I've been walking and working out with free weights since last May, and I feel really great. As I mentioned in an earlier post, the mild weather this summer was ideal for walking, and then we've had a really nice fall. But it's getting cold now, and I really really don't like cold. I don't like heat and humidity, either, but this summer managed to avoid much of that. Now that it's getting cold, though, I'm worried about staying in shape over the winter. After all this work, I'd hate to lose everything I've gained.
Just down the road from us is a health club, about a two-minute drive or a twenty-minute walk away. This location is really convenient for us. They recently sent us a postcard offering a free three-week trial membership, so I've been going there for the past week or so.
I like most of the various machines they have, but the real draw for me is the treadmills. I've been trying to adjust to walking on the treadmill rather than the ground. I am not the most coordinated person in the world, and trying to keep my balance on the treadmill has been a challenge. But I'm improving. I still can't swing my arms freely, but I don't have to grip the rails much anymore, just lightly touch them.
I've always known that I walk fast, but using the treadmill has let me quantify that. I set the rate to 4.6 miles per hour, which the machine apparently considers to be a running speed, a slow running speed no doubt, but still running. I'm helped quite a bit by having long legs, though, and thus a long stride. I'm sure when I get more comfortable with the treadmill (i.e., not so concerned about losing my balance) I'll actually walk at a faster pace. I'm not sure how my pace on the treadmill translates to my pace on the ground, but I'd guess it was fairly comparable.
One side benefit to walking on the treadmill: My husband went to the health club with me today, and we were able to "take a walk" together much more easily than normal. Usually when we walk anywhere together, I notice Ron, well, not really struggling to keep up, but definitely not comfortable with the pace, so I consciously try to slow down, but that lasts only as long as I'm focused on the effort, which usually isn't very long at all. So our walks are usually at a constantly changing pace, with neither of us really comfortable with the result. The treadmill, though, allowed us both to walk at our own pace but still be beside each other and talk.
So far I've enjoyed working out at the health club. I still have another week and a half or so before my trial membership runs out, but I'm thinking I might join.