Thursday, October 6, 2016

Steps

Pretty sure Webster would have used 'Janice' as a synonym for out of shape.  Between the first knee surgery in 2012 and the second one in January 2016 exercise greatly diminished.  Especially after the move away from a yard and home to maintain.  Sure, for a while we walked a mile each day.  To do that meant climbing a hill no matter which direction we walked.  We live at the top of a hill.  It took 30+ minutes for us to make the mile loop.  Then I tripped and fell.  Bruised the daylights out of my body.  Everywhere.  That was in early September 2014.  From then till January 2016 there were several more falls.  Three of the falls including hitting my head with two requiring stitches.  It reached the point I was afraid to walk.  Simply stepping outside could mean another fall.  We thought I was just becoming more clumsy.  Never occured to me that possibly the left knee could be causing problems with balance, etc.

Almost 9 months ago the pesky left knee was replaced.  Therapists helped me rebuild the muscles.  Then the trip to Europe only 8 weeks following the surgery pushed me even further.  After a little time to rest from the trip, I built up the daily step count hitting over 10,000.  But that was too much too soon.  I backed off to 5,000 to 7,000 steps.  During those months most of the steps were bike peddling. Now, most days 2/3 of the steps are walking inside the 4 story parking garage.  The remainder of the steps will be on the stationary bike.  The first week after the surgery I could barely make the bike light up with my peddling speed.  Last night I averaged 81 RPM over 12 minutes.  The setting was for endurance building.  The highest resistance was 6 out of a possible 10.  The 6 was up a notch from the comfortable 5 I had been doing.  By the time I went to bed the FitBit ZIP had recorded over 9,000 steps.  Muscles are a little sore today but no pain.

Pain will get worse unless iced or rested for a few days.  I learned that lesson.  Soreness will work out with continued exercise.  The other lesson learned is not to push to the next level too soon.  I'll stay with the 6 resistance till I do not notice the change in resistance.  Then it will be time to step it up to 7.  BTW, the surgeon said the stationary bike was the best for building resistance and caused less stress on the knee as it continues to heal.  But the rear of an old out of shape lady gets grumpy sitting on that tiny seat for 45 minutes which is how long it would take to get 7500 steps on the bike.

Saturday I walked on grassy, sloped areas,  walked 1/2 mile in about 10 - 11 minutes and not even a hint of stumbling.  Walking no longer frightens me as it did at the start of the year. Now, it can feel good most days just to walk in the garage or over to the office.  Stamina has improved and overall I feel so much better about myself.  The ZIP tells me have several steps to go for today so I had best get to moving.  Hope you have a good evening and are able to get a few steps in, too.

Peace,
Janice
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