Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Spring in Your Step

Now that Spring is in the air, have you been thinking about that dreaded eight letter word? Need a hint? Think warm weather, summer vacation, pina colada, beach, cute guy standing at one o'clock….yup, you’ve got it…EXERCISE! This has been circling around in my head for weeks and I’ve come to the conclusion that I may need to start working out (sigh).
I know, you were probably just thinking about that four letter word? No, not the S word, the D word…..Diet! Right, well, anyone who knows me knows that is totally out of the question (at least for me). I’m a gal that loves her food. In fact, that’s one of the things that my husband and I had in common when we first started dating (of course that wasn’t the only thing…but it was an important commonality).  I needed a guy who wasn’t squeamish about eating different things….someone who could appreciate what other cultures had to offer, so…. good job honey!!!
I was never, ever the type of girl who would eat before going out and then order a salad for dinner so that I would seem more ladylike….please….I can’t even believe people actually do that…think about it! Hello….he’s taking you out, free meal (only kidding, but seriously, ya gotta eat!) Honestly, if I ate a salad for dinner or for lunch for that matter, you can be sure that I’ll be pilfering the pantry for something to eat within 30 minutes.
You see, I’m a meat and potatoes girl…as well as seafood…and pasta…and….well, you get the picture, and boy do I love bread, especially when it’s right out of the oven – nice and warm with a light, crunchy crust and a soft, airy inside just waiting to soak up the butter and provide me with a delicious savory treat….mmmmm (I’m making myself hungry). Anyway, this love of food is of course, carried on into my cooking. If you were to ever come and eat at my house, don’t expect me to do you or your waistline any favors. I don’t lighten things up. If it calls for four sticks of butter, that’s what’s going in. If it calls for regular cream cheese, you know I’m not putting in that light and fluffy stuff. Heavy cream? You got it. I’m all about the fat! Whatever the recipe calls for, that’s what I’m using! Here is my motto when it comes to cooking: Say NO to LOW! (I think my heart just protested.)
Needless to say, when the winter months roll around and I’m enjoying all the holiday dishes, the ever present muffin top starts grow. Occasionally, I wonder if I should retool my recipes and try eating light….but after much deliberation, I’ve decided against it — for now — maybe next year (more like when pigs fly) and as I said before I love food to much to diet…, the only solution is to exercise.
Now, I must applaud my girlfriends. They have such amazing self motivational skills when it comes to the E word. They go to the gym doing all sorts of crazy classes, some spin, some climb, some dance, some lift, some run….I hide. What's your favorite thing to do at the gym? 
My sister, who has two little ones at home, just ran a marathon in Maryland – hello?! That means that she trained every day and then drove herself from boondocks Pennsylvania to Maryland, just to run a marathon…(congrats Jen!)…me? There is absolutely no way I will ever do that. 
I have a wonderful girlfriend who has been so patient and wonderful with me.She knows that I “want” to exercise, so she’s been draggin’ my you know what to the gym and making me workout with her…little does she know, I’ve been using the lightest weights and resistance when we work out on the machines….shhh mum’s the word.
I have to say, though, it’s been fun seeing the faces of the people who work the reception desk at my gym. I’ve been a member there for almost two years and they have no idea who I am…it’s not their fault, it’s because I NEVER go. How many of you are like me, paying gym-support and haven’t yet exercised your visitation rights? Tsk tsk tsk….ha!
To be truthfully honest, I’m just not that into working out. Do I want to be fit and healthy? Of course, who doesn’t? But, I’d much rather be eating a delicious molten chocolate cake with raspberries coulis and a light dusting of confectioners sugar…while surfing (the web that is). Don’t get me wrong, I do “exercise.” I enjoy playing golf, I luv tennis (ya like the play on words? Cheesy, I know) and when I was younger and more agile I was a huge volleyball player — couldn’t get enough of it. I also try to make sure that my kids are active and do some type of sport and now my sister and I are getting our mom the Wii Fit. Yes…I said the Wii Fit.
Here's a little tidbit. Did you know that recent studies have actually shown that these so called “exergames” are a great alternative for exercising. Researchers have reported that when kids are playing these “exergames,” they expend at least if not more energy compared to running on a treadmill for the same amount of time.and in some cases they doubled the amount of energy spent(and they have fun doing it!). How awesome is that for the unplug-able family. Do any of you have these in your homes? Do you like them? Do you use them?
So, now that Spring break is literally right around the corner and Summer not that far off, I will of course try my best to go to the gym on a regular basis. I’ll use the elliptical, climb the Stair Master thingy and I will even up the resistance and increase the weights on the machines. But, in case I slip, I always have my fallback routine to keep me fit. Please feel free to include this in your daily workout regime – it’ll spice things up a bit!
  1. Cardio Workout:  Quickly clean the house by straightening, dusting, vacuuming and mopping. Remember to push and pull through your core and keep breathing.
  2. Cardio Blast: I do this occasionally, it’s called CTD or “chase the dog”, because he just ate my lunch or is gnawing on something he shouldn’t be in possession of…make sure you have good sneakers that allow you to cut corners. This is especially useful when the dog is playing “catch me if you can” around the coffee table.
  3. Strength Training: Every other day carry heavy loads of laundry up and down 2 ½ flights of stairs and oh, don’t forget to count the vacuum cleaner — that sucker is heavy, so remember to lift with your legs not your back.
  4. Abs: During all the above exercises, keep your tummy taut — center strong – so you also get a great abs workout throughout the day.
  5. Cool Down: My favorite...Hop into the car and drive to the mall and work out your wrists with the “swipe and sign” exercise…this activity gets the heart pumping, it’s great for the soul and it’ll put a spring in your step
If any of you have an awesome workout routine, please share with us...I would love to try something new.
* This is an article I wrote for an online news site

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