Saturday, October 19, 2013

I have to admit it’s getting better

Monica Specking, a fitness specialist, tries out one of several treadmills at the new St. Bernards Health & Wellness Institute.<br />Photo by John FloraWhen I shot this photo of Monica Specking, a fitness specialist at the St. Bernards Health & Wellness Center two years ago, I had no way of knowing what a difference in my health those treadmills would make.

Maria and I bought a membership at the St. Bernards fitness facility about seven weeks ago and had a fitness evaluation a couple of weeks later. We were advised to focus on aerobic exercise first before adding weights or resistance training to the program.

The recommendation was to do 30 minutes on the treadmill three times a week for a few weeks, then bump it up to 35.

I’ve noticed some subtle improvements on a day-to-day basis – more energy, being the most obvious.

I had a routine checkup with my doctor last week at which time he agreed that my blood pressure is back within normal limits and opined that I could dial back my Lisinopril dosage from 40mg to 20mg daily if I found myself getting light-headed upon getting up from a seated position.

It happened twice last Saturday at the Falling Leaf Rally in Potosi, Mo.

But the most dramatic change for me centered on the experience of setting up and getting in and out of my tent at the rally.

The last few times I’ve pitched my two-man Eureka tent, I’ve ended up huffing and puffing from the simple act of repeatedly kneeling to pound in tent pegs and standing up again. And getting up from a kneeling position to exit the tent had become a minor challenge.

Not so last weekend. Dealing with the tent was a breeze and it went up without me breaking a sweat.

I’ve known for years that just about everything that ails me – high blood pressure and cholesterol and type 2 diabetes – can be improved or eliminated by losing weight and getting fit. Being able to cut my BP meds after only seven weeks impresses the hell out of me. And it motivates me to stay with the program which very well may be my last chance to stave off the debilitating effects of advancing age.

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