Bucking the Trend

The title is almost certainly an Americanism but never mind; they can be quite striking.

I read on Friday that during the latest lockdown people in this country are exercising less and watching more television.

For myself it has been quite the opposite.

I wear a fitness device and before last March although my step count was sometimes as low as 1600 there were other days when it might reach 20,000 and on a good week, when I didn’t have a cold or other health issues, I could average over 8,000 steps which was my personal target.

Since last March I realised that I was lucky to go over 5,000 average, often much less, and when yet another lockdown was announced at the end of December I decided that this time I had to be more organised.

I don’t like exercise for it’s own sake but I found a daily podcast to listen to, for part of the walk, which helped. I also realised that Horseshoe Bridge, which was a walk I enjoyed because it is my “seaside”, was not much further away than Southampton Common. I was also likely to meet less people.

view up the river
This is obviously not the bridge!

I have always liked the idea of exercise before breakfast, with shower and clean clothes afterwards, but the only time I tried it I got very weak and dizzy. This time I decided to try after breakfast but before shower and clothes for the day. I hoped this might also mean less people to meet, though joggers and dog walkers also get up early!

Dog walker
This was actually a slightly later mid-morning walk on a Saturday.

I have really envied people, whose blogs I’ve read, that can go and walk by the sea whenever they wish. So I decided when I arrived at Horseshoe Bridge to walk along the walkway beside the River Itchen and smell the seaweed and listen to the gulls and watch the way the water can be high or quite low down and showing a rather brown pebble ‘beach’. beach

I don’t do this everyday. If I have to go out early (hoping for less shoppers) for some milk, or have something else I need to go out for, I count that as my exercise. There is also the weather to consider.

However I have found that my ‘seaside’ walk of a morning has really helped my mental health and energy levels. It hasn’t pushed my average step count up to pre-pandemic levels but at least it is more consistent. view across the river

It is also worth saying that I have found that, in general, I am watching less rather than more TV, sitting down later and getting things ready for the next day earlier. This does mean less work on my crochet blanket but that has benefitted my wrists that are so much better than they have been and I think I will still finish it on time.

And here is one of my favourite bits of this walk. my favourite bit

Can you see the boat? (Or the dog-walker?)old boat

Sometimes it is submerged.boat submergedAll photos taken rather quickly with my phone.




16 thoughts on “Bucking the Trend

  1. A bit of water to walk by is such a joy – always different in changing light.
    I won’t be seeing the sea for a while and I miss it, but there are some ponds and a few little streams to walk to nearby.
    My phone tells me how many steps I do – it is a good gauge and a good motivator isn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think I am one of those few people that stopped watching tv after lockdown one was announced since march last year I think I have only watched one series on Netflix and that has all been in the last few weeks. But I have set myself the target of getting out and walking at least 5 days a week, I am actually jealous of your “beach” walk, I have a number of green spaces around here but they are all so waterlogged at the moment that I really need wellies!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Before I remembered this walk, I was going for a walk on Southampton Common but the paths were so crowded I was always having to walk on the grass which was very soft and wet in places. So I didn’t really enjoy all the zig-zagging.


  3. I’m really curious about the source of your information because I read yesterday‘s Telegraph, which cited a huge uptake in the number of people cycling, walking more and more frequently and doing online exercise classes, including hiring bikes and other equipment to use at home during the pandemic…you should check it out.

    Glad you’re enjoying getting out more. Sounds like a good walk.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes, I read that article on the app when it was published. I think the season would affect outdoor exercise for some (interesting point about the initial novelty factor of more time for gardening, crafts and pursuits declining.) There may be lower figures than spring, but still more than usual? I definitely think I’m seeing greater numbers walking, jogging (as gyms are closed) and cycling. Driving even infrequently is tricky – it’s like the Tour de France out here!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. First reply from tablet cut short. It was really just a tag to hang a story on but when I had my first Covid jab on Saturday I spoke to a woman that hasn’t been out of her house for exercise for ages because she feels that The Common is too crowded. This is the problem if you live in a city and why I gave up on going to The Common myself. It’s the obvious place to go and plenty of parking.


  4. It looks like a great walk, and good for you for keeping it up as much as possible.
    I see from your most recent comment that you’ve had your first covid vaccine shot. Lucky you. We are waiting waiting waiting waiting…..Mr R is due to address the nation in less than an hour, and I’m looking forward to listening to the latest load of hogwash we will be expected to accept as the truth.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was surprised to be invited to make an appointment as I expected it might be another couple of weeks and wasn’t sure if all 80 year olds had got theirs but well I didn’t want to confuse things. There is a question though, whether the jab will work as well against the version that is labelled “South African” which you presumably have more of down your way, so maybe you are best to wait for one that will.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My understanding is that the South African version is no more dangerous than the original, although it is more easily transmitted. I could be wrong – there’s a lot of info out there and it’s not easy to know which is more factually correct, also I’m not a scientist. All I know is – actually, I’m not even sure what I do know any more. Too much stuff coming at me all the time! I don’t remember more than 20% of it… perhaps a blessing in itself, looking at the state of the world around me.
        Very glad you’ve had your invite 🙂 x Take care.

        Liked by 1 person

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