Over a year ago I started riding a recumbent exercise bike, hoping to burn some calories. I figured half an hour daily, give or take a day, would be a nice way to fill the gap left when I became unable to walk for exercise. Recumbent bikes are recommended for folks with bad knees or knee replacement.
Unfortunately, that old "gotta do it every day for a half-hour" became tiresome and boring and I dropped it completely.
I had noticed when I was riding the bike regularly that my knee pain wasn't as bad. But I figured it wasn't making enough difference to really motivate me.
A couple of weeks ago I had a long talk with myself: "Self," I said, "why don't you just get on the bike for a little while every day and ride as long as you want to? Forget how many calories you burn and think about the lessened knee pain."
I figured surely ten minutes wouldn't be much of a grind. I can play Sudoku on the IPad while I'm riding, and one game, the difficult version, will usually last ten minutes.
As soon as I got off the bike that first time after fifteen minutes, my knees felt better. Next day or two there was some soreness from muscles that hadn't been exercised, but then that was gone. I had previously been taking a couple of Ibuprofen two or three times a week; I realized yesterday I hadn't even thought of taking any pain reliever since starting back up on the bike.
It's hard to rate pain, but I would say my pain is easily 1/3 less than it was. I find myself walking around outside a lot more than before. I don't dread getting on the exercise bike because I can get off after five minutes if I want to. As long as I get on it for a while most days, it seems to be helping.
In other news, I'm now turning Grace-the-cow dry for two months until she calves. I'm also weaning the two four-month-old brown calves off Penny and putting the remaining calf, a Holstein, on her after I'm done getting my milk twice a day. The brown steers have gotten to the point where I couldn't get them off Penny's teats without beating them half to death, so they can just do without. I'm too old to be fighting three-hundred-pound calves. I've talked to the dairyman in Higginsville, and he expects to have plenty of bull calves for sale during the month of September, so I may soon wean the Holstein and put a couple of new babies on Penny.
Plans for today include talking to those people near Oak Grove about trading chores occasionally. I'll be glad to find out how that idea goes over with them after we've met.