon runner. I spent 30 minutes doing the walking & jogging scenario, except this time I jogged probably more than 1/2 of the time. I would jog and then walk about 20 feet and pick up the pace again. How liberating this feels being able to jog in a new lean body!
Ease into Change
The key for me has been to do this whole fitness thing slowly. I’m not trying to keep up or compete with a soul. My eating plan has evolved over time, my weight loss has came off slowly but surely over time and my level of fitness is improving slowly over time. The main thing is not to over do it and not get hurt. When your eating and fitness evolves over time, you are no longer “on a diet”, but you are participating in a new lifestyle. Lifestyles don’t hurt, whereas diets do. (I mean this figuratively as it is easier to create and follow a lifestyle than it is to follow a path of dietary restriction.) My new and improved lifestyle has been agreeing with me! Perhaps the new Vegan diet that I have been on has been a motivating factor as well. I am enthused about my new interest in jogging and look forward to doing it again tomorrow. The whole key for success for me and probably for you too is to ease into a healthier and fitter lifestyle and not to try to get there overnight. This way it is less frustrating and less intrusive in your daily routine and you will get there before you know it.