Thursday, October 26, 2006

How Much or How Little?

The various methods suggested for how much exercise a person needs or how little one can get away with sure sell plenty of magazines and gym memberships. Since I have recently joined Curves and for several weeks have also been walking on the treadmill for two to three miles at a time, I am vitally interested in this question. I am anxious to see results. Lower numbers. You know the ones I mean.

Of course, I do also have goals besides losing weight. I want to be stronger. That is most important to me. In addition, I need to be more flexible. Finally, I want to be able to keep my balance, as falls are more common in older people.

But tonight's question is about exercise. I have been looking at the Self magzine that Dana kindly bought for me. It lists a number of "calorie scorchers." That looked promising as a title. The first one is Jump Rotation. Looks to me like a good way to twist my ankle and not be able to exercise for awhile. Another is the CanCan. I wish. I haven't ever been able to kick high and at this age, don't expect to be able to mange it. Then there is the killer push-up. I can't do any push-up. This one looks to me as though it is doable only by a twelve-year-old or a mechanical doll.

So, given the machines at Curves and 30 minutes three times a week, plus the walking, when will I see results?

I decided to turn the pages and see what I can promise myself for regularly getting myself to Curves and onto the treadmill. I sure will be getting a new pair of shoes for workouts soon. I overpronate and need good support with inserts. But that's not what I mean by a reward. That's an essential.

It won't be deep green or burgundy eyeshadow. I haven't worn eyeshadow or any eye make-up in years. And, it won't be any pair of high heels, whether I took them in to have the soles rubberized or not. Getting the soles rubberized by a cobbler is suggested by Dana Delaney, the actress. I gave up wearing high heels when our Dana was in high school. I was late to catch a plane to a ceremony when she was being honored as one of ten top students in the Bay Area. I really wanted to get on that plane. I just made it, but the high heels slowed me down almost too much as they closed the door just after me. I decided when I sank into my seat that I would never be hobbled by high heels again.

But here's a possibility. How about a cup of really good Earl Grey tea? Or maybe a soft, light, velvety zip up sweater-jacket to wear to the gym on cooler days? Or the exotic-sounding Aloette Hot Soy Manicure Treatment. Apparently you are to let the candle burn for 10 minutes, blow it out and then rub a few drops of the melted wax onto your skin. I sure did like the hot wax treatment with my recent manicure, at least on my hands. It was too hot for my feet. Thank you, Dana and Cate, for introducing me to that.

And, back to adding into my program to max the benefits. I'll be standing on a towel on one leg while brushing my teeth to improve my balance and drawing the alphabet with my toes while talking on the phone to strengthen my ankles. And smiling when I talk on the phone. Apparently, if we smile, we feel better, even if we didn't particularly feel like smiling before, and also the person listening feels the smile in our voice and responds. Exercising the smile muscles won't help me lose weight but it may have its own benefits.


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