Sunday, June 01, 2008

Running on my 65th

This past weekend I celebrated my 65th birthday. It was a great day. And one of the activities was to run three miles. How many 65-year-old women do that on their birthday? In fact, how many people, period, can do that? I know I couldn't until about a year and a half ago.

I have walked for exercise for years. And nearly six years ago I bought my first pedometer. Since then, I have been trying to take at least 10,000 steps a day—the number recommended for losing weight and keeping it off. I reach that goal five or six days each week.

At the same time I began weight training exercise. John did, too. So the next spring when he retired and we were ready to set out in the RV, we wanted to continue that activity. So we purchased a 40-pound weight set. We work out three days a week, almost without fail. At that time, we also tried to walk at least 10,000 steps five or six days a week. We had each lost a bunch of weight—I lost 30 pounds, John lost 40—and we wanted to keep it off.

It is easier to maintain our exercise schedule when we are in the stick house. But we were, and are, determined to maintain it while we are on the road in the RV, too. We do the weight training before starting out on our day's activities. The walking may be done around the loops in a campground, hiking on mountain trails, sightseeing in the city, even walking the halls of a shopping mall or around a Wal-Mart. When we are traveling day after day is the hardest time to get in the walking. Sometimes we feel silly making 20 or 30 laps around a small RV park. But we have kept the weight off.

Then, about two years ago we joined our then six-year-old granddaughter in a one-mile fun run at her school. I thought, "I can do this." So I started running laps at the gym, eventually building up to three miles. Now I love it. And we get 6,000 steps in only a little over 30 minutes, rather than the 45 to 60 minutes it takes walking!

Keeping up an exercise program while living in an RV and traveling isn't easy. It takes real discipline. But we are certainly glad we have the will power to do it.

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