What motivates you exercise?
Posted on August 18, 2023

We’re in England right now. Patti and I like active vacations. I like knowing we’re going on a vacation that requires that I am in reasonable shape. Without that goal in the future, I wouldn’t exercise nearly as much as I do. What is that motivates you? What is your exercise routine?


== Walking our my main exercise==


Hiking is our primary daily activity in England. England has over 400,000 miles of walking trails. Years ago, we’d walk more than 100 miles for ten walking days. At my age (78), those days are past. We’ll do day hikes. We aren’t committed to walk every day. The number of miles that are comfortable have declined. I’ve learned to limit elevation gain to less than 1000 feet.


I work to build my endurance for these trips. It was harder this year. Last fall I walked a total of nine miles on several days to prepare for our trip to France. I managed one day at 7½ miles in preparation for this trip, and I was pooped. I set six miles as our comfortable limit in England. One hike that we’ve liked in the past in the Shropshire Hills is six miles. That will be about perfect.


I’ve read that about 7,500 steps per day is good. That’s about 2½ miles – roughly one hour. I almost always take my iPhone, and it counts my steps. My United Healthcare gives me a $10 reward if I walk 5,000 steps for ten days in the month. That’s less than two miles and about 40 minutes. That hasn’t been much of a problem this summer.



I’ve done well over the year, averaging more than 7,500 steps per day.



== What I need to do ==


I no longer the attend the exercise classes that I used go to before COVID. My strength conditioning is not where it should be. I’ve not built a routine. I need to work on that, since some suggest that strength conditioning is more important than walking.


I saw my PCP for my annual wellness visit last month. She tested me for balance. I have to walk a few steps heel to toe and stand with arms out and eyes closed. I’m not good at the heel to toe walk. She suggested that I start balance exercises. I know that’s important. I lost my balance on a steep part of the trail in Japan – for no good reason – and fell. I managed to knock Patti off her feet, too. We weren’t hurt, but the fall was a shock.



Conclusion. As we get older I think we need to exercise regularly to stay in shape. It’s harder for me now that I’m in my late 70s. I use our bigger trips –all are geared to walking – as motivation. I’ve managed to average about 2½ miles per day over the last year, roughly 7,500 steps per day.

My strength and balance training have fallen. I’ve lost the urge to go to the exercise classes that I did before COVID. I’ve got to work on those two.

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