Well, now, with just under a month to go before my 50th birthday, I've decided to start doing something about my physical condition. I've had problems with my weight, cholesterol and blood pressure for a while, especially my blood pressure. I've been so inspired by Oprah Winfrey and other beautiful women going into their 50s and 60s that I figgered it's time for me to get busy and shine.
Great idea! There's nothing like taking care of your body to make you realize just how much you've neglected it! Yippee!
So I've joined a fitness center that's affiliated with a huge hospital, Pacer at Integris Baptist Medical Center. (There is no Methodist hospital handy, and Pacer is a top-notch fitness center that truly is devoted to health, not Spandex.) I've looked at several options for getting healthy, and much prefer Pacer to some of the "vanity" workout places that are more show and less glow.
Because my blood pressure is in the "skeery high" range, I've been restricted to the cardio rehab program for now. No weight training allowed yet, because using weights can raise blood pressure. I've also been to the doctor twice this week for blood pressure check, an update of my meds and lab work. I'll go back in a couple of weeks for a follow-up visit. It may be necessary to add something to my current meds or make some changes. We'll be looking at some other things too, with a complete metabolic panel.
Put 'em on, pick 'em up, put 'em down.
So here's my workout for now: 1) Take my meds before I go to the fitness center; 2) Get my blood pressure checked before I start; 3) Walk on the treadmill at 2.8 mph for 30 minutes, checking my heart rate every 10 minutes or so to make sure I'm not in a dangerous zone. I can bump up the speed a little as I'm comfortable. I'm fine at this pace for now, but want to increase it over time. 4) Have my blood pressure checked again after finishing my 30 minutes.
Now here's the deal: When they put you in the cardio rehab area, it means they are skeered enough that they want you close to where the nurses and doctors are located. Just in case. Ahhhh, that's comforting! But it's also why I chose Pacer. Should something happen, I'm literally across the parking lot from the hospital, one of the biggest in OKC. I'm working out with people in their 60s, 70s and 80s. Hey, for once I am the youngest person in the room, mostly. But it's embarrassing for the 80-year-old man, wearing his little hat, to be whupping my *** on the treadmill to my left.
Don't you worry. It won't take me long to get some of this excess weight off, and the blood pressure will get better. Once I'm out of the red zone, I can start working on strength and shaping, and I'll be on my way to being a babe again. I won't make it by my birthday, but my 50th year is going to be devoted to taking care of me, in as many ways as I can. I have to start by making sure I'll be alive to do some of the other things.