Opinion

The lengths I go to to stay healthy and cheat death

No matter how slow you go, you're lapping those on the couch!

There is a lot to be said about the old saying “use it or lose it.”

It’s so true as we age and our body, for reasons sometimes best known only to it, decides to stop functioning as it did twenty years ago.

As has been listed in other articles I have written, for me being the recipient of a chronic kidney disease has meant a lot of changes to things I do.

I have been seeing a Nephrologist about my condition for about twenty years. I’m lucky in that I know about my condition, while so many with kidney issues have no idea until it is too late.

The first thing I recall being told to me was to cut back on my salt intake. Like so much your doctor says to you, it’s all a matter of easier said than done.

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Salt is in so much of what we eat in one form or another. So that was the first major issue for me seeing a dietitian and getting the good oil on how to live on a ‘salt-free’ diet.

Later I was given another drug that worked well in some ways for me but also worked not so well in that it elevated my potassium levels. So that required another visit to the dietitian and another schedule of foods to avoid. There were times when it felt like I was on a ‘no food’ diet!

My experience has been that it’s a matter of hit and miss. Some days you are a champion and stick to everything and go to bed feeling you have achieved, and other days it becomes a matter of ‘the mind is willing, but the flesh is weak’.

But what is motivating is the thought of not sticking to your diet and the consequences that could bring – like death. It’s sobering when you think of it in that way.

As for exercise, I try and walk every morning, though the winter is taxing my resolve. I have a simple aim with exercise. I enjoy my walks because I know the more often I go, the less I am likely to be puffing when I walk up a flight of stairs.

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For one hour of a morning I walk the streets, a different track each day so I don’t get bored, I stop and chat with other walkers I have come to know and return home happy I have reached my required number of steps. I don’t walk fast, I walk at a pace that suits me, and at times it has felt slow, and I have remarked to friends the snails have taken to pass me, but I keep going as the warmth of home always beckons to me.

In what ways do you try to keep fit and healthy?

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