Thursday, July 3, 2008

One-Legged King Pigeon

I need a viable exercise plan for summer time because my current "toss the kids into the air while at the pool" routine isn't doing much to build lean muscle and disguise my addiction to Hot Tamales (which are of the devil).

Fall through Spring, I walk 1.6 miles around our neighborhood, about half of that uphill. Summer, though, I don't because a) it's freaking hot and I really don't want to do something embarrassing like pass out or walk into someone's mailbox (which I have not done and if the man living in the white two story with the wrap-around porch says otherwise, he's a dirty, rotten liar) and b) the kids are home and I don't pay enough taxes for the kind of emergency response team needed to mop up after leaving three boys on their own for 20 minutes.

Someone suggested jogging but I have to be honest here - I won't willingly run unless something meaner is chasing me with the intent to cause serious bodily injury. This includes running on a treadmill. Treadmills require either excellent feet/eye coordination or the ability to multi-task regardless of distractions. I possess neither. Last time I tried running on a treadmill I very nearly did a flip-flop-and-shoot-off-the-back-end-into-the-wall that would have earned me a cast, a trip to the hospital, and a pair of shiny new dentures to replace the teeth I'd left impaled in the carpet.

I need something indoors, where I can take advantage of the air conditioning, and something not likely to send me careening into innocent bystanders.

Yoga has been suggested as well and I can try that on my wii fitness. At night. When there are no witnesses to see what happens when a woman with plenty of flexibility but no sense of balance attempts to hold Fainting Goat for two minutes. Oh, don't give me that look. There are positions called Walking The Dog and One-Legged King Pigeon. I'm sure there's a Fainting Goat.

I can do sit-ups and push-ups at home. Of course, both of those would be much easier if I didn't own pets. Push-ups are apparently an invitation for my cat to wind her way under my upraised body and then raise her tail to give me her best angle as I settle back to the floor. Sit-ups are accomplished with much firm commands to my large Chow hound to Go Away. Lie Down. No, Not There. Somewhere Else. Somewhere That Does Not Include Any Body Part Of Mine. No, You Are Soooo Not A Lap Dog.

So I need a summer exercise program that doesn't include walking or jogging or treadmills or complicated yoga. Any ideas? :)


  1. Elliptical Machine... You can use them indoors, take far less courage and coordination than a treadmill and are much less impact on your knees. At my gym, the machine has a plugin for a headset- so I literally watch tv for 30-40 min and end up burning calories. The toughest part is working so hard and getting a readout of how many calories you burned- and then realizing your lunch was at least 2x that amount... And hence- why I am still fat and have not used that machine in over 3 mo....

  2. Hey C.J.
    Have you tried using fitness DVDs? If you have Netflix, there is a huge selection to try out. My favorites are anything from the FIRM series.

    Have you ever tried Zumba classes/DVDs? I just got certified to teach this and am just addicted. It's freestyle Latin aerobics dance. You don't have to have any sort of rhythm or talent (trust me on this), you just have to move and have fun. Check the local gyms and see if there's a Zumba class offered. Most gyms will let you try a couple of classes for free.

  3. I have to respond to Jake's post...

    Jake--don't get discouraged by the calorie readouts on the machine. One, they're usually not accurate. Two, they don't take into consideration the calories you'll continue burning after your workout. Every time we workout, it boosts our metabolism for a few hours, so you'll continue to burn calories at a higher rate than if you hadn't exercised that day.

    The only numbers I pay attention to on the machines are the calories burned per minute. The closer you can get to 10 calories per minute, the better. (Build up to this though.)

    And one more thing: it's all about diet. Everyone sees those people in the gym who are there day after day after day...yet their bodies never change. Most likely, it's their diet.

    FYI--I'm a personal fitness trainer, so I'm not just winging it here. :)

  4. So Becky- what do you recommend I eat while on the elliptical machine? Italian subs are my current standard fare (burgers are clearly too messy).... ;p

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  6. Comment without dumb typo:

    CJ, I think you ought to consider doing curls while clutching several boxes of Hot Tamales in each hand. Think of the water weight you'd lose as you drool.

    'Course, if said Hot Tamales are then consumed, all the benefits of this exercise regimen would be lost.

    Not eat the delicious cinnamon-laced, extremely addictive candies after all that work? Nope. Forget this idea. It comes closer to torture.

    Plan B. Do as I do and convince yourself that running your fingers over the keyboard as you write counts as exercise.

  7. Lol, Jake! We have elliptical machines at the gym and they've always looked intimidating to me but if you think I can pull it off...

    Becky, thanks for the ideas. I don't have any fitness DVDs but I'll have to look into it.

    And Keli...I do believe typing is exercise, especially as I'm usually yanking my hair out and tapping my foot in agitation at the same time.

    And shame on you for planting the idea of Hot Tamales (which are of the devil) as exercise equipment. That's just mean.

  8. CJ - remind me to show you some easy modifications for yoga poses while we're in SF. A lot of people don't do yoga because they think they have to fold themselves up into complicated knots - but there area actually a lot of mods available for those of us who are less flexible! :D



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