I didn’t actually ponder a great deal in the pool today. At least, nothing that is worth writing down. I thought about work and the way I’d like to teach some classes, and how happy I am that there seems to be a serious excitement about them. That was cool.
I even tried to come up with some subject to chew on so that I could write about it this morning, and totally didn’t. I’m okay with that. My goal isn’t to come up with neat ideas in the pool, common as it is and nifty as it is when it happens. My goal is to swim for 30-40 minutes and then get on with my day.
Swam a 1200 today, just because it seemed to be going well and I figured if I went over on time, I didn’t have to spend all that much time in the locker room. I am off today, so I can go home with a wet head.
It took 35 minutes, so that was all good. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to swim a mile in a half an hour or not, but it doesn’t really matter. The 35 minutes mattered.
I’m trying to decide on what to do for strength training. Sure, sure, I’m getting some upper body strength back in the pool — no doubt! It’s awesome and it makes me happy. But in terms of preventing osteoporosis, swimming ain’t it. The things that make it wonderful for me in terms of getting in a workout without hurting joints in my legs are the very things I need to keep up bone density.
Well, sort of.
Studies are showing that it’s not only the impact that helps build and keep bone density. Weight training provides about the same benefit. Surprise, surprise, chickadees! Weight training is actually low impact. I’m sure that’s a lot of why I like it so much.
And that’s also a reason I’m trying to decide how to get back into it. I plain like it. Running can be good for you, too, and notice I’ve no plans in the world to start that up!
I wish that people that promoted exercise more did place more emphasis on finding something you like. And “like” can be really intersectional. I mean, I can think of someone who really likes to run, has plantar fasciitis, and just ain’t gonna be running because that’s a big nope now. Like does need to include “can” as well.
That’s where it gets hard. Just to run around saying, “Get your heart rate up for 30 minutes a day!” is fine for a lot of the population. I’m in that category now, myself, and believe you me, I’m glad I can.
But sometimes, it’s, “Sure, I can work out. But I’m going to have to get an extra three hours of sleep a night to do it. Gonna take over my job for me while I do that?” I went through a period of that about 18 months ago. It was terrifying. No doctor had anything for me on that. For a while, all I did was work and sleep. Then I started to get better, and I didn’t know why or how. I spent a fortune on tests that told me nothing. That’s some scary crap, let me tell you what. You want willpower? I was getting by on willpower.
I didn’t start feeling better because I started working out. I started working out when I started feeling better enough to do it, and it sure as hell wasn’t about losing weight, because I started to feel better after I’d gained some, and I’m not exactly slender. (No, I don’t think that’s what caused it. Correlation ain’t causation!)
So while I really do, no kidding, believe in being active and all that smack, I don’t think there’s any such thing as a universal prescription. Yeah, I’ll push swimming for people with mobility issues, because I know how beautifully it works for me, but nope, it wouldn’t work for everyone.
I wish health professionals would think about this instead of assuming people with baffling conditions are lazy liars. I find it incredibly frustrating to deal with, and I think it’s causing some serious issues with health care in general. Then again, the state of health care is another rant that’s going to take more than a blog post, so it would probably be better to leave that off for another day.
So, I leave with this question: What place does exercise have in your life, and why?