I exercise, sort of


  • Health
  • Sunday, 09 Feb 2003

BY JIM SHEA

MY exercise routine is pretty basic. Essentially, it consists of going to the gym and doing stuff that makes my face red. It also includes bothering other people who are trying to exercise, getting drinks of water and making muscles in the mirrors when no one's looking.  

I have never experienced the high some people say they get from exercise. I mean, I've had the old endorphins kick in after a big dinner, during vacation, and in anticipation of a vigorous nap, but never as the result of exertion.  

Like most people, I exercise for one major reason: Because I think it will help me not die. One of my worst nightmares is to have just finished working out, only to be hit by a car. I don't know about anyone else, but I would much prefer – on some mornings even welcome – being hit by a car on my into the health club.  

Anyway. I've been reading where old-style exercise routines like running and lifting heavy objects over and over are being replaced by workouts that employ elements of yoga and dance.  

These workouts are supposed to make you stronger, more flexible and give you inner peace. That may all be true, but I just don't see any of these trendy approaches working for me.  

Take yoga. When I hear the word yoga, here are the first two things that flash into my mind: sitting on a floor, staring off into space and doing this groaning thing; Yogi Bear.  

Or take the hot, new exercise video called Yoga Booty Ballet. Now, I understand the yoga and ballet aspects of this programme, but I'm a bit unclear on the booty part. I guess what I need to find out is if I even have a booty. I know women have booties, but I'm not sure men do.  

So, you know, I don't want to spend a lot of time and effort working on a booty if I don't have one, or worse still, I don't want to do something that's going to give me a booty.  

Another workout fad I have doubts about is one that is based on the high school phys-ed class. This variation brings back such long-repressed instruments of humiliation as the jumping jack, the lap and a game from which many of us are still recovering even after years of therapy – dodge ball.  

Interestingly, the phys-ed workout does not include extracting one's self from a garbage can, which is too bad, because it really burns a lot of calories.  

Finally, there is something called Pilates. I have no idea who or what Pilates is, but judging from the line-up of celebrities I have seen pitching it on infomercials, I have come to the conclusion that all this regimen does is give you large breasts.  

And that's just not the look I'm shooting for. - LAT-WP 

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