Since I wrote my last update on my health status, I’ve been doing some more thinking. Dangerous as that might be, I’m going to plunge in and tell you what’s on my mind. I may leave out a thing or two but you can either be thankful or certain you will be subjected to it at a later date.
My tremor was neither improving or getting worse after I started cutting back on the fava beans and taking Dopa Mucuna. While thinking about the situation one day, it occurred to me that, for me, the tremor might worsen if I kept “favoring” that hand. I resolved to start using it more. One way I decided on was to hold the Wii remote in that hand when I was walking to Walk It Out! I hadn’t realized how little I was using my left hand until that first day when, after the first few minutes, my arm was so tired I felt like I would have to switch back. One thing I’m known for is my stubbornness and it kicked in. I kept on with the remote in my left hand and it shortly got its “second wind” (if a hand can do that) and I was able to continue. I was having trouble clicking on things but I just kept on. It was therapy, not a contest.
For several days, I used my left hand with the remote. My right arm started feeling strange from not being used so much. That’s when I decided to switch back and forth, using my left hand one day and my right hand the next. That was more balanced and both hands were happier.
Walk It Out! is good for a lot of things. That’s one reason we older folk like it so much. There are seven spheres that make up the rainbow and, if one finds all of them, the rainbow will appear. Now, the first time I made the rainbow, it was quite by accident. I hadn’t been using the program long enough to find out all the “cheats” that go along with it. However, that was soon to change. I joined the group on Facebook and a forum on Amazon. There are all sorts of tips and tricks shared and one nice addition was a map of the island.
I printed off said map and put it in a plastic sleeve. I had some erasable markers and would go to the WIO map in the program and mark the locations of the spheres before I’d start walking. It was a little awkward walking with the map in my hand and consulting it from time to time so I’d know where to turn. That’s when I got the bright idea to improve my memory by trying to remember the locations of all seven spheres without the aid of the paper map. At first, I had to keep going back to the map in the program and keep refreshing my memory, then I got so I could get five of them consistently, then six. It was a red letter day when I first got all seven after looking at the map just once. Now and then, I still have to go back after the sixth but I can usually get all seven with no problem. My memory’s getting better.
One thing that irked me was the steps aren’t counted accurately with the balance board. Whenever the coach would announce my steps and I knew I couldn’t have taken that many, I’d shout, “No, I haven’t!” My knees and hips were taking a beating with the hard board, too. I read that the Active Life mat was easier to use than the board, though not any more accurate. I looked on Amazon (of course) and found the mat with the Explorer program for pennies over $20. I made the investment.
I’d read on the forum that a couple of the members had made a frame to keep the mat from slipping but it looked pretty complicated. They swore it was simple and maybe it was for them. I already had some interlocking foam squares I’d found online and ordered by the piece. My square is three by three and the mat fit perfectly on top. However, it continued to slip. Necessity is the Mother, you know, and I like easy. I took four clothespins and put two at the top end and one on each side. The whole thing “walks” sometimes but the mat doesn’t move on the foam.
Now I had to have a way to verify my steps and keep track of them the rest of the day. I’ve had El Cheapo pedometers and lost the last one in the bathroom on one of my town excursions. I wasn’t heartbroken because it wasn’t very accurate. That was many months ago and I hadn’t found one I wanted to invest in. There was one at a book fair some of my staff thought I should buy—a talking one—but it was too gimmicky. When, and if, I got another one, I would want something good and solid.
I started searching for THE Pedometer. First, I Googled it. I found one at REI.com (a favorite of DD and merm) but $60 seemed a little steep to me. It had good reviews which made it a plus. I Googled the model number and found it on Amazon for a little over half the price IF I got it in “frustration free packaging”. I didn’t care about the box it came in. I outgrew my fascination with boxes a long time ago so I ordered it.
Now, with my history of losing pedometers, I was a little leery of wearing a nice one around just anywhere but I was gratified that it came with not only a removable clip that will hold it to the waistband of my slacks but there is a strap that has an additional clip for fastening it to a second location on my clothing. PLUS, it can be carried in my pocket which is even better (and I still use the clip on the strap). It’s electronic which makes it more accurate than the pendulum type and there’s a software download to keep track of my progress on my computer. Here’s my first report:
The data is pretty impressive. I had no idea I had 58 minutes of aerobic walking today until I transferred the statistics.
I wore it while I walked to WIO this morning and the step count was very close to the total of the “perfects” and “greats”. That walking plus what I’ve done around the house today is right at 9k, just 1k short of what I should have in for the day. It resets itself at midnight so I don’t have to worry about remembering to do that in the morning.
I’m all set for keeping track of how I’m faring on the walking front, my left hand is getting stronger and my mind sharper. How’s that for progress?