Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses

Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses- Hello I'm 50ish

I think I have good intentions when I make New Year’s resolutions  in December for the next year, because I want a healthier lifestyle by eating right and exercising more . I know as I get older, I am at higher risk for many diseases and cancers, because my immune system weakens, but I still find an excuse not to workout or  eat better. I haven’t experienced a doctor pulling me aside to tell me I need to change my lifestyle. I still love to cook pasta, sweet desserts, and load cheese onto every side dish to my husband’s dismay. I find excuses to avoid a healthier lifestyle because I feel great at 61. But am I putting myself at risk?

I am the daughter of a man whose family tree has heart disease. I am the living will executor to my father’s wishes and he has the DNR which means I make the decision to pull the plug when he goes into cardiac arrest or into a coma, not my brother, me. Lovely position to be in when you’re in distress, but I know my father’s wishes. We have spent many a tearful moment discussing the quality of life. I know how he looks at life now. I spent 10 days in Rochester, Minnesota in 2014 being my father’s advocate when he had open heart surgery. Watching a healthy man have his chest opened, heart stopped, and repaired to make his life better was an eye opening experience. But I am his daughter. It can happen to me.

Because my father and his family have heart disease, I am at risk for heart disease. I now see a cardiologist every year who is my Marcus Welby. I took a battery of tests in 2015 to understand what shape my heart is in. I had a blood pressure of 135/80, he put me on a low dose of Hydrochlorothiazide.

Every 2 years I now have to take a nuclear stress test  which involves being injected with a small amount of radiation called a radionuclide, so that doctors can take images of my heart at rest and after I spend time on a treadmill. The treadmill starts slowly and gradually picks up speed and incline, to simulate walking or running uphill.

“At peak exercise, more radionuclide is injected into the patient, me. When the radionuclide has passed through the bloodstream, the gamma camera takes more pictures of the heart. This is known as the “stress scan” of the heart.The radionuclide helps to identify blocked or partially blocked arteries on the scans, because blocked arteries do not absorb the radionuclide into the heart. They are known as “cold spots.

Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses- Hello I'm 50ish

Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses- Hello I'm 50ish

I was shocked that my blood pressure was rising to very high levels while on the treadmill , but as my nurse said, “We want to stress the heart.” I was still on the treadmill after 9 minutes, the nurse said I was doing great for my age, but we stopped when my blood pressure reached its target rate. She said most people who do not exercise regularly can’t get beyond 4 minutes.

I asked my doctor what I should be doing to strengthen my heart and he said more cardio exercise. I walk Bruno, but I don’t call it cardio exercise. Most like a sniff and pee walk.  He recommends hitting the treadmill on incline 30 minutes, 3 times a week.

Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses- Hello I'm 50ish

I also use weights or take my Body Pump class 3 times a week which is also very good for my heart and for my body in general. Here is an interesting side note to my weight training: when I have my annual 3D mammography, the nurse during screening asked if I was a tennis player, because I had a very muscular chest image. My chest muscular wall was clearly defined in the 3D image. It’s because I lift weights!

Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses- Hello I'm 50ish

Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses- Hello I'm 50ish

Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses- Hello I'm 50ish

Last summer I wrote about my doctor putting me on statins because my cholesterol level was over 200. I now have a cholesterol level of 140, because I take a statin. There are risks taking statins, but having high cholesterol is worse.

I am no longer the little girl in the photo that sits next to my daily pill routine, but I plan to live as long as I can by eating well, and exercising more.

I have found that when I don’t exercise, my blood pressure rises. These pills alone cannot give me a longer life, nor will they prevent other diseases or cancers from coming. That’s up to my gene pool and how I live my life.

Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses- Hello I'm 50ish

I am making smarter food decisions and restrict pasta and desserts to once a week. I eat more chicken and fish than red meat. I load up on salad and not bread. All my meals are freshly prepared and I pay attention to sodium contents on the food labels. It’s amazing how much sodium is in packaged food!!



Pan seared Tuna with Wasabi and Vegetables

I like to exercise in the morning, “to get it out of the way”, and lately I have been spending too much time on the computer answering emails or trying to finish the blog from the day before. I have made a conscious effort  this year to stop looking at the computer at 7:30 and hit the gym by 8:00. The world can wait until I sit down at my desk. I have even told my clients that I won’t answer emails or text messages before 10:00. I know they have to work, but my office hours are 10-4. I need to take control of my daily routine and  schedule my fitness time in before my interior design business, this wonderful little blog that needs so much attention, and get back to being a better me.

Sticking to My Exercise Goals Over Excuses- Hello I'm 50ish

I’ll leave you with this quote I found on Your Swim Book:

“If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.”

Are you ready to to keep your goals this year?

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Go out and be fierce my friends!

I hope you’re living your best life now and that age is just a number to you too! I would love to hear from you!

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  1. Jodie
    January 24, 2018 / 9:14 am

    I’m so proud of you Robin…we’ve gotten out of our exercise program, and I’m raring to go again!! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • January 24, 2018 / 2:08 pm


      It is so easy to skip exercising when you lead a busy life!
      You will find the time when you are ready to get into an exercise schedule.

      Rob in

  2. January 24, 2018 / 10:59 am

    Robin, we could be twins in so many ways.😉 January is so full of good intentions and so many obligations. No wonder it’s so easy to slip up. No excuses… time to set priorities! Thanks for the inspiration!

    • January 24, 2018 / 2:10 pm


      We probably could be twins.
      I think many of us bloggers spend way too much time working at building their blog and not moving away from the computer or our phones!


  3. Jan Correll
    January 24, 2018 / 1:57 pm

    Great post my friend!!! And good for you on taking all these actions!! Go, Robin, Go!

    • January 24, 2018 / 2:24 pm

      Thank you Jan!

      My sister cheerleader friend!


  4. January 24, 2018 / 2:37 pm

    Excellent post! I’m so sorry to hear what you are going through and give you big credit for taking care of yourself!

    I too have a family with heart disease and lung disease and I always say I’ve been scared straight when it comes to healthy life style. Both my parents and four of my siblings are currently in advanced stages of heart or lung disease and I wake up everyday knowing I could lose one of them at any time.


    • January 26, 2018 / 9:39 am


      I am so sorry to hear about your parents and siblings!
      I know how living a healthy lifestyle will hopefully prevent heart disease, but family history puts us at risk too.


  5. January 25, 2018 / 6:32 am

    Robin…I usually walk a lot, since my back will not allow me play tennis any more. But recently my knee has started playing up and I can only walk for shorter periods. I tried yoga twice but hurt my back but I am determined to try again or maybe I will join a gym. You have made me feel lazy. Well done you…and you look amazing…you are my inspiration now…

    • January 26, 2018 / 9:42 am


      I do not want anyone, especially you friend, to feel lazy.
      You have back and knee issues that prevent you from exercising more.
      As much as we feel younger, our bodies are telling us,”Wait a minute lady!”

      Have a wonderful weekend friend!

  6. January 26, 2018 / 9:44 am

    January is tough not only because it’s cold and dark but a lot of is are coming down from the holiday highs. While we all have a new sense of New Year, New Me, it’s easy to forget our goals or resolutions once real life kicks in again. So thank you for your post because not only is it personal, it is also informative. Each and every one of us can succumb to heart disease or any disease really. So I agree that taking the time to take care or prioritize our health is very important. Wish I you a fantastic weekend!

    Maureen |

    • January 26, 2018 / 9:54 am


      Yes, January is a cold and dreary month for many of us, so it makes us want to stay home and hibernate.
      I have to stick to my goals because of the family history of heart disease, but I am also 61 and my age is also working against me because my body cannot fight off disease and other health issues we may have as we age.

      I wish you a fantastic weekend too!

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