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Why Overweight, Unfit Menopausal Women Should Never Run For Trains

Jun 17, 2008
Today, I am really stiff. My leg muscles have tightened up to the point I don't want to move from this computer chair - ever! It's made me realise just how unfit I am and here's what happened.

My autistic son loves trains, so yesterday I decided to take him and his brother to a nearby city to watch a circus performance. I was assured when I booked the tickets over the telephone it was in easy walking distance from the station. According to the booking clerk, it was about three-quarters of a mile.

Clearly he didn't know the area because it was, infact, one and a half miles!

Anyway, despite it being summer, it was one of those showery days where one minute you need to wear a coat and the next tee shirt and sunglasses, so on occasions, we ended up carrying our excess clothing.

The outward walk from the train station was okay because we were all fresh, and there was no urgency to get to the circus. The tickets had been booked; we had seats and plenty of time. However, the return trip was not so pleasant.

As it was a Sunday, there was a reduced timetable, so there was a long delay between trains. As much as I appreciate the speed and ease of trains, I don't share my son's enthusiasm for watching them. The prospect of spending hours on a station platform was not particularly appealing. Consequently, when the circus performance ended, a quick scan of the train timetable revealed if we hurried, we could make the next train.

It was due to leave in half an hour and my eldest son assured me I could make it. What he failed to realise is I am considerably older than him, very unfit and my legs are only half as long as his. For every stride he takes, I take two. Also, I was carrying a heavy bag containing money, camera, phone, programme, keys, umbrella, etc., etc.

Anyway, we route marched to the station, not even stopping to allow me to catch my breath because the short cut we'd planned was no longer available. Thankfully, we already had our train tickets and put them into the barrier gates, just as our train pulled in.

My autistic son was disappointed, of course, because he wasn't able to watch the trains for long, but I have never been more relieved to sit down in my life. It made me realise just how unfit I've become and I really need to do something about it in view of my age.

I am currently fifty-three, not old by any stretch of the imagination, but once women get beyond fifty and start going through the menopause they are more susceptible to heart disease.

It's all to do with the hormonal changes, and apparently, new research has revealed in 2001,coronary heart disease (CHD) killed four times as many women in UK as breast cancer. I found that really surprising and worrying. How about you?

One thing you need to keep an eye on is your blood pressure. High blood pressure increases the risk of coronary heart disease, and yet often there are no symptoms. The only way to find out if you have it is to get it checked.

Other things to keep a watchful eye on are your cholesterol level and BMI (body mass index).

It seems there are things you can do to safeguard against CHD, and these are to

* Quit smoking
* Reduce your alcohol consumption
* Lose weight
* Reduce your salt intake
* Cut down on added sugar
* Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables
* Take more physical exercise

Now only a few on that list apply to me, but my experience of yesterday has certainly made me realise how quickly I have become unfit. Sitting for hours at a computer is hardly conducive to being healthy.

I know I need to lose some weight and not just so my clothes will look better either. My old excuse of, "I'm not fat, I'm just too short for my weight" is not doing me any favours, so instead of just giving my brain a daily work out, I need to work on the rest of my body too.

If I don't take some serious action, the next time I have to rush for a train, I could end up with more than tight leg muscles. Somehow the prospect of becoming another female CHD statistic makes the stiffness I feel today not quite so bad after all!
About the Author
For information on weight and fitness http://www.whataslimmingworld.com
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