10,000 steps the hard way

Today I walked Destroyer to school (about 2,000 steps, according to my fitness tracker) then took the bus to work, where I stood at my desk all day until it was time to go home. In that time, I managed another 5,000 steps or so.

Now, achieving 10,000 steps in a day (whether tracked accurately or not) is not a magical totem that determines you’re incredibly fit, but if your daily routine doesn’t even contain that minimal amount of exercise, it’s hard to stay fit. It’s little wonder that, with so little regular movement in my life, I’m feeling ever more heavy and sluggish.

After getting both girls to sleep tonight (La Serpiente has a cough but went to sleep fast, Destroyer, in the midst of toilet training, refuses to sleep and instead demands I take her to the toilet long after she should have gone to sleep in her nappy) I waited for my wife to get home from her evening walk, and then headed into the night.

It may be the stifling heat and humidity, or I may be slow, or walking may just be very boring when you’re too tired to take account of the nocturnal glories surrounding you, but this was a real slog. I trudged through my estate, down a road, past a gaggle of late night commuters coming off their bus, in a big circle back to our block of flats, and then found I was still 200 steps short, and had to climb 8 flights of stairs before I reached my target.

At least when I got home, it was to discover my wife had the air con on and the living room was cool.

But it’s a real grind to get back into the cycle of vigorous exercise. I look back at my heart rate over the last four weeks and in general it doesn’t go above 130 bpm on most days. A year ago, most days I’d get above 150. That sort of consistent reduction in exertion is what I’m scared of, because that is what feels like the beginning of the end. But perhaps it’s not even the beginning…

Still, not being able to run as much has been one of the problems. I need to get that back into my life without provoking another bout of plantar fascitis. It means running on my days off from the climbing wall and the pool, and there aren’t many of those, whereas running on Sunday, after a hard climbing session, is probably not well advised. Now my burst of constant travel is complete for a while, I have the rest of May to try to up my daily activity levels, get my heart beating again. It’s going to be a bit tough, I expect…

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