Not Working Out

Bar bells

 What is it about Covid? I've been testing negative for a week now and still the irritating coughing lingers. It feels like it should be productive but there honestly isn't anything for it to produce unless somehow barking can clear blocked ears. Doctor Google provides all kinds of medical explanations and theories but none are of any great use in unravelling a solution.

Initially I thought I'd been given an early dispensation when only 5 days after that initial positive result, my lateral flow test was clear. Enthusiastically I returned to the gym 2 days later, albeit starting with a light weights and stretching class rather than something too strenuous. It got rid of all the stiffness in the joints and I felt a certain levity of spirit returning home, convinced I was cured and that the fourth vaccination really had delivered the immune response promised and in record time.

How wrong can you be? It could have been a relapse or a false result but next morning, testing to join friends for lunch, that nasty red line appeared again. This time I felt ill enough to wait another week  before rejoining society. Testing once again gave me the green-light and I gleefully set off yesterday to do an abs class; no cardio, just a circuit including planks and crunches. I kept the coughing controlled and was confident enough to accompany Mister E, whose symptoms and timeline have very much mirrored my own, to see one of our favourite comedians in the evening, albeit with a handbag laden down with cough sweets which, in the end, we didn't need, .

Needless to say and after sleeping so well last night, we have both woken today with those annoying, nagging coughs following us around. Will I ever be capable of enjoying aerobic exercise again? I've been doing some autumnal digging and planting this afternoon but in the privacy of your own garden, clearing your throat and taking a rest is permissible; less so in the middle of a Zumba class.

I know I'm being impatient but after two weeks at home without working out properly, not only does the body start creaking but the weight begins to pile on. After all I avoided both on that cruise mainly, I am sure, because of all the exercise I was doing climbing staircases, walking miles onshore and, of course, doing an array of classes in the fitness suite when we were at sea.

I confess exercising onboard was a slight eye opener and in part is responsible for my current state of concern. Many of the passengers who took part in classes on the ship were new not only to the concepts of Yoga and Pilates, but also bracing their core and balancing whilst some, I am sure, were disappointed to discover that LBT is an acronym for Legs, Bums and Tums not Lettuce, Bacon and Tomato. There were even  ladies who turned up for Exercise to Music in cut off trousers and sandals as though they were looking to join line-dancing on the pier and were sadly turned away from what was a very vigorous 45 minutes. 

It was the first time, however, that some had undertaken any form of formal exercise and for others the first time in years. Although generally younger than me, they were struggling to straighten limbs and had lost flexibility and core strength. I confess I was shocked, having become accustomed to witnessing sprightly pensioners giving it their all where I exercise. I can't stress enough how brilliant it was, therefore, that they had decided to sign up and with most returning daily despite their muscle ache, really do hope that they are now keeping it up.

There seems to be a preconception that gyms are not retired people friendly. In fact I read somewhere recently that to try to reverse this David Lloyd Health Clubs are striving to ensure that all their facilities have at least one personal trainer over the age of 55. I am surprised, perhaps naively and based on my own experience I had just assumed that during the day gyms, like the one I frequent, are dominated by those enjoying retirement. Of course, it's true that not all trainers fully understand the limitations of the ageing body, but believe me they become aware pretty quickly when we make our feelings known!

We are all recommended to undertake at least 150 minutes of moderately intensive activity a week which should include exercising all muscle groups, meaning that walking alone is insufficient and explaining why my poor frame has been feeling somewhat rigid recently. After managing 6 times that amount in the week before contracting Covid, it has been a shock to the system to be suddenly rendered incapable of energetic movement. 

As we age, not only can we lose strength but it is also harder to build up muscle. On no account do I want to lose the little that I have worked so long in retirement to build up.

(Image by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke from Pixabay)



Treaders said…
My neighbour has a lingering, hacking cough too since having covid about 10 days ago. Oddly enough I never got a cough at all, but then it was the delta variant a year ago so maybe that's different. I do hope you feel better soon, although you did make me laugh with the LBT (I would have preferred BLT - bacon lettuce and tomatoes)!
Caree Risover said…
Believe me,after that class I think I might have preferred the BLT too! In the meantime, the most frustrating thing about the cough (apart from the attention it draws) has been that there seems no purpose to it whatsoever.

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