Two weeks ago, 14 full days, I started to seriously try to incorporate a full hour of exercise into each day. The American Cancer Society recommends at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week. There is other evidence that an hour a day is optimal, especially too reduce the risk of some cancers, including breast cancer. For women to NOT gain weight as they age, the current recommendation is an hour a day, seven days a week.
How this will work out when I go back to work, I have no clue. There are still several months to figure that out. However, for the past two weeks, on most weekdays, after my radiation appointment, I've gone to the Community Center and either walked--at least 3 miles at 15 or fewer minutes per mile--or done the Couch to 5K running program--finishing up a full 5K walking after the "running" is finished. I've attempted to be there and sweating for at least an hour a day. A couple of times, I had to cut the time short due to other conflicts; one day, for instance, I had to go before I went to radiation and I forgot to wear my compression sleeve, and going home to get it cut my time short. In general, though, I've been getting about an hour a day of exercise and have completed two weeks of the C25K program.
I can't say I like it. In fact, I pretty much detest it. I wish there were a magic exercise pill.
But there isn't.
I've tried exercise videos, but those don't work so well for me. It's too easy for me to quit, go half-assed, or procrastinate. Plus, my house doesn't lend itself to exercise in front a TV. The ceiling fan in the family room is inconvenient for over-arm movements, the floor has to be clear--which means I have to nag people to pick up their crap, and in the living room, there isn't room near the TV. Walking outside is fine, but with the peripheral neuropathy I have in my toes, the unevenness of sidewalks and curbs an issue.
I'm actually quite surprised at how much I prefer walking in circles at the Community Center. For starters, I'm pretty competitive at times, and I compete against myself with the timer. There's nothing like knocking 10 seconds off your previous lap. Second, I am in love with the little silver lap counters. I can't wimp out when I can increase that number. Today, I'd only intended to walk 4.5 miles, but instead did 5.0 miles just to make an even 40 laps. Third, the temperature remains relatively consistent, and that makes me happy. Fourth, I get excited when the fan by the weight area is on and I get that brief blast of air--on the days we go clockwise. If you had asked me two weeks ago if I'd want to walk laps indoors, around and around in a circle, for an hour or more a day, I'd have scoffed in your face. But I do rather enjoy it, I'm almost embarrassed to say.
I've been waiting for my blood counts to come up and to see what kind of skin changes I'm going to have from the radiation before I venture out to the weight or cardio machines. The last thing I need is to come in contact with MRSA right now if I can avoid it. Since I struggle with diligence, it's just best if I don't even take the risk for now. Once I'm finished with radiation, though, I'll have to reconsider.
Meanwhile, I'll keep plodding away for an hour a day, most days, round and round and round the blue track.
I will admit I'm sleeping better, have more energy, and am hating it less than I did two weeks ago. Maybe some day I'll even enjoy it. Maybe some day I'll look forward to it?