Regular exercise routine takes set plans and time

Duane Dailey

Exercise more, health guides tell me. And, eat less.

Getting older takes adjustments on exercises, both for body and mind. Physical and mental health depends on active workouts. Since my cardio rehab sessions I’ve become an advocate.

I try to practice what I already knew and more that I learned in rehab classes.

In my mind, I was too busy for regular workouts. But, my rehab lady asked on my graduation from cardio lab: “You mean you can’t find in a 24-hour-day 30 minutes to exercise?”

I didn’t try to explain to her just how busy I was. On 30 seconds of reflection, I could surely find 30 minutes.

She suggested that I walk a mile. That I knew was crazy. A mile?

When I tried, I found I could. Not only that, after a week I knew it was good.

Now, she didn’t say run a mile. Nor, jog a mile. Just walk a mile. Too many people overdo exercise. They go out, fresh from their recliner and start running. Not good. Start easy and work up.

I learned abruptly in cardio lab to start slow. I was put on a treadmill at 2 percent grade uphill and 2 mph. That seemed boring! I fiddled with controls to double the incline and speed.

In a few minutes my minder was at my side, away from the monitor screen showing my heart via a WiFi device I wore. “You are about to go defib on us! We don’t want that.”

Since then, I’ve gone slow. I’m still on a flat surface. Not 4 mph yet after all this time.

By now, I’ve lost count of how many hundred miles I’ve walked. I feel great in accomplishing that. I did find 30 minutes.

Plus, I’ve almost worked myself off glucose-control pills. Workouts use glucose that makes diabetes hard to live with.

Also, my waist line shrunk a couple of inches. Amazing!

Part of that is close watch on what I put on my plate at meal times.

The medicos tell how many thousands of miles of capillaries are embedded in belly fat. Those tiny little blood vessels require extra hard work by the heart.

My old heart doesn’t fit the youthful illusion I have of myself.

Cutting down capillaries helps, say the doctors.

Now I recommend to all the idea of more exercise and less food. It’s easier than you think.

This week, a self-help item in The New York Times tells the challenge. A federal study shows that only 5 percent of adults get adequate exercise. Lots of people start. But, the study says 65 percent drop out in three to six months.

I’ve hung in there well past the year mark.

The feds say set specific goals at set times. That works.

I have cut back from five days a week to three and increased walking time and pace. Still a walk, however.

And, I’ve added a workout with weights for upper body strength. There is no fast progress. Do not expect instant response. Slowly the body responds.  It took a lot of years to get into the shape I was in. It takes time to improve.

So, you can do it. I found having the gym appointment helps with regularity. Walk at your own place. But, it’s more fun watching others struggle alongside you at the gym. You make new friends who understand and give each other pep talks.

When I started this tale, I intended to slip in an elbow turn midway down on how to perk up an aging mind. That’ll have to wait for another session. You might not see it, but minds get flabby as well.

Keeping Alzheimer at bay takes more than working The New York Times crossword puzzle every day. Though, that helps.

I hope our paths cross.

Send you words of wisdom to or 511 W. Worley, Columbia, Mo., 65203.