After years of getting into shape during the summer, only to gain weight and lose fitness over the winter, I think I’ve finally put together an exercise program that’s working year-round.
It’s pretty simple:
- Three times a week we go to the Fitness Center and lift weights, then go to the Savoy Rec Center and do an hour of taiji.
- The other four days of the week, I try to spend at least an hour walking.
We’ve been very good about the lifting and the taiji—we’ve scarcely missed a session for many months now. I’m a bit less consistent about the walking, but I’m hardly ever entirely sedentary, even for one day.
I often get the bulk of the walking just by running errands in the neighborhood—I can get 10 or 20 minutes of walking just by going by foot to the bank or the grocery store. When the weather is nice, it’s easy to get myself out to walk around Kaufman Lake.
Even better is when we can get out someplace like Allerton and hike over some more interesting terrain.
At a minimum . . . . Well, it takes seven minutes to walk around the block here in the apartment complex. I can hardly ever get myself to do the eight or nine laps that would amount to a full hour, but I can almost always get out for at least one lap—and once I’m out, I can usually convince myself to do a second.
What’s great about this is that it’s working. For the first time in my adult life, I weigh less in January than I did in October. My usual metrics for aerobic conditioning (running time and distance) don’t really apply, but the ease with which I can do ordinary stuff like carry groceries up stairs suggests that I’m in adequately good condition.
I’m looking forward to summer, when I can get back to bicycling and running, but I’m not waiting for summer to work on my fitness. This is a huge improvement.