Sudden Falls, Parasols, Walking in Malls: Fitness Challenges for Those Over 50

Then there’s the outside temp to contend with.  And, lovely park as it is, Basin Park does not have a lot of mature trees for shade.  This is hard on me, as I have never been tolerant of heat, and it’s really uncomfortable for me to be out in the sun.  Yes, I know, the extra weight doesn’t help.

Aside #2: We have this family thing that when we exercise, we get all red in the face and people think we are going to drop down dead in front of them – even my sister Ginny had this trait, and she ran every single day.  I think it’s an Irish thing.

Another issue is falls.  Today, my right knee decided to buckle, and down I went.  I wasn’t hurt, but I felt foolish. This has happened a couple of times, but I managed to stay upright.  I don’t know what I can do about it.

My thought today, as I was hobbling home, was about “mall walkers”.  You know who they are.  Usually they are little old ladies who walk briskly through the mall, swinging their arms as they go and looking generally pretty fit.  Some malls even have extra early hours for them, so they can walk before it gets crowded.

That, for me, would solve the heat problem.  And it would be somewhat more interesting, as I would have things to look at – window displays change pretty often.  Plus…coffee.

But…$6 r/t on the senior van.  Not possible, given my income.  So, back to reality.

I came home and went on the internet in an attempt to figure out the heat/sun problem.  As I was looking up sunscreen and hats and even long-sleeved sun protective clothing for people with Lupus, and thinking that this is getting expensive, I ran across parasols.

Parasols!  The kind that look like the little ones you get in drinks, but real-life size.  Made of paper, and inexpensive.  They are now in fashion for women who want to avoid sun exposure when strolling outside.

Ok, apparently they have been back in fashion since 2007 – in California.  Since I don’t live on the west coast, I never got the memo.

Now, my usual way of not being exposed to the sun’s harmful rays has been simple enough: I just don’t go out in the sun.  When my kids were small and we went outside to play, everyone got sunscreened, including me.  But since then?  Avoidance has been my main defense.

I can’t do that now, as I am not going to let the sun deter me from my new exercise program.

Then I thought, why not a parasol?  I don’t go out in the rain, and even if I did, I would just wear my hoodie.  An inexpensive paper parasol is just the thing for those sunny days!

It gets a little tricky because I already take my cane.  So if I carry a parasol, that leaves no hands free for water and Moto pics.  I usually take my purse/small backpack with me when I walk, to bring my keys and wallet (my sweats have no pockets). But with neither hand free,  if I wanted water or Moto, I’d have to stop, take it off, and get those things out.

Ruining that whole “walking non-stop” thing I am shooting for.

It’s getting complicated.  Now I need a belty thing to carry phone and water bottle.  I’ll have to look online later.

Another aside: Why not wear a hat?  I look crappy in hats, that’s why.

The up side of having a lot of stuff to prep for, just to go on a walk, is that by the time I get ready I really can’t/won’t back out.  And since I am on a tight budget, if I buy stuff to go on walks I damn will go on walks!  Otherwise, I tell myself, it’s a waste of money.

Today when I went walking, the temperature was 64 degrees and cloudy.  I enjoyed that, and noticed that I made one less stop to sit down during my trek.

So…progress!  And my mood is better, too.  I feel tired, but also relaxed.  Slowly but surely, this will become a routine I look forward to.  I don’t think I will ever run a marathon, but who knows?  Eventually, maybe I will try a small fun run in the future.  The distant future.

By December, we’ll see what Dr. Wonderful says about the mystery illness – he won’t be able to blame it on my weight or fitness level.  And maybe I can go off my blood pressure medicine by then, too.   I look forward to surprising him.

I notice my cats are napping…time to sneak a nap in and maybe I won’t be so tired by the time the alarm goes off tomorrow.   Who says you have to get your 8 hours of sleep all at one time?

Today’s weirdness comes from the website “Oddee”.  It’s a pictorial of people who have tattoos that are instructions.  Yeah you know, like “how to use chopsticks”.  Very weird.  “10 Coolest Tattoos of Instructions”, Grace Murano, Oddee, 5/20/15.  WARNING: #6 may be offensive to some people.

Recommendations?  “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, that classic by Neil Postman, is now online in PDF form so people can read it for free.  It’s updated, too.  I found it when I was looking for a reference to make a point about the media not being some kind of “liberal conspiracy”, for a guy I was debating in The Daily Beast’s comments section.

Be good.  Be kind.  Post your favorite NON-GREEN smoothie recipes!





4 thoughts on “Sudden Falls, Parasols, Walking in Malls: Fitness Challenges for Those Over 50

  1. charlies5169

    Excellent!! I’m really happy for you. You will feel better, no doubt.

    I know how difficult it can be, but it certainly can be done. Dorene lost close to 40 pounds through diet and exercise, even with her physical challenges. It is possible, and the longer you do it, the more you’ll be motivated and the more rewarded you’ll feel when you reach your goal.

    And speaking of motivation, start taking selfies. That can be a huge motivation when you start losing the pounds and then compare how you look to when you started. No one has to see them but you. And it’s a great visual way to chart your progress.

    I’d stick with the hat so you can have at least one free hand. It doesn’t matter if it looks stupid, you’re not entering a fashion show. If it covers your head and blocks the sun, that’s important. (You saw the hat I was wearing in the Asheville pix! Did I care how it looked? Nah, it kept the sun off.) Then, even with your cane, you’ll still have a hand free.

    And finally, as far as the temptation of junk food… someone once said something to me, although it was in reference to alcohol, but the same can be said about junk food, “You learned to like it, you can learn to unlike it.” I applied that to chips and sweets as well. I rarely eat chips or cake, haven’t had a donut in probably 30 years, and don’t miss it.

    I still have that stuff on occasion, but it’s a lot easier to pass it by these days.

    People have said they don’t want to “deprive” themselves. Well, if you don’t have a taste for it, then how are you “depriving” yourself?

    This is all great! Keep up the walking and pretty soon, you’ll get grumpy if you DON’T walk! You’ll actually look forward to getting up and walking, trust me.

    Like I said, this is all great stuff, and I’m really happy for you.

    Keep it up! And write about your progress.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Victoria Post author

    Thanks for the supportive words! It’s especially helpful this evening, as when I went to take a nap…..yep, they got up again and caused trouble. I have never had such bratty cats!! I’m tired and cranky again.

    My junk food weakness is pizza, but as it is way out of my budget, I don’t eat it. Chips, not really into anymore. So, yes, you can definitely retrain your palate. And I figure it’s like a few other things you just have to give up when you get older – it’s a trade-off.

    I do like donuts but again, no money for that stuff since I went organic. By the time I buy fruits and vegetables and whole grain bread and beans and all that good stuff, I am out of food stamps. Since I choose the healthy parts of the grocery store to start my shopping, this is deliberate on my part.

    At this point in my life, I would rather get healthy and look good than eat junk food.

    As for selfies, I am having a heck of a time with that. I guess I need more practice.


    1. Teddy Ostrow

      “What kind of monster would tell someone to give up cheese?? Ain’t happening. I love love love cheese of all kinds.” Call me a monster then. Cheese isn’t good for anyone. Sure it tastes wonderful, but hey, that tends to be the problem with dieting. Chocolate tastes wonderful too, and so do baked potatoes with sour cream, and so does a t-bone steak with mushrooms (I seem to remember)–but, so what? If you’re a vegetarian/vegan you give up the steak because you think it’s inhumane, maybe also because meat consumption is bad for the planet, et al, and milk products are liquid meat (animal suffering and bad for you too). But as far as the argument that it’s “monstrous” to tell someone to give up a beloved food, nuh-uh, that’s just how the world works. Might as well ask what kind of God invented menstrual cramps.

      Lest anyone think I’m holier than anyone else, I’ve struggled w/ food my whole life and just eat too damn much of the stuff. I’m not knocking your plan to walk and lose weight. Just the opposite. Just saying that as far as cheese: wishing won’t make it so. I’ve been wishing for a soy version of Brie for years.

      (BTW my ethnic group also tends to have problems digesting milk products, which hasn’t stopped us making plenty of them. Nu?)



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