Its probably deconditioning Wotan. I am a plumber by trade, and its not like it used to be where the old plumber had a helper to do the grunt work and you preaty much worked 5 days a week, 8 hours a day. Now your competing against 20 and 30 year olds and expected to work 7 days a week allot, 12 and 14 hours a day, So I got all depressed and gave up and sat in a computer chair for 8 months. I finally forced myself out of the chair and went back to work. For the first month everything I did winded me. I would sometimes have to lug 150 pound sewer machines down and back up basement stairs. I was sweating like I ran a 4 minute mile and leaning on my truck heaving for air for a couple of minutes. Then at the end of the day I would lay down on my bed and start breathing really hard for about
5 minutes. I lasted about
3 months and had to quit. It slowly got allot better, but never reached the point this old out of shape plumber was going to be able to keep up. I then proceeded to sit on my rear for 5 more months and got in really bad shape.
So this depressed me to the point I gave up and moved, to my daughters house at 6000 feet of all places, where my cardio/pulmonary condition that isn't that great has to fight the altitude also, and I tried it again. Strangely enough, without those extreme cardio workouts of hauling those machines up out of basements, I did not improve this time like I had before. I lasted 3 months again and this time quit in serious depression. I then sat on my rear for 2 years.
Finally, I forced myself out of the chair against Doctors advice of all things. By now I got winded going from the chair to the refrigerator. He was sure I was going to keel over, but I was tired of being sick and tired everyday, and he wasn't finding anything of real significance on the heart and pulmonary test, and couldn't answer why I felt extremely ill everyday and I decided between him and me I was probably going to be found with a heart attack sitting in my computer chair if I didn't do something.
Okay, so I started off walking around a K-Mart. At first I could barely go around once or twice. After I was going around about
8 times I switched to the park and started going around about
a couple of miles at first and within a couple of months was doing 8 miles a day and doing all kinds of stretching excercises along with it.
Now, still, somedays I would still drag around the park feeling short of air, and somedays I could keep a fast pace with another walker and hold a conversation at the same time. I would wonder, what the heck. How come somedays I am barely moving and somedays I have a high energy level. Who knows, but everybody gets it to whatever degree. The healthiest athletes in the world have good days and bad days. Somebody older and out of shape is probably going to get a magnified feeling of that.
Right now, I am totaly out of shape again. Those years of sitting weakened my muscles to the point that all that excess walking and stretching caused my intercostal muscles and back muscles to overwork themselves and get tons of spasms, and I ended up with constant severe back, rib and chest pain. I have been fighting that for 2 years now, while I live on pain killers and muscle relaxers, and try to get in enough walking and standing I don't decline even farther by another round of sitting on my rear all the time. This is really hard to combine, muscle relaxers and excercise since your muscle tone is messed up while your trying to get some activity. But without them, everything seizes on me. Then your not just having a hard time getting enough air from being out of shape, your chest is so tight and acheing you will think your having a heart attack.
So your probably deconditioned. Even when I was swimming a mile a day in the morning and hiking a 800 foot mountain in the afternoons 8 years ago and was on no drugs, I would still have days that if I wanted just a little excercise, like a walk down to the KMart a mile away and back, I would feel so fatigued it did feel like my heart and breathing were really struggling, because I have had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for about
14 years now. Now I am 51. 8 years ago I was 43 and hadn't had any breaks on my excercise from 37. Its a huge difference. Now if I swim 7 laps I am worn out.
If your really worried about
your heart, get it checked. As far as excercise goes though, a certain amount of walking is good, especialy to start, but I always got far more benefit out of a little cardio excercise, like swimming or walking up a hill then I did out of just walking. My knees and hip are to shot to jog. I doubt 61 year old knees are going to hold up any better then my 51 year old knees. But even a mixture of walking, then brisk walking short distances to bring your heart rate up so your getting a little cardio several times a week is going to bring you back up faster then trudge walking. But at 61, pace yourself reasonably. I find that very difficult to do though at this level of deconditioning. Its actualy easier for me to force myself into a short brisk walk, or find myself a nice hill that will get that heart rate and breathing up. I found climbing hills, even if you have to go part way at first, or stop a bunch of times at first to be allot more mentaly satisfying that you accomplished a goal when you reach the top, then trudgeing around the block watching people years older passing you.
Depending on how much you have deconditioned yourself though, keep it in mind to the point that you don't completely over push yourself like I did and end up messing up a bunch of stuff that is going to make you quit. The advice on give yourself a year to get back in condition is preaty sound advice. I gave myself months after 8 years of barely doing anything except the couple of times I made myself work and then had to give up, and I paid a heavy price in messing myself up physicaly and mentaly. The mind can only handle so much perceived failure. Your far better off doing something that gives you a sense of accomplishment, but doesn't mess you up in the process. So next time around, I will probably go with the give myself a year thing myself.
There was a famous Naturopathic Doctor named William Christopher, I believe. I can't count on that, brain suffers from memory burps. Anyhow, Christopher said that basicaly for every year you have been doing it wrong, it will take one month of doing it right to fix it. I would suppose that a deconditioned body would fall into that preaty well also.
I will give you a positive concept to keep in mind. My Aunt had a heart attack at 75 and started just walking around her block everyday. One trip around a large block. She kept it up for years. She is now 92, and still lives in her own home and takes care of herself.
Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, IBS, Diverticulitis, Costocondritis, Thorasic Degeneration, Mild Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Mild Hilar Lymphodenopathy, Depression, Anxiety. Dyspnea. Disequilibrium.
Klonopin, Percocet, Baclofen, Ibuprofen, Valerian, Greens Plus, Magnesium, Vitamin C, COQ 10, B Complex, Niacinamide, Glucosomine, Condrotin, MSM, L-Carnitine, D-Ribose.
Post Edited (Grailhunter) : 1/3/2009 2:27:54 PM (GMT-7)