Geeks Vs Loneliness: Walking back to happiness

In which we think about small steps towards fitness

Do you ever get an earworm? As if the universe is trying to get a message to you in song? Right now mine is yodeling The Killers’ For Reasons Unknown. Repeating the line, ‘Well my heart, it don’t beat, it don’t beat the way it used to.’ 

Never was a truer word spoken. A few weeks ago I was invited to a free NHS screening test for people over forty. I’ve been feeling flabby and crabby so I booked myself in, adopted the brace position and submitted myself to being weighed, measured and bled. 

And – I’m normal. Normal BMI, normal cholesterol, normal blood sugars. I do have a flighty heart. It’s skipping along about 20% too fast. Onwards up the NHS testing chain I go. 

My distinct lack of exercise was also picked up on. I’ve been housebound for the past six weeks and I was a bit shocked to find myself wiped out on a recent trip to an art gallery. Not exactly the fastest paced of venues, mooching around looking at royal watercolours. But I had to sit down. Twice. 

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It got me to wondering. About getting a little fitter, a little stronger. I often ask about superheroes here in GvL, about who we identify with. Right now I’m Vanya Hargreeves in early season Umbrella Academy. Out of the action while the supers step up to prevent the apocalypse. 

How do you get out of a fitness funk? What can you do to motivate yourself? If you have any advice for those of us tentatively stepping out again but unable to afford a gym or anything fancy in terms of equipment or dress, then please give a shout out in the comments. 

Setting goals can be a positive thing – but make them achievable. TV fitness shows tend to set sky-high weight loss goals for entertainment purposes. The reality is that most of us have full lives and full diaries, coupled with empty purses. 

I have blown the dust off my antiquated Wii and bought a pile of fitness-based discs second hand. The advantage of this is I can pratfall about in my pants in my living room without anyone else seeing me. I am also finding the basic stretching exercises and yoga routines that most come with surprisingly good in getting me moving and feeling better. And I confess I own Just Dance Kylie – time to change the record in my head. 

I’m getting my walking shoes back on. My husband and I have signed up to an Alzheimer’s Society Memory Walk, in memory of his lovely mum. This is a seven kilometer walk – which may seem a modest distance to some, but which is a good target for those of us who need to build up stamina slowly. Their walks start at 2km, to enable people at any level of fitness and ability to take part. 

It is worth an hour of your time to take up a health MOT. We service our cars regularly – why not ourselves? If you are under forty you can still go for a check up with the nurse if you have any health concerns or want some advice about getting a little healthier. Knowing your blood pressure, cholesterol and heart rate is a good place to start if you are thinking of getting a little fitter. 

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I don’t want to nag – I think we all know ourselves what small steps we can take to get healthier in increments. I need to stop inhaling caramel ice cream for starters. 

We can’t all aspire to be supers. I don’t want to be Allison Hargreeves. I rather like Vanya. And unlike the Doctor, we only get one heartbeat. Let’s aim to be a little kinder to it. 

Thanks as always for reading.