The tools of the trade


Keeping you posted on my health trip. After my stay in hospital, the deal was that I had to get into some sort of an exercise or training programme, either on my own or going to a gym place. Well, gym places just give me goose bumps, so my only option was to do the thing on my own.
The doctors and myself had struck a deal.

  1. twenty minutes fast walking, monitoring my hear rate between 120-125 beats a minutes, three times a week
  2. one hour or more visiting a museum or a gallery, as I find walking in museums very tiring, I’m supposed to add five minutes to the time I can handle every time.
  3. going on walking as I have been doing for the last three months
  4. 10 minutes pedalling on a home bike, monitoring my heart rate, three times a week
  5. and if possible doing a few stretch exercises

These things are all, (except for the last bit) I was told, supposed to help reduce the fat, cholesterol and triglycerides and help with the blood pressure.
So here’s one of the tools I use

Heart rate monitor (by Claudecf)

The bracelet stays in my hand

It is set to give me warning beeps, whenever I walk too fast or too slow.
You should have seen me the first time I went on my fast walking, with this contraption round my stomach, huffing and puffing around the Jardin du Luxembourg. I must have looked at my watch sixty times in twenty minutes, but I had gone through the test that said I could do it, so I did it and survived!

I don’t even want to think about what the passers-by must think, seeing this mad elder woman hurrying across town! 🙂
Curiously enough, the second time, my body and my brain remembered the days when I used to go jogging, and reminded me that there are ways to regulate your breath. Which I did! And it went much better. The other day, when I remembered to have a look at my watch, I had walked for 23 minutes!

The other tool is this :

My indoors bike

That’s right! It’s an indoors bike.

Three times a week I climb onto this thing, and pedal away for at least ten minutes monitoring my heart rate.

The biking is much easier, although I find it more boring. I watch the news or read a book as I have a thoroughly comfortable bike, which must be for handicapped people. Just the thing I needed. I am not sitting in a saddle but in a sort of comfy armchair, so nothing hurts!
Ten minutes may sound really short, but I’m supposed to warm up my muscles for a while before getting into the ten minutes’ effort and cooling down afterwards, and stretch my legs out at the end. So it does take about half an hour.
As for the stretch exercising, I just do it once a week. It’s what I find the most difficult. I’m totally unfit for anything that requires being supple and nimble at the moment, but maybe, by working on it…

This doesn’t include the daily walking of around 10,000 steps, with my pedometer, all this, six days a week, so now you understand why I find it difficult to blog much!

One last thing! I have also been supposedly exercising my brain on the Nintendo machine, and I like it!
Some days, my brain is 74, but yesterday, it was 42! 🙂


25 thoughts on “The tools of the trade

  1. Love the bike – could do with one of those – maker please.

    Can I also add a bowl of organic porridge every day – lowers cholesterol etc. Cousin 78 had stroke two years ago – made complete recovery – advice from stroke clinic – one bowl of porridge every day and one orange. Result 4.6 and steady.

    I think you are brilliant and have what I call ‘stickability’ and essential for life.

  2. Sounds like you are training for a marathon! Sure seems a lot of walking. I don’t even manage just the five thousand steps a day, I set for myself. Your description of your routine was a real eye opener. Thanks.

  3. Oh Claude – I admire you for this. I too have one of those Polar HRM which I use (when I’m being good). Mine also counts the amount of calories I burn (which should be more than I take in). I have weights I’m supposed to use and for my stretching I chose Yoga. But, alas, I have been lazy and all of my good habits have fallen to the way-side. After reading your post I have drug out the HRM and all set to follow your example tomorrow. Thank you for sharing on your blog!

  4. Good for you! Every time I get a good exercise routine going, I get lazy and forget about it. I have a similar exercise bike, but it tends to gather dust. Thanks for the reminder that I need to get moving again!

  5. Anyone who wants to get rid of their bike, pass it on over to me please! I’d love one of those. I’ve had health problems lately and I can’t walk much. A bike like that would be just the thing! Oh my.

  6. Congratulations on your desire to help your health. I too, should be doing more, on this issue. I’m sure I’m older than you are. 🙂

    Perhaps I can gain some ‘push,’ to get into daily exercise, by reading here.

    I do hope the URL I gave, in order to comment here, works. I have been having troubles with leaving click-able links, and am “spooked” to leave them in the body of comments.

    So I’ll sign with my name and the name of one of my blogs. I think that if my click-able link, in my comment required one, doesn’t work, you could do a Search on my blog name. If you have time to, of course.

    Good luck!


  7. Claude I eat “Steel cut or cross cut oats” to lower the cholesterol. It is nutty, chewy and very tasty. But it takes a long time to cook – 30 minutes and more.
    Sometime this stuff goes by the name of Irish Oatmeal and I do add some ground flak seeds on top with milk. All in the name of health food 🙂

  8. Love that bike. I think if I had one of those, I’d use it – since I can’t walk very far or very fast. The real problem I have with stationary bikes is that they’re so uncomfortable.

  9. No wonder you do not have time for blogging and visiting your friends. My goodness, you have your work cut out for you.

    That bike looks like it could work for me, they finally made a bike you can sit on and be comfortable.

    In today’s newspaper there was an article about the benefits of eating oatmeal, It can lower cholestrol, lowers risk of high blood pressure,type 2 diabetes and weight gain.

    I have also heard that eating Cheerios helps too.

    Sounds to me like your doctor is a tough one. I guess you can call it, tough love!

  10. @ Millie Let me tell you Millie, that I refuse to sit on any other bike! The saddles are just too uncomfortable, and yet, believe me I have a lot of padding on my behind. But this one is a little wonder…
    It feels like I’m sitting in an armchair!
    And you know what, it’s a lot of work but it had been a long time since I had felt so well.
    So there must be some good to it.

    @ Betty, you would love the way it feels! Not uncomfortable at all!

    @ The Beaver, I’m so lazy that I am not sure I could cope with the 30mn cooking…

    @ Monica, this is actually the first bike that I find acceptable!

    @ lilalia, I started off back in December with 5,000 daily steps and kept adding. I never tried to do what I am doing now in one day! It took me three months.

    @ Mrs K The bike is a Domyos VA 360 and it costs 270€ in Paris

  11. I hope that you can hear my BRAVO everyday across the ocean. Too bad it’s not a flying bike, you could come over for coffee and donuts. Oops NO, just ONE oatmeal cookie. Bon courage one day at a time.

  12. I need to do all that walking and stretching too. so far, all I am doing is swimming a little and water aerobics. It isn’t enough, I know. Good luck with your routine.

  13. I certainly am impressed with your dedication and your smarts to realize that you will only stick to this if it fits in with your lifestyle. It will pay off. I have fallen off the exercise wagon for about 6 months now that I live at my daughters house. We have an elliptical machine at the new house but it is packed under plastic while they finish the basement! Lifting babies will have to do for now. Once I retire, I plan to get back into a routine of pilates, yoga, aerobics, and weights. I actually like taking time for this each day.

  14. Good for you, Claude. Wish I had the willpower to do the same (though having a couple of far from fit men around doesn’t help). The porridge idea is a good one and I’ve also heard that beetroot is good for lowering blood pressure.

  15. Claude, we have the same issue about time. So the solution is: Cook a batch on a slow day and then put it in the fridge. In the morning, cut a slice , put it in a bowl with some milk and “nuke” it as hubby says. You may add some sugar or maple syrup before mixing the whole content of the bowl before enjoying it. Total prep time in the morning : 1 mins 🙂

  16. Thank you Claude – off to see if I can get one – the first time I have ever seen one with a seat I could sit on. The net is wonderful and so are people like you who blog and share.

    Try the porridge – even if you have to ‘nuke’ it – we ‘nuke’ it every morning – but skip sugar and maple syrup and now have to skip the salt – so its a teaspoonful of Manuka honey.

  17. very impressive, claude. i am unable to do regular exercise. we have health space in the complex but find the bike as boring as you describe.

    on the other hand, is it possible that you are on to an idea i had a few years ago? that people form an online exercise support group…you seem the natural leader. think about it. yours with awe, naomi

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  19. Hurrah for you, Claude! That’s an impressive routine. For the last couple of years I have managed to do 30-40 minutes 3 times a week on the elliptical machine…but my gym is across town and it’s easy to slip away from this when more interesting things call for attention. I had slipped down to once a week…but you reminded me that I can do simpler things so I walked yesterday rather than simply procrastinate. If I could figure out how to set up my pedometer, I could figure out how many steps I walk around the house, up and down stairs, etc. Hmmmm….
    The bike has never worked for me but I have a secondhand Cardioglide machine that works arms and legs together in a sort of rocking motion. I find this type of movement more pleasant…
    The online support group notion is a great one! Thanks, Naomi!

  20. @ Joared, obviously if we get onto that bandwaggon, each member will set up their own goals and/or speed. And don’t forget that I told you here where I was but it all started over three months ago with just recording my steps on my pedometer 😉

  21. Bravo for you! Wow, I’m impressed, Claude! I’ve never been fond of exercise, but attempt my daily walks with the dogs.
    NO wonder you’ve been scarce in the blog world. All that exercise takes a lot of time. Not to mention the weariness that follows.
    I think somebody needs to alert the Paris runways….Madame Claude just might be walking down them very soon!
    Thanks so much for your wishes and congrats on my two-book contract. Really looking forward to seeing you in May…which will be here before I know it!

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