Monday, November 8, 2010

Health - Maybe it's only about Movement

This entry is not a recommendation for physical exercise – so, there is no health warning.  My thoughts are not meant to offend those of you who have serious medical issues.  It’s just my thoughts for the day.

I’ve always hated “exercise”.  I was raised on a farm and trust me, we got plenty of “exercise” every single day – but it was called work.

I left the farm – went to college – moved to the city, got a desk job.  I never had any intentions of ever going back to the farm – just a little too much “exercise” on the farm, every day.

In my mid-twenties the “exercise / aerobics craze” started.  Even back then I thought it stupid – like I’m going to put on a shiny leotard and buy special shoes and leg warmers and go jump around in front of other people – NOT!   ME (not you) found the whole concept disgusting (still do). When it came up in conversation (which it often did) I would shock people by saying that my only form of exercise was sex – always much more fun.

During my twenties I was almost always a size zero (before zero was even considered a “real” size) - that’s what way too much booze and partying will do to you – What do me mean tequila isn’t food – there’s a worm in the bottle.  In my thirties I was mostly a size 8, lived on Twizzlers, Fudgesicles and not as much booze.  In my forties, I quit drinking (mostly) and started eating “real food” on a regular basis and I went to a size 12.   Now I am in my fifties, I eat what I want, I drink what I want and on a good day – I’m a size 16.

During my life I have taken “formal exercise classes”.  I was even an aerobics instructor for two years – but that was about having fun, not “exercising”.  And all during that time – I still hated “exercising”.  And in most cases – I don’t find “formal aerobics classes” fun – they are just nasty workouts.  I had a personal trainer –for about a year – the “eye candy” helped with the workouts, but that didn’t last either, I hate exercising.

The “exercise mantra" use to be 30 minutes a day, three times a week.  Now it is 40 – 60 minutes a day, five to seven days a week.  Whoever wrote the latest “edict” needs to get a “real life”, one that includes shopping, dinner with friends, drinking with friends, game nights, vacations and a JOB (which for most of us eats up about 10 – 12 hours of our day).  I still find the whole “exercise” thing disgusting and research studies like that just make me shake my head and say “Go to hell.”  I find the whole “you have to exercise vigorously, every day”– disgusting and we hear it every day.  If you really want to exercise vigorously every - go work on a farm - do something useful with that energy.  I have a girlfriend in her 60’s whose doctor told her walking was not “real exercise” and she needed to do “real exercise”– to her doctor I say “Go to hell -  you “exercise” snob - it's arrogant buttholes like you who contribute to obesity.”

Our culture has become obsessed with the useless topic of "exercise".  If you don’t exercise 45 minutes a day 7 days a week it could be viewed that you’re deficient, you’re lazy, you’re not good enough.  This type of OCD preoccupation with exercise could be causing people NOT to exercise – no one has looked at that side of the argument – why do it if you can’t do it correctly or well.  Come on – let’s get real and make realistic suggestions that people can use and maybe you’ll get people to move – maybe not, it’s their decision.   

Now, I am into what I call "movement", not exercise.  As long as you are moving, putting one foot in front of the other – you aren’t dead, and most days that’s a good thing.  I intentionally move whenever I feel like it – I don’t do it every day or every week, but it gets done.  If I go to water aerobics, I am not there to “exercise”, I am there to get my flabby gut off the couch and just move.  If I go for a walk with friends, I am there to socialize and get my flabby gut off the couch and move.  If I am meeting a friend for dinner – I suggest a restaurant in a shopping mall, so I can do a leisurely stroll at the mall before dinner.  I don’t like meeting friends to see a movie – can’t move (or talk) while watching a movie in a theatre.  I try to do interesting things that gets my flabby gut off the couch.  I have a bike I use less than I use to and if I’m biking by myself, I hate it – it’s boring.  If I go for a walk by myself - I hate it – it’s boring.  Burning calories for the purpose of “exercising” is and always has been boring, and that’s my truth.

For many people exercising for 30 minutes - 3 times a week is an impossibility  Some it’s health issues, some it’s money, some it’s time, some have learned to “hate exercise” because of all the crap that gets thrown at us every day about what we should do and be.   So I did some cruising on the internet this morning to find ways that we all can just add a little more movement to our lives.  I found a lot of the usual suggestions (that people evidently aren’t using, cause we’re getting fatter) – here are some unique ones…

·         Manually open and close the garage door
·         Take a shower - yep that’s movement.
·         Take a shower and squeegee the walls (or a wall) clean after each shower (Feeling really fat today – take two showers and squeegee the whole shower both times) 
·         Walk into the gas station to pay (instead of paying at the pump)
·         Walk into the fast food place instead of going through the drive-through – and stand in line waiting to order or pay (In a sick way I really like this one)
·         Get up and go to the faucet or drinking fountain and get only 8 ounces of water – but do it 8 times a day.
·         Make your mobile phone – mobile - stand while talking on the phone  - as opposed to sitting
·         Walk to the mailbox and back 2 times a day, as slowly as you want– if you’re in an apartment building this may include stairs which is even better.
·         Walk around your house or apartment building 2 times a day
·         Bring groceries in – one bag at a time
·         Go through regular push doors, not the automatic ones. Pushing the door uses the triceps (backs of arms), shoulders and chest muscles.
·         Don't use an electric toothbrush every day - the wrist muscles have to work harder with a manual brush
·         Wash dishes, don't use a dishwasher every day and / or actually dry the dishes, don't let them dry in the dishwasher or drain on the counter
·         When sitting, occasionally lift your feet from the floor, then hold and put back down- good TV move
·         Do bicep curls, tricep curls or military presses with a soup cans in your hands during commercials
·         Walk to the far end of your home and back every time a commercial comes on in the evening – start with one commercial on one night and work up to all commercials every night (why would you want to sit through commercials?)
·         When you’re waiting for someone – pace!  Don’t sit and wait.
·         Dust two things every day – requires you to walk and bend or reach

I’m sure that with a little thought and effort we all could come up with a way to use an extra 20 calories each day - which adds up to over two pounds we won’t gain this year. 

Yes, I know the US is getting more obese – that’s not my fault – cool your jets – take a pill – go exercise –work it off - unless you can actually change it - get over it.   Exploding healthcare cost?  don’t go there – really don’t go there - that’s not my fault – Shut Up! about healthcare costs and obesity!  (I know skinny people who are a bigger drain on the healthcare system than I will ever be!  Talk to the doctors and HMO’s about healthcare costs  – quit blaming it on people who are just trying to make it through the day and who are trying to keep one foot in front of the other.)

As I wrote earlier - everyone dies, it doesn’t matter if you are a size two or a size 24 – someday, you’re going to die.  And trust me – because of the obsessive research and media on FAT, people know they will die faster if they are fat – they know they shouldn’t eat transfats.  What other people put into their bodies and do with their bodies is their business – it’s none of your business - get use to it – there is nothing you can do.  Pay attention to your own life, live your own life to the best of your ability – remember, people in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones (if you don't know what that means - it means someday you too could be fat!) 

When you get older the real key to life is to keep moving – to be able to keep one foot moving in front of the other (whatever way works best for you) until you die.  Maybe, just maybe the key is for everyone to just move, who knows.

(OMG – she didn’t really write that, did she?  Why would she put that out there for everyone to see – isn’t she embarrassed? We better get her a trainer and a diet, she’s putting her health at risk, she is going to die!)  Everybody dies, honey, it doesn’t matter if you are a size two or a size 24 – someday, you’re going to die – it’s part of life – ask anyone - acceptance is the key. And I don’t care, really - 360 days of the year, I don’t care.  You can care if you want – but don’t force it on me.

Not sour grapes, cause I really don't care - it's just my thought for the day!

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