For the past two weeks, I have been trying out a rather rigid routine for the dogs that has required me to walk a great deal more than I was.
My goal when I got this fancy pedometer was to stay around 8,000 steps a day because it seemed that over that made for a harder time walking. The two weeks prior to adopting the new routine with the dogs, I only had a couple of days that were actually under the heart-healthy 10,000 steps, so I made an executive decision.
I decided that a better relationship with Ruby and a happier Duke were worth being well over my 10,000 steps by early afternoon. To do this, I have switched around when I take the tizanidine, which is a systemic muscle relaxant in the same class as baclofen. On most days, I take a small dose in the mornings now. I had agreed to take a large dose at night, but was not willing to give up my brain in the day time hours if I didn’t have to.
There was a week where I was able to take it every morning (I had a week between classes) so I am not even sure I have that much of a noticeable brain function issue now. I also found a decent enough ankle/foot brace that is helping to keep my left ankle more stable, and it even picks up my drop foot a bit too. Once my quads get tired of lifting my feet high enough off the ground, I tend to trip more, so this brace seems to be helping the foot come up anyway.
It is quite a challenge to keep up a house, two dogs, a yard, etc. without walking over 10,000 steps per day. Doing less means that not everything gets taken care of that needs to get taken care of, and that includes my dogs, groceries, etc.
I didn’t see any real difference as I have implemented these changes, except for more pain from tighter muscles in my feet and legs, and a bit more clonus later in the day. At least it didn’t seem that notable until we got a second, but brief, cold snap. It seemed back to par once it warmed back up. We have an even colder one to come this week, so I will be interested to see how my body manages to accommodate to the extra walking.
The walker is a huge help in the longer walks with the dogs and there are some days that I probably wouldn’t be doing it if I didn’t have the walker to propel me forward. With the cold (or the culmination of the two weeks of more steps), the steps got stiffer and slower, but the dogs didn’t seems to mind.
Since I get a lot of activity in the mornings, I am generally wiped out by evening time. I am satisfied with that as a result if I am able to take care of my responsibilities each day.