By John Prince
It’s 2021. Almost. Time to detox. Get healthy. Be active. Hydrate. Cleanse. Work out. Get into those kale and almond milk shakes. Lose 35 pounds in three months.
It’s that time of the year again. New Years. Time to renew and make resolutions and create positive affirmations and become a better person. Great!
TV ads show sad, pale, schlumpy people (before) and happy, toned, tanned people (after) using the new machine that only costs a million dollars, but they have a payment plan, so you only have to pay $14 a month for the rest of your life. A print headline shouts “Experience Total Health and Wellness” if you use their specific brand of pure plant-based aromatherapy and vitamin supplements. No exercise or sweaty pits needed with this miracle cure.
Depending on which expert you consult, most people’s total improvement resolutions last anywhere from 20 minutes to two months before they’re back on the chocolate glazed and fall off the diet wagon. My experience is that people who are actually into “improvement” start at random times of the year and they’ve been doing it for years.
We all have friends who go to the gym five days a week, burn 5,000 calories at each visit and eat only non-GMO fair trade quinoa and free range skinless chicken. I have nothing against working out, but I’m tired of being bored to death with their stories of how many one-handed sit ups and three-legged squats they did this morning.
Actually, I’m all for exercise. But it should be exercise that provides a social, environmental and personal benefit. How about a brisk walk or run – outdoors. Running indoors on a treadmill seems so futile. You never get anywhere! Hamsters do it, but they’re in a cage and have a brain the size of a sesame seed.
Did I mention that you’ll also need a couple of hundred dollars worth of workout clothing – especially if you’re female. Can’t turn up looking like a bag lady.
Likewise lifting, stretching and pulling. Why not weed a garden, shovel snow, chop wood or clean out the garage? You get the exercise plus a free bonus – you’re actually doing something useful.
Here’s an idea: Connect all of the lifting-running-pulling-pushing machines in all of the gyms across the country to generators to provide electricity to the grid. Surely that would create enough juice to power a small town in the mid-west for a year. Then there would also be some useful production from that sweat and effort.
I know, there aren’t all that many opportunities to chop wood these days. Gardens? Meh! Snow shoveling? Beware of heart attacks, they tell us. Living in the heartless center of urban America, what’s a person to do if they want exercise?
Start with walking. Most people can do it. Doesn’t require any special gear. Maybe a good pair of sneakers. No expensive machines needed. Sidewalks are OK. Public park or shopping mall.
At home. Use a video. Get a routine out of a magazine. You might need a yoga mat. Nobody’s going to see you. Wear anything that’s comfortable. Your bag lady outfit is perfect.