Five keys

This is me earlier in the month on a fitness walk in Florida. I was going pretty slow, but it was the longest walk I’d done in several weeks.

There’s that old joke where a guy says he doesn’t drink anymore, doesn’t smoke anymore, and only eats foods that are good for him. “So, are you living longer?” asks his friend.

“Not sure, but it certainly seems longer!”

And you can’t take all the good advice with a grain of salt, either. Not if you’re watching your sodium. But the American Heart Association is plugging away at it anyway. Their list:

  • Not smoking
  • Eating healthy
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a normal weight
  • Drinking alcohol only in moderation

If you do those five, then your life expectancy is increased. But Dr. Frank Hu at the Harvard School of Public Health is quoted as saying that only about 8% of American adults stick to all five. Of course, four of the five items contain wiggle words: “healthy” eating– “regular” exercise– “normal” weight– “moderate” drinking. They all need definitions before we really see what is involved.

I do a pretty decent job with all five. However, I figure I smoked maybe a half pack a day up until the time I left home for college at 17, not on purpose, but family members smoked in the home. I eat pretty well, if you don’t count pizza, and I exercise a lot, including cardio, weight training, and trying to touch my toes. I’m getting close.

The weight thing fluctuates a bit, not because I’m a yo-yo dieter but just because of varying activity levels– right now I’m up a couple pounds and having just a bit of trouble buttoning the jeans. I’m all right though if you don’t expect me to talk. Or sit down.

The trouble is that I injured my foot in January. It’s now been three months, and I’m still in the healing process, with one of those orthotics in place helping take pressure off the arch. It helps my foot to keep the weight down, but with an injured foot it’s hard to walk distances and running is out of the question. It’s the vicious circle.

For cardio I’m sticking to indoor biking, or rowing on a machine. Rowing is really good for you, but it’s strenuous so even 15-20 minutes is quite a challenge. And I have to go to the club instead of walking or jogging from home.

On the other hand (actually both hands) the push-ups are going well. I’m shooting for 100,000 pushups by the end of the year– that’s about 275 each day. It’s a lot, but I do them in sets of 25 or 30 at a time & just try to fit them in sometime during the day. Right now it’s 10:45 in the morning and I’ve already done a total of: 0.

OK, typing that number motivated me to get down and get started. The first set is always the hardest of the whole day. It’s the last day of April and my total to date 32,600. That’s pretty good, but a little math tells me that I’ll only reach 99,000 unless I pick up the pace a bit. Good old math.




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