I’m awfully unfit.  This is partly due to the stubbed toe.  Twice I careered into furniture I wasn’t expecting to be in the place they were, which is such a stupid thing to do, but, as the nurse at the Minor Injuries Unit said, is something we all do at any age.  The toe has impacted on my walking though – I’m over the hobbling but I’m not doing as many steps as I used to. And then there were the Pilates classes, which kind of stopped a few months back and were going to be started again once I moved.  Hmm.

A couple of days ago I read a Sunday magazine supplement on running and I feel quite enthused about the idea of running to get fit.  So, instead of relying on the slow stroll I took to buy that newspaper, I went out again and walked briskly round a nearby park, and up an incline (which made me breathless – good) and, then, out of sight, I began to trot.  Look, I’m not going to overdo it. I haven’t got the right shoes for a start.  And when I got back I did mat exercises for half-an-hour to stretch those tight tendons of mine.  And, you know what, I felt fantastic – I’d forgotten that there is such a thing as an endorphin rush after exercise!

Looking back at my old posts, I see that in August of last year I also wrote about exercise and fitness. What is it about August?  Anyway, I would like to repeat something I said then, that it’s so easy to slip into i) mild ill-health once you’re over a certain age, and then ii) do nothing much about it.

It’s not just the feeling flabby and listless because I’m not exercising enough. My mild IBS episodes have become more frequent, and I’m quite headachy, and they’re migraine headaches which leave me feeling quite sick.  I feel really toxic. But I think much of this is emanating from the exhaustion we’ve both felt after the move.  Because, it’s not the move that’s tiring (that’s easy, I’m an ace declutterer and packer). No, it’s the aftermath of the unpacking and the organising that continues for a long, long time after the move date.

In the scheme of things, people, this really is nothing.  I’m mildly unfit and feeling a bit under par. But I intend to do something about this. So, with the toe almost better, and after giving myself a good talking-to, here’s what I aim to do to help myself, which will hopefully also help you.

I’m going to push up the number of steps I take every day, and just maybe attempt running. To do this without injury I shall buy a pair of proper shoes.  Also, I’ve downloaded the podcast for the programme ‘Couch to 5k’. The link I’ve given you is from the NHS website no less, so it must be good.  But be sensible out there (I know you will be) and listen to your body and get yourself checked out before you start if you have any health issues.

I shall join a class – no need to say anymore. It’s Pilates for me. And I know I need to do this.  Feeling mildly unwell is the kick-starter for getting on with it.

I shall look after my feet. The arches are getting higher and the flesh is getting thinner down there.  They’ve carried me around for 71 years and need a bit of extra care.  Actually, putting a foot cream on every morning and night has helped.

I’m going on a long holiday – soon!  Lstening to your body and acknowledging that you have to take a break is very important.  So, this is not a sightseeing, visiting, driving everywhere holiday.  I shall sit down and do nothing for a quite a large part of the holiday. I’ll take books though, plus downloading some onto my kindle app when they’re finished.   I’ve always been very active and rushed around a lot.  Time to stop. For a bit.

With love

Penny, the frugalfashionshopper

 P.S. This has been a slightly more serious post than usual, thanks for reading to the end!  But I’m not a fashionista – this is my reality! However, a fashion blog will posted at the end of the week, as a few days ago I bought a lovely (charity shop) dress, which you’ll have to see   🙂



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28 thoughts on “Are you fit and healthy? Because I’m not!

  • 15th August 2017 at 4:05 pm

    I stubbed my little toe 5weeks ago.It is feeling good now.Be careful.
    I agree it is easy to fall into a slack mode especially if you have been under the weather but healing at our age does take longer.

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:01 am

      Yes, my toe was 6 weeks ago and it’s practically better – but it has taken much longer to heal than I expected.

  • 15th August 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Couch to 5k is brilliant – and I really must do it again!
    I started it at 63 and was staggered to find myself running 5k just nine weeks later. I lost three stone and felt fantastic!
    Then my mother was ill for a while and died and left me money – so I bought a car – and two years later I’ve turned into a lazy slug and put the weight back on again.
    Now 67 and if you can do it that’s the motivation I need to get going again.
    Thank you Penny!

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:05 am

      Hi Linda, I started listening to the podcast and realise now what it entails – will begin either this afternoon (as it’s pouring with rain at the moment) or tomorrow morning. I like the voice in the podcast and think it’ll be good to do it with her guiding me.

      Btw, I don’t want to lose much weight but do want to develop those muscles and a stronger less flabby core!

  • 15th August 2017 at 4:21 pm

    I did couch to 5k which I enjoyed and achieved but my knees paid the price. Sadly, I’ve had to give up long walks but that has made my knees much better so it’s yoga and Pilates for me now with the occasional short walk. Be careful not to do too much. Have a wonderful relaxing holiday.

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:09 am

      Sorry to hear about your knees – I shall be careful. I aim not to do pavements but keep to a park that’s very near. Also I will repeat weeks if need be – very aware that people can damage themselves. And yes, like you I aim to re-start Pilates. Thanks for the good wishes about the holiday.

  • 15th August 2017 at 4:47 pm

    Well said Penny. We can’t stop growing old but we can have some influence as to how we do it. As you know, I spend too much time on my rear. I joined the local Ramblers last year, but this year in February was a wake up call. I realised that I was using my arms to pull myself up – eg off a chair, off a train seat and so forth. And I have an elderly 92 year old friend who has lost the use of her legs. So I decided that if a personal trainer was good enough for my children, it was good enough for me. Although I was registered at my local leisure centre I wasn’t using it. So I went along and what a shock. I could hardly do anything at all. 6 months of weekly sessions have really helped. Not only can I do more, but i am now going to various sessions at the local leisure centre; spin, legs bums and tums, yoga. I realise yoga – or pilates – is very important and actually try and do some at home too. I continue with the walking and try to do 10,000 steps a day. But I realise I not only have to ‘use it not to lose it’ but I have to regain usage. Of course a PT isn’t something for everyone, esp if retired. But as I am still working and don’t smoke and rarely drink, I figure ‘I’m worth it’. I realise I have to do more than ‘a bit of walking’ as I age. Personally not sure about running, except on a machine as have seen many friends mess up their knees by running on tarmac. But we all have to find what works for us. Yesterday I walked up some stairs and didn’t notice and didn’t use my arms. Go for it Penny and hope you find a local pilates class. 🙂

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:19 am

      It’s really great to hear how you’ve taken control and are gaining so much from exercise. Yes, I’m very aware that running can be damaging but the programme Couch to 5K is clear that you MUST warm-up and cool-down and that you go slowly and carefully. Raining at the moment so my resolution go out before breakfast for a session went out of the window. But interesting the business of a PT – I don’t spend nearly as much as I do on my hair (growing it longer and au naturel) and nothing on gardening so I’m off to my nearby leisure centre to talk about costs and classes and have a think afterwards as to whether I can afford it. I think I probably can. And seriously it’s just round the corner from me, so really it is the best place to find those classes. But with the long holiday coming up soon – will only join when I get back. I need to know how flexible the contract is etc. In the meantime my mat beckons and I can do exercises at home.

  • 15th August 2017 at 4:54 pm

    You say you’re awfully unfit but you’re also awfully honest, Penny! I think the key is to find a type of exercise that one really loves. For me it’s turned out to be dancing: Zumba & Fitsteps. We have a wonderful teacher & the music always makes me smile! I can feel those endorphins giving me a lift. Socially, it’s great, too. Some of us go out for coffee etc after class. Sadly, I haven’t found a similar class in France – yet!

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:23 am

      I used to love dancing and remember that once upon a time I used to have (and go to) parties where everyone danced – whatever happened! When I go off to France I shall ask my friend about classes. I think with the heat (as you know even in September it’s hot) I shall have to do the running first thing in the morning – but I like getting up early so that’s not a problem.

  • 15th August 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Park run(5k) I can recommend highly. You can run, jog, walk, chat, run with well behaved dogs and no-one judges you. Very friendly- community feel to it. I have ( madly) entered the Littlehampton 10 k ( aged 64) just to see if I can do it! I used to run in my 30’s. Today though was a day in the garden with grandchildren and reading a new book when they left. Learning to laze has been a wonderful new skill in retirement. I can do both.
    Aware that I can get tired so take it easy too and I know I can change my mind too if I need to about exercising…and that’s OK too!

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:26 am

      Well done you re: the 10k! Go for it! Maybe that’ll be my standard next year! Actually I see that Brighton has a Park run near to me, and I shall be joining that asap. But definitely going to laze on a chair in France! Agree, we can go at our own pace – that’s what I intend to do.

  • 15th August 2017 at 6:29 pm

    You’ve hit the nail on the head yet again. Could have been me talking but what a great lesson .
    Thank you Penny

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:32 am

      Indeed, but it is also, thank you Wendy! I had no idea how this post would be received. And it’s been so uplifting to see the comments including yours. We’re all in it together with this ageing business, but we can do many things to ease that ageing like being active and doing classes – thanks again.

  • 15th August 2017 at 10:53 pm

    Plenty of support here for your situation and your ace attitude. I’m agreeing with June, and you already know this of course because you already know what you enjoy. Go for it — and never give up the treats fashionable and edible and everythingable. What am I saying? Of course you won’t. And take care.

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:38 am

      Thanks so much, Rachel. I was quite worried about posting this as I thought I was being too negative, yet on the other hand, at that moment, that was my reality. And I do know the remedy and am quite enthused with the programme Couch to 5k. It’s actually been good to share and then find out we’re all in it together. Thanks for your positivity and for the advice to have some treats – I will!

  • 16th August 2017 at 5:59 am

    Hi Penny,
    I am 72 and for the past 10 years my husband and I have ridden our bikes every morning for roughly 40 minutes around a gorgeous lake. There are a couple of minor hills which make us extend ourselves and breathe deeply. We absolutely love it, there is no strain on anything, it is just so pleasant, we get our daily dose of vitamin D and say hello to lots of people and their lovely dogs. We are lucky to live in Queensland where the winters are glorious, in the height of summer we ride later in the day in the cool. We take our bikes on the back of the car wherever we go and get in extra rides in unexpected places, taking them on the train and riding beside the Brisbane river and having morning tea is a special treat. I think it is one of the best exercises ever invented, I want to be riding well into my nineties. I don’t think of it as exercise, just something I look forward to every day. So it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you enjoy it. Love your both your blogs, wouldn’t miss it for anything. Warm wishes Carol

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:41 am

      Hi Carol! The description of your bikes rides sounds idyllic! So good! And your attitude that you’ll be doing that into your nineties – I bet you will!

      I know that I love doing classes and exercising – it’s just I let it all slip with the move and then the stubbed toe. So it’ll be back to normal quite soon. Thanks so much and warm wishes to you as well.

  • 16th August 2017 at 9:42 am

    Alzheimer’s and exercise – apparantly exercise keeps your brain healthy by circulating blood through it. As does doing cerebral things like ‘learning’ new things.
    So it seems we can be healthy physically and mentally if we exercise and engage our brains in new expeiences – but not mind altering substances…..

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:44 am

      Absolutely right, and I believe it is as simple as pumping the blood run round your body. There are so many beneficial effects from exercise and new experiences – and I think I know what you mean about the substances……but those experiences were a long, long time ago…. !

  • 16th August 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Hi Penny, I have been following your blog for a while but this is the firstime I have left a comment. Everything you say about exercise is spot on. Last year, after my working life came to an end, I decided I had to do something about the constant lower back pain from sitting at a computer 8 hours a day 5 days a week and a creeping decline in strength, energy and mobility, so took myself in hand and hired a personal trainer, started spin, and restarted Pilates. I never thought I would be able to stick with it but I did each activity once a week and the benefits were amazing. More strength for everyday activities and a generally increased sense of well being were what I particularly noticed. Unfortunately I’m currently recovering from an accident (fell over while doing step ups with the trainer and broke my wrist and a bone in my foot and the recovery process has been miserable but that’s another story) but I definitely intend to get back to an exercise regime soon. I think the key is finding something you enjoy (like the lady and her husband with their cycling) and building it into your routine. Good luck!

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:47 am

      OMG so sorry to hear about the trip and the broken bones! Can be done at any age – what a bore. Heal well and quickly. Yes, I shall enjoy the exercises and I’m off to my local leisure centre today to find out more about classes and costs. This morning I started listening to the Couch to 5k and realise what it entails – so off I go! Thanks for the good wishes!

  • 16th August 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Good for you, Penny and thank you for sharing. You’re an inspiration for those of us that are up in years. You know 70 is the new 50. 🙂

    • 17th August 2017 at 8:48 am

      Thanks Eugenia. Well you can only try! And my appearance is deceptive at the moment, because I need to up the ante. But feeling positive and enthused about it all, and I’ll let you know how it goes – thanks again x

  • 19th August 2017 at 2:24 am

    Thank you Penny, you really are an inspiration for us all in our twilight years! sorry to hear about your toe, yes easily done I know from my own experience! Hubby and myself swim twice a day and have started to get out and about on our bikes we are also trying to stick to a healthier diet which so far is going well, it’s helping us to feel more alive and that’s got to be a good thing! Have a fabulous holiday and look forward to hearing all your news, hugs from Thailand ?

    • 21st August 2017 at 10:01 am

      Great to hear about your fitness efforts – well done as you’re an example of how to do it! And then feeling more alive – yes!

      Thanks so much for the good wishes x

  • 21st August 2017 at 9:03 am

    Great to see that you are ready to run Penny!
    I’m always very reluctant to exercise, not being a great fan of pain or shortness of breath. I did start with 5 daily strengthening “don’t fall over” type of exercises that I could do at home, but having graduated to 20 of each I found I didn’t have time to do them! Then I decided to try Tai Chi which is more gentle, but having learned the moves, I haven’t kept it up at all – it really seems to call for a beach or a forest glade to give you that meditative experience . . . I just don’t seem to be able to discipline myself when it comes to physical activity.
    It does look as though your post will help me, even if only because of the guilt I will feel if I don’t keep up with you!

    • 21st August 2017 at 9:59 am

      Well, I’ll feel enormous guilt, if I don’t keep the fitness thing up! Actually am just about to do some mat exercises (still not joined a class) but the running programme is I think, probably (hedging my bets here) going to work. Doing the 3rd session today. You’d have laughed to see me do the 1st session as I wasn’t really even jogging towards the end – just a kind of an exceedingly slow trot. But the 2nd session was better. The thing is I feel I have to take back control and get on with being fitter after the enforced hobbling around I’ve been doing. And maybe you have to get to that point as well – good luck!

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