Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Treading Carefully


After much deliberation and bearing in mind the exercise conundrum that exists around fibromyalgia and CFS/ME, when the price was reduced, I decided after all to invest in a treadmill.

That's the good news. The bad news is that was in November and the blasted thing is still in it's box, because, until I finish decluttering and rearranging the furniture, I can't place it where I want it.

The pace of getting anything done is slow, but that's something I have to live with, because the consequences of overstepping my limits are too dear.

The treadmill I bought is manual, because I was sure I'd never be able to keep up with the pace of a motorized one and I'll probably still need to set this at the least resistance. There's a hand sensor that measures pulse, so I shall be able to monitor myself to go slowly and gently enough - using the principles of Pacing by Numbers: using your heart rate to stay inside the energy envelope.

It will also measure distance, calories burned, pulse and speed, though my aim is to start with just 2 minute walks, gradually building to 20 minutes per day.

Fortunately, it doesn't matter if that's 10 x 2 minute walks, 4 x 5 minute walks or 20 minutes all in one go. Little and often is probably best for me.

Since I also have an overactive bladder, I plan to (potty) train myself to hop on for a 2 minute session each time I return from the bathroom.

This will mirror what I used to do in Tenerife with my dog - whose bladder was apparently on the same wavelength as mine. It got to the point where I was automatically reaching for the dog lead each time I exited the loo, while she automatically sat and waited at the door, every time I went.

We'd repeat this up to a dozen times a day, even if we only went for a 2 minute walk up the lane just to do what was required and, in combination with the better climate, cleaner air, fresher food, etc., this lifestyle kept my fibromyalgia symptoms just manageable on a day to day basis.

Of course I can't do that now in the UK, firstly, because I had to have my dog put down to come this country (something I am still not at all happy about), secondly, because the British weather is either too cold or wet for me to go out for most of the year. It's also not as safe. And it's definitely undesirable to go out more than is strictly necessary for medical appointments, living in a cul-de-sac where certain neighbours have harassed and verbally attacked me.

Based on all of that, the treadmill seemed like the only solution.

This Calories Burned Calculator tells me that:

  • Walking, 2 mph, slow pace, level on a firm surface for 20 minutes will burn a whole 69 kCal.
  • On the other hand, it says that if I lie quietly, watching television for 1.5 hours a day, I'll burn 125 kCal.

Oh the temptation to choose the latter! Smile

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