There were a few significant things in the final quarter of the year which meant a bit of a change in my leisure time activities, and a need to rethink my habits.
Initially I was able to return to the wonderful Dorset Coast Path after my self imposed absence during the school holidays, and it was great, especially during the sunny weather. The picture above probably has a slightly unusual composition but I wanted to convey something of the spaciousness of the coast.
There were some great inland walks too, some taking in Thomas Hardy country. I love walking this part of the county and I always try to reach the heathland pond above at sunset. On this day, there was not even a breath of wind so the pond was like a mirror reflecting the autumn trees above……until a dog walker threw an untimely stick in for his dog to chase which rather spoiled the effect I was after.
One of the significant events was that I had a 70th birthday 🙂 ! This prompted my doctor to do an ‘MOT’ on me which showed that, despite all the exercise I get, my cholesterol reading was slightly raised. It also made me think about heart condition and aerobic exercise – walking is great but it can’t really be described as ‘aerobic’, leastways, unless you are able to power walk or if you are climbing in the mountains.
At the same time, my ankles and knees started to give me some problems which meant that I needed to walk shorter distances on ground which was less uneven. Riverside paths are of course ideal for this.
I therefore changed my plans for the last part of the year and dusted my bike off again. I had been focussing on walking for most of the year but I decided that cycling at least once a week would benefit my heart and protect my ankles, whilst still allowing me to get out in the countryside 🙂 !
I have continued with that plan for some three months now, flatter, shorter walks combined with longer bike rides and this seems to have helped my ankles and general fitness. There were of course some initial pains to overcome – a saddle to sort out so that my posterior did not constantly complain, hamstrings to get used to being stretched etc but all that seems to have now settled down.
As I have said before, I try to make use of the winter months to get up to date with ‘chores’ so that in the warmer months and longer days I am freer to get out in the countryside so overall, this plan has worked out well. It was partly the flatness of the landscape that made me take trips around the Witchampton area, plus of course it is a part of Dorset that I love.
And harbourside walks too are usually flatter and therefore easier of the joints.
Despite the longest walk being around 10 miles only, the end of the year has been a great time. Weekly bike rides of up to 50/60 miles have continued and have been really enjoyable despite the wet and often muddy country lanes.
Overall, 2018 has been another awesome year when I have covered 1,800 miles on foot and two wheels. So, what are my plans for 2019? Well, I will talk about those next time 🙂 !
Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler
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