Friday, August 5, 2011

How to exercise in secret

I would never go to a gym to exercise because the other patrons would know exactly why I’m there – to try and cheat death for just one more day.

And I can just hear them saying: “You got to give the old fellow credit for at least trying. Too bad he didn’t start earlier.”

Oh, how judgmental they are. Them and their sweaty biceps. Lifting weights, doing sit-ups, running on treadmills as if they actually enjoyed it – but I know better. They’re doing all this exercise stuff to prove that they are young and ripped and can “get the girl” on physique alone, while I am old and flabby and better not look at ANY girl because the wife at home sees all, knows all, and has access to sharp knives.

No, whenever I get the gumption to stray from the couch and exercise, I do it on my own terms, in my own way, and in such a way that nobody would ever guess I was trying to outrun the Grim Reaper.

For example, the backward and forward motion of fly-casting is guaranteed to do some good for any muscles that might be associated with the arm. Granted, the weight resistance is minimal, but an abundance of repetitions makes it better than pushups, better than chin-ups, and a tasty meal is included.

Speaking of food, I always put the high-quality stuff (cookies, cheese puffs, potato chips) high up in the pantry to force me to stretch out before any physical exertions. And then I head to the fridge, doing deep knee bends to reach the salsa or bean dip that I’ve put on the lowest shelf.

After a good stretch, it’s off to the couch for some leg lifts. With my body in a relaxed, seated position and feet planted firmly on the floor, I grab the remote with my right hand, lift legs to the coffee table, press the play button to enhance my workout with the current Netflix movie of the day, hold for 10 to 20 minutes, lower legs to the floor, and repeat to the end of the movie.

My two-hour leg lift workout is followed by a quick almost-healthy snack, then a power nap.

Cardiovascular exercise is great for producing a stronger heart, and that’s why, two times a week, I combine my leg lift workout with a scary movie. If those zombies, serial killers, space aliens, ghosts, vampires or giant spiders can’t get your heart a’ pumping, then nothing will.

Finally, for a full-body workout, my wife gives me a shopping list and I head out to endure a brisk walk through Wal-Mart. Since my goal is to get out of there as quickly as possible, I dodge around shoppers, dart down aisles, grab and toss into the cart whatever is on the list, avoid anybody I know who might want to chat and slow down my workout, then head to the checkout lane where my heart goes into overdrive at how much all this stuff is going to cost me.

Then it’s out to the car, throw everything in the trunk, head home where I throw everything on the counter, then make my way to the couch for a relaxing cool down session of yoga meditation, which looks similar to an afternoon nap, but isn’t. I swear.

Yes, indeed. The Grim Reaper is going to have a hard time catching me.

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