My Husband and I Are Walking for Our Health

Alliah Czarielle avatar

by Alliah Czarielle |

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As I slowly approach the big three-zero (two more years to go!), I can’t help but reflect on the state of my health.

Physical symptoms scare me now more than ever, and I want them checked as soon as possible. I’ve been trying to commit to healthier habits as well — from skin care to diet, to prioritizing sleep over anything else. I want to remain in good physical shape for a long time, so I can take care of my daughter and my husband, Jared, and spend several more decades enjoying life with them. As more people with hemophilia start entering old age with relatively few health problems, I’m hopeful that Jared will be one of them.

My dad, who is now a senior, shared with us that he enjoys walking around the city. Since he is practically retired, he is free to spend his days however he likes. Lately, he’s been enjoying doing things on impulse rather than second-guessing himself. He told us that he now follows a five-second rule when going places. Unless he changes his mind about going somewhere within five seconds, he heads there without question. And he walks — a lot. He averages 16,000 steps a day just by going around the city on foot. He finds it enjoyable and likes doing something good for his health.

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Walking is one of the best types of exercise, not just for older adults, but for people of all ages. And it’s something Jared and I took for granted until we moved to our new home.

When we made the shift from a big house to a condo, we needed to let go of our car. These past few weeks, we’ve been walking in and out of our subdivision, to the grocery store and nearby restaurants, and around the area for leisure. According to the health app on my phone, I now average roughly 4,400 steps a day, rather than the 3,000 (or less) I averaged in previous months. Jared most likely has a similar step count, as he and I are often together, partly due to his seizure condition.

Going places has become a lot more challenging now that we have gone carless, but the bright side is that we’re more health-conscious. Now that we’re walking more, we don’t want to feel like we’re wasting our daily workouts by falling into unhealthy habits.

When we’re not too busy with work or business, we like to squeeze in a high-intensity interval workout (HIIT). According to The New York Times, HIIT is the best type of workout for middle-aged people. We may not be middle-aged quite yet, but Jared does have arthritic joints due to hemophilia. Exercise helps him recover his joint flexibility and protects him from injury.

Though Jared and I enjoy walking, using public transportation to go places that aren’t within walking distance is a different story. Sadly, the public transportation system in our country, the Philippines, is not yet optimized to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.

Jeepneys and buses can be crowded, so the risk of contracting illnesses like COVID-19 is high. There are no designated jeepney or bus stops along the road, so these public vehicles tend to come to a halt just about anywhere and take off without prior notice, even when a passenger is halfway up. Taxis and ride-sharing services are much more expensive, but they are still the better option for people with disabilities, so we are forced to use them even if doing so may ruin our budget.

Commuting issues aside, we’re learning to appreciate going places on foot. It’s good for our health, and for our future.

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Note: Hemophilia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Hemophilia News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to hemophilia.

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