Walky days

I am getting quite familiar with these stretches of bike- and pedestrian road, a feature that is particularly common in and around Mandal where I live.

Today before dinner I took a walk to the tune of 775 calories. That’s up from 750 yesterday. Fine for weekends, but a bit long for weekdays, I think.

Yes, I am still walking most days, ideally an hour or so, although lately it has been longer. See, the alternative is to run, as I mentioned before. Walking, even rapidly, is not enough to get my pulse up in the training zone. (In fact, it has been dropping even lower since last I wrote about it. Now it is like 105-110.) I have to break into a run frequently just to convince my body that I am not simply ambling across the kitchen floor.

Basically, I have become immune to walking. -_-

I walk for an hour, and my pulse is like “what? I was supposed to react to this? Nobody told me that walking was supposed to count as exercise now.” But it is! Numerous highly respected publications recommend it! But evidently they recommend it for the average American, who is a mound of fat on stubby little legs or something. (Disclaimer: I have never been in America, but I had a friend who stayed there for several months, and there was a lot more of her when she returned.)

So if I had a body mass index of 29 (overweight a little below obesity), walking for an hour would have been epic exercise. Perhaps I should even asked permission from my doctor first. But because my BMI is 24 (“normal” a little below overweight), walking for an hour is just maintenance, or business as usual. What am I supposed to do, run? That would take some getting used to, since I only have done so for minutes total in my adult life. And teenage life. And late childhood.

I think, in fact, it was my learning to not run that made my asthma disappear sometime around the age of 10-12. I always thought it was some kind of miracle or I just outgrew it, one or the other. But I didn’t. I still have it, and it is called exercise asthma. Evidently it is not an allergy. The only thing that triggers it is exercising hard enough. So I have avoided this for four decades now. My muscles are very, very surprised when I try to run. I can do so for some steps, which is fine since that is all I need to pop the pulse up in the training range. I have to repeat this pretty often though if I want the kind of pulse I used to get from just walking, less than half a year ago. But it looks ridiculous.

In fact, it probably looks ridiculous just walking all over the place almost every day. The first quarter of an hour or so goes through the same part of the town each day, so I am sure the kids have already noticed. Kids are good at that. So when I am walking briskly through the neighborhood, I imagine the kids looking out and saying: “It’s Walky!

2 thoughts on “Walky days

  1. Even the not-so-rural parts of your area are lovely!

    I told you that I dreamt my family (my parents as well) pretty much barged into your home and moved ourselves in for the summer, didn’t I? It was uncomfortably impolite, but it was BEAUTIFULLY cool and green, even just in a dream!

    “Power-walkers” here get very light hand-held weights and move their arms as they walk. When the trend first started (years and years ago) it did look funny, but nobody even thinks anything of it now (despite the fact that it still looks somewhat comical!). I’d be willing to bet that doing such a thing would up your cardiovascular exertion enough to bring up your pulse into your “training” range without having to add much more vigorous a workout, thereby keeping your lungs happy and functional even while you’re “in the zone”! What do you think?

  2. I think I come across as plenty crazy enough as is. People who exercise in Norway tend to do it more vigorously, like dry skiing or dry skating, and of course running. The only walking tool that is accepted is canes and staves for the elderly.

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