Health in the Time of Corona: Day 5 Update
The Corona Conversation is a short, daily observation of our life during the Covid-19 outbreak.
I had a brain tumor.
It came out of nowhere, doctors didn’t know why.
I couldn’t feel the left half of my body. It was like a stroke, but it wasn’t.
I was bound to my bed for two months. When I moved to a month of physical therapy, I found that every single muscle in my body had atrophied.
I couldn’t do any of the things that used to be easy:
- Sit up in bed
- Dress myself
- Brush my teeth
And that’s just a few. Basically, I could not do anything.
With a lot of work, I got all these abilities back. But here’s the point.
This was not from my brain tumor (at least, not directly). This was a direct effect of not moving for two months. If you aren’t using a muscle for awhile, you lose the ability to use that muscle.
I hope I don’t have to state the obvious, here.
If you do not walk, you will lose the ability to walk.
My daughter is sheltering in place with my wife in Rome. Back when she was working, she walked a lot. Her job involved standing. Now she is doing neither of those. She noticed that she was gaining weight while she was at home. She made a set of exercises that she could do during the day.
Today, her legs are on fire.
I feared losing my ability to walk again. Trust me, that’s something you don’t want to go through!
Today, I went for a 30-minute walk. It was something that I did regularly before the virus. No problem.
My legs aren’t working the way they used to. My coordination was worse. I tired more easy. It was not a pretty sight.
After 30 minutes, I was done. I took a bus home.
Just because you’re stuck at home, you still need to exercise
You gotta use it or lose it.
I assume you want to retain your ability to walk.
Even while we are sheltering in place, a daily walk is OK. As an added bonus, the fresh air is good for your immunity. It is also a stress release.
So, get out there and walk for 30 minutes a day!
Remember the wise words of Mr. Weird Al Yankovich:
Don’t tag my toe, I’m still alive.Inactive, by Weird Al Yankovic
Let me know how you feel in the comments!
Day 2 Update: I picked a destination about 30 minutes away. There is a small grocery store. That way I can pick up my food for the day. I also don’t have to time myself — I know that my destination is about 30 minutes away. I can walk as fast or as slow as I need.
I am still weak, but stronger than yesterday. It gave me hope that I can stick with it and get better.
Day 3 Update: I decided against a daily shopping trip. I want to minimize my contact with other people. This is why I have been stocking up on food. Time to hit the Beans and Rice.
Beans and Rice.
It started to rain about 10 minutes in. I want to stay healthy. Isn’t that one of the points? I cut my walk short and returned home.
Note to self: Always carry an umbrella. This is Oregon!
Day 4 Update: I couldn’t sleep last night. I woke up at 3am. I think I had general anxiety. That made the walk more difficult, but I did all 30.
I had a shower, had some caffeine. I’m good to go.
Tomorrow will be better.
Day 5 Update: Today certainly was better. I armed myself with a very good night’s sleep. I slept in about an hour later than usual.
I walked for 40 minutes. I used my stopwatch to find a landmark 20 minutes away. When I hit that landmark, I turned around and went home. By the end of the walk, I was feeling it.
The back of my thighs pound with blood. My back hurts. My balance is pretty bad. My legs are shaking.
I am fasting for 24 hours today. That should make tomorrow’s walk even more successful. When I hit 20 minutes, I turned back around and headed for home. Tomorrow, if I still feel good @ 20, I’ll keep going for another ten.
Matt’s not here right now. He went for a walk. Walking is good. Retain muscle tone. Stimulate your metabolism. Destress.
Have you walked today? Sign up for the M.W. McCabe newsletter.