Following My Aerobic Bliss

We all know regular exercise is important. Ideally we should work out daily. It’s a real challenge to fit it into our hectic schedules, but there is a way! And it’s even more important now during the holidays, when our schedules are crazier than usual and at the same time our calorie intake is way up.

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Why drive to the gym, when you’ve got everything you need at home?

The solution’s simple. To begin with, forget the gym and jogging. Many gym fans like having people around to chat and share exercise notes with, and they are motivated by other people. But a lot
of time is wasted in driving there, waiting in long lines for equipment to become available, chatting, and people (not me) sneakily looking around for nice butts. The gym also costs a lot of money.  Jogging is good exercise, aside from knee injury from high impact, but it requires special scheduling, especially in winter when it gets dark early. Jogging in dark or deserted conditions is not recommended. That’s the woman/mother in me talking. Also, during winter you have to schedule around bad weather.

I now have an embarrassing confession to make. A big reason why jogging and going to the gym don’t appeal to me is because I’m mildly compulsive about being presentable when I’m out and about among people. I like to be showered, with my hair fixed, my clothes coordinated, and a little makeup on. Call it silly, but it is what it is. When I jog or go to the gym in the morning, which is my fave time for exercise, I have to fix myself up before and again after. I waste precious time!   

My perfect solution is a 45-minute aerobic walking session to a DVD in my living room, right after breakfast. I love Leslie Sansone. Her DVDs rock. She’s high energy and funny. It’s primarily aerobic exercise, but also includes some strengthening and toning with light weights. After my cereal and the first, life-giving cup of coffee, I just throw on my color-clashing, smelly, worn-out grubbies with holes in them and put on my cheap tacky walking shoes. My hair is uncombed, my face unwashed, my teeth aren’t even brushed. I am completely gross. But I only need to make myself presentable once all day, after I finish my routine. 

Other benefits include not getting rained on, not freezing, and not having to worry about off-leash dogs outside. And I don’t waste time driving to a gym, or pay a lot of money for dues every month. I’m comfortable in the privacy of my home. I always felt I was being sized up at the gym. A lot of people were surreptitiously peeking and judging everyone else’s physique while they lifted weights and ran the treadmill. I’m pretty sure mine was found wanting, nine times out of ten. I don’t have a nice butt. I’m still working on it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love getting outside and walking. I try to walk every afternoon or early evening. Right before I go I read a page from Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “How to Walk,” which helps make this time a peaceful meditation, calming and soothing. But for cardiovascular health and strengthening, I do my vigorous at-home aerobic walking. I stay fit while I enjoy Leslie, and all those nice, attractive smiling people who walk along with her in the studio, and the fact that they can’t see me—the real me.

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