Neighbour Walking

There’s a gentleman in my neighbourhood who I see walking some mornings. I first noticed him about a month ago. At that time, his appearance was very worrying.

He was large and breathless and lumbered along. Unsteady on his feet, he leaned forward as he walked and I was afraid he would trip over and fall flat on his face. So I watched him until he was out of sight. Every now and then he’d wipe his face with the towel draped around his neck. He had no mask on. A tiny lady, probably his domestic helper, walked two paces behind, so he wasn’t alone. One third his size, she would be of no physical help if he fell. But she probably had a handphone or she could run home for help.

I saw him again this week, and to me he seemed much improved. His gait was steadier, though still wide as he is slightly bow-legged. He didn’t look as breathless. His helper followed ten feet behind and was swinging her arms as she walked. She looked more relaxed too.

I wondered about his story. Was he a sedentary businessman, staying at home for months during these covid times and deconditioned from lack of movement? Which doctor told him he must walk no matter what or die? Was it a wife who sent him out walking with the helper, or a daughter or a son who nagged at him? Maybe all of them, together.

Maybe he is self-motivated after a health scare. Maybe it’s all himself.

Weather reports

As the weekend approached I prepared for my weekend warrior exercise by first checking the weather reports, as I like to be outdoors for my exercise.

Accuweather predicted a cloudy day for Singapore with a 3% chance of rain.

Singapore’s NEA (National Environmental Agency) predicted scattered thundery showers.

I must say Saturday started off looking gloomy as though it would soon rain. But it didn’t. It stayed dry. Score 1 for Accuweather. Score 0.5 for my exercise because I put it off on account of the NEA prediction and only managed half my intended distance in the end.

Intensity Matters

There are those who preach 10,000 steps per day
Is sufficient to keep the doctor away
But others beg to disagree, “Intensity Matters”, they say

Get your heart rate up and take a brisk walk
Put some effort so you can barely talk
Now pump your arms, run! and do not balk.

 

I used to aim for 10,000 steps per day, and tried to get it done at a steady pace throughout the day. However, new studies have shown that short periods of very intense activity are far more effective for health than prolonged periods of gentle activity. So I’m switching things up, and trying to walk briskly for 10 minutes at least twice a day, climb more stairs and get my heart rate up. It seems to be working, and I have more energy¬† – to walk faster, and climb more stairs.