I have come to the conclusion that I need a low impact exercising program for Grandmas. I have found most of the exercise programs out there are too vigorous for me. I am an active person, but fragile. I certainly don’t want to injure myself but I would like to stay fit. So I am designing my own program: The Program of Ten Plus.
My low impact exercise program begins with 10 minutes of walking at a pace where I can still breathe and talk without puffing. If I get tired within that 10 minutes, I stop until I feel I can start again. There is no pressure of walking more than 10 minutes, but there is an expectation of walking at least 10 minutes. I am going to consider 10 minutes a victory! If I go 11 minutes, good job! If it is 12 minutes, yay! But since I have trouble even getting started at all, my Program of Ten Plus is manageable for me. Maybe I’ll be even be able to do it twice a day some days.
The Program of Ten Plus: what is the plus? The plus is anything else you can add in your day. Currently I am adding 10 kettlebell lifts, some arm circles and some stretches that may or may not resemble putting on my socks and shoes.
Now that doesn’t mean that I sit around the rest of the day, and I bet you don’t either. Laundry, sweeping, mopping, chasing kids- that is an active lifestyle. My things in my house are purposely designed to be somewhat inefficient so I walk around a bit. In order to make dinner tonight, I will have to make a trip or two down to the basement to retrieve ingredients from the shelves down there. If I want to write a letter to someone later, the note paper is in another room.
My husband has projects, too, that I assist with: renovating apartments, moving supplies, painting. It is winter now, but in the warmer weather we spend time outdoors keeping the lawn mowed, weeding flower gardens, and managing raspberry beds, apple trees, grape vines and a small orchard.
So why am I even worried about being on a treadmill for 10 minutes? Regular exercise is part of taking care of my body in order to stay healthy. I am not promised good health, but I want to do my part to stay healthy.
I want to hike when the occasion presents itself. Last fall, that meant an opportunity to hike to Maroon Bells in Colorado. I know that if I hadn’t been exercising regularly, I would not have been able to complete that hike. At a starting elevation of 9,500 feet, you have to be in shape if you are going walking, much less hiking!
Don’t pick a program you won’t do.
And for me 10 minutes once or twice a day on the treadmill, or outside if the weather is cooperating, is consistently possible. Fitday says, “Working out with consistency is important for achieving fitness results.” WebMD has a great list of fitness facts, which include boosting brainpower (I certainly need that!), relieving stress, and supporting the immune system.
So what are your fitness plans for 2018? Running a half-marathon? A heli-ski trip down an uncharted mountain? Good for you! I’ll cheer you on- but first I need to go walk on my treadmill for 10 minutes.
Caution: As with any exercise program, check with your physician to make sure you are healthy enough to start this or any other program.