Walking Within My Limits
When I write a blog and it's a personal story including friends and family, I wonder if sometimes I am giving the impression to the outside world, that all is not well with my life.
In fact all is balanced and well.
My wife Babs and I have been together since she was 21 which is 45 years ago.
And we know each other incredibly well.
This morning, Babs has gone off for a walk with a friend and it wasn't even suggested that I could join them. I am pleased to say.
There is a chance that the walk will be between 6 and 9 miles which doesn't fit with my parameters. They can go as far as they want but I would not be wise to join them.
Babs knows better than asking me along.
I had a heart attack in 2011 resulting in me having a stent put into a coronary artery. I also have atrial fibrillation so my cardiac function is not the greatest.
I know from my nursing days that exercise for my heart is essential. I walk (reluctantly), cycle (enthusiastically) and play badminton (amateurishly) but always bearing in mind that I have GTN spray in my pocket for any chest pain. [I have never had to use it I am pleased to say]
Babs actually belongs to a walking group. It is great to go for walks with leaders that know the local area we are walking in.
There is a group newsletter, which gives information about the walks available. The first column I look at is the miles; under four miles, interested, five miles, just a go go -and above five forget it.
The walk guide also gives other information. Difficulties of ascents, descents and conditions of tracks and how many stiles there are.
And the other column I check Is - 'PUB'
Cycling With Assistance
So Babs and I enjoy a walk - given the right conditions.
However I prefer a bike, BUT Babs doesn't.
Are you surprised by that?
Babs doesn't like the roads and the traffic. However, if there is a cycle path or track all is fine.
The real key is to get a bike that fits your needs.
When we bought our cycles we had a motorhome and wanted a folding bike. We have been able to get both bikes in the back of a normal family car. Which means we can drive somewhere and cycle along tracks.
We wanted bikes which could carry things and we had bags at the rear over the wheels. So we could shop when motorhoming.
A back carrier is ideal for carrying water, refreshments, puncture kit, camera, pump and padlock.
But here was the big point - the absolute YES YES that is for us.
I have cardiac condition and these bikes are electric. It just made hills manageable.
Now we're talking.
Believe me, they are still exercise. We do have to put some effort into going up a hill even though it is much easier than before.
I've even ridden up hills in St. Ives in Cornwall, which are incredibly steep.
Electric bikes are common now, but when we got these about six years ago they were very new.
I really enjoyed passing other cyclists going up hills with them wondering how I was shooting up the hill.
I remember using the electric power for the very first time I thought wow, this is strange but nice.
It felt like someone was pushing you.
This is my joy and I love it - exercise but with fun involved; being able to stop, take photos, move on and it's just the sensational way to get around.
I encourage it.
Darn It - That's Not Good
One cautionary tale.
We were out cycling in Spain, when we had our motorhome. I stopped to take some pictures. When I got back onto my bike the power wouldn't work. For whatever reason - NO POWER.
I had to get back to our motorhome under my own steam which is quite difficult because the bike with the battery is quite heavy.
The bike was under warranty but of course I couldn't do anything about the problem until I returned to UK.
Exercising Together For Your Health
Although this blog post has been about the preferences that Babs and I have about exercise the really great point is that we have found ways to compromise when we do want to be exercising together.
Get out and exercise - it is essential for your health - we both totally are up for that and that's the main message.