Although the pace is slower than I would like, I am slowly being able to again do more of the things that I enjoyed doing and mostly took for granted before the coronavirus pandemic shut down much of the economy, not only here in northeastern Kentucky but most of the rest of the state, nation and world.

I was able to exercise at the Ashland Area YMCA Monday for the first time since early March. The exercise I get at the YMCA has been an important part of controlling my diabetes for many years, and I greatly missed going to the Y three to six times a week to burn as many calories as I can.

Because of physical limitations that have arisen as I have aged, the only exercise opportunities I regularly utilize at the Y are riding a stationary bike and going to the pool. Y members still are banned from using the pool, except lap lanes can be reserved for use by the most dedicated and experienced swimmers. I am not one of those.

I never learned to swim a lick until a girlfriend taught me when I was 15, and we did not go together long enough for her to teach me a little more than how to keep from drowning. I have improved little in the almost 60 years since then, and there is little hope that I will ever get any better than I now am.

However, because I can move much better in the water than I can on dry land, I enjoy going to the pool to water-walk and do some of the exercises I learned in a water aerobics class I took at the Y years ago. When I take the time to exercise in the pool, it is much less painful than any other exercising I do. After my knee replacement surgery, I was able to exercise in the pool much quicker than I could elsewhere.

I look forward to being able to return to the pool to burn calories without swimming, but until then, I will be pedaling away on the stationary bike while reading a book on my Kindle.

That is what I did Monday, and it proved to be much easier than I thought it would be. I feared that I would not be able to go far because of the long layoff. To my surprise I was able to pedal away for about 45 minutes and burn more than 170 calories according the the bike I was on.

However, since I have always questioned how accurately those bikes count the calories I burn, I have a better way of rating the value of the bike-riding. When I started riding the bike Monday, the monitor than measures my blood sugar said it was 260, which is higher than it should be. When I got off the bike, it was down to 97, which is where it should be. That made all that pedaling well worth my time. Not only was it good for my health, while pedalling, I read a little more than two chapters in a novel by Lisa Gardner, who happens to be one of my favorite mystery writers.

All in all, it was a great morning doing what I love to do. I sure did miss it, although I logged a lot of miles walking in Central Park, the Ashland cemetery, my neighborhood and other places to partially replace the exercise I missed when the Y was closed.

In fact, I think my wife and I, granddaughter and dog will still walk in the park instead of going to the YMCA on good days.

Write JOHN CANNON at johnboycannon@gmail.com.

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