There was a point around 2000 when walking even around the house became difficult. Despite all the physical therapy, getting from here to there was painful.
At some around 2001-2002, I decided that I really needed to start walking again. Not only would it be good for my joints but for my digestive tract, too. I noticed a distinct change in my stomach health when I stopped walking.
This is the way I approached it. I knew that walking any distance was out of the question. In fact, walking for 5 minutes would be like doing a marathon. So, I started doing a little bit each day. I put on my Walkman (hey, it was 2001!) and I walked around the house for one song. Then, a couple of days later, I walked for two songs. Then, I was on three.
It was not easy. My feet and ankles protested a lot. But, I kept at it. I progressed to the backyard, walking big circles around the lawn furniture, ladders, and everything else.
Eventually, I was able to walk for 10 minutes. At this point, I started to walk my dog down the street and back. It was great to be outside again. The house and backyard were getting pretty boring.
I still walk today. I need it for my physical health–and my sanity. I have to walk my dog (a Jack Russell). If I don’t, she will drive me insane. We only do about 15-20 minutes a day, but it’s just enough for both of us. And, it’s good to get out and see something besides the inside of my house.
Now an elderly relative is having the same problem with walking due to an artery blockage. She’s begun walking in the house with music in the background. She started only able to do 5 minutes of walking. After a month, she is able to walk 20 minutes a day.
My belief is that most people with arthritis and other physically debilitating problems give up because they make their goals too big. They may make it the first day or two, then the pain grounds them and they don’t want to try again. I say, start small and work your way up. It’s better to walk 5 minutes a day then not to walk at all.