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Thursday, January 18, 2018

Don't Be a New Year's Resolution Exerciser

Now is the time when most folks are exercising.  And I do mean now- for the first week or two of the New Year.  I drive by local gyms, it seems there are endless versions all over my little community, all of whose parking lots are full.  For now.

I always wonder, ‘if there are all of these gyms, almost everywhere, and all of these people belong and go on a regular basis- why do I rarely see a fit looking person?’   It is a legitimate question to ask, but unfortunately I already think that I know the answers:

First off, these people are going to commercial gyms.  They have to drive there, change clothes, shower, change back, and then drive home.  This is a major time commitment, right off the bat- also, usually a major financial committment. 
Secondly, they are working out on lackluster exercise equipment, result producing-wise.  Treadmills, ellipticals, resistance machines, free weights- they are all not much bang for the time spent kinds of tools.  These are the kind of exercise equipment that, to get any real results, takes tons of time on a regular basis!  And, in the case of the treadmills et al, results will be very, very little regardless of the time spent! 

Ever notice that people with really physically demanding jobs tend to have much better physiques and useful strength and endurance as opposed to gym rats?  Look around- it really it true.  Also, the ones that work hard jobs tend to keep their useful sort of fitness their whole life long!

There are a few real ways to ensure that you become fit, and stay fit, very fit- off the charts for your age group fit- simply by following a few simple guidelines:

Work out at home.  This is really the main ideal and directive.  Working out at home, early in the morning before the rest of the family is up, not only makes sure that you get the workout in and done each and every day, it also makes it: 1. actually enjoyable- something you will look forward to each day.
2. Takes a fraction of the time.

Try the PaleoJay approach- you go to bed early, early enough that you get a good 8 hours of sleep in a totally blacked out room.  Congratulations- that alone is the hardest part of the whole approach!  Because once you get those 8 hours, you will be ready to get up and go, whether it is 6:00 AM, 5:00 AM, or 4:30 AM, which is the time I got up for many years each morning.  Now I’m retired, and can work out anytime, but I still work out the very first thing every morning- the only difference now is that- I work out longer!  Because I have the luxury of time. 

I used to work out for 45 minutes each morning.  Doing Perfectly Paleo Exercise of virtual and self-resistance exercise, coupled with isometrics, rebounding,  pushups and straight-legged sit ups, interspersed with stretching- 45 minutes is plenty of time to really get fit.  And, it is really fun to do in front or your television, in your living room! 

You just need a yoga mat, (I used to use a big towel, but a mat is better since it is cushioned and it doesn’t slide).  A rebounded can be had for around $30, and lasts indefinitely.  Also, ideally you will have a strong strap, like a cargo or moving strap of thick nylon strapping (around $10 or so), and I have two other things that I like but that aren’t absolutely necessary:  The Perfect Pushup device of rotating handles for doing high volume pushups without irritating your shoulder, wrist and elbow joints, and an ab wheel, which is just a wheel with handles sticking out of the axle for doing ab roll-outs.  That is really all that you need, and it can all be stashed behind a chair or under the couch.

Pull out of your gym membership- they are actually counterproductive towards fitness!  Take walks in the woods instead all winter long, ski poles make all your limbs work, and help you not slip around so much as well.  Or cross country ski- but you need enough snow for that!  Come spring, don’t buy expensive running shoes- do your feet a favor, and get out for some barefoot sprinting- 10 -15 minutes is about the best workout you can have for the total body and getting ripped!

My favorite “fun addition” for extra workouts is a set of gymnastic rings, hung up in my basement on the rafters- they are the best way to work your whole body, quickly and safely and effectively that I have found.  One other thing: heavy hands walking, where you swing small dumbbells or handles of 5 pounds or so, as you walk through the woods.  Not much time is needed, and it is a blast to do!

But for now, you don’t need any of this stuff- save it until you’re old and retired like I am, and you’ve developed the habits to love being fit and healthy, and enjoy fine-tuning it.  Now, you’ve got work, or studies, and a family perhaps, among other things to take almost every minute of your day (and night!).  Just resolve to do the basics:  8 hours sleep, workout in the living room, shower, and then you will feel not only ready, but eager to take on the rest of your day- because you will feel great- every single morning from now on- GUARANTEED!!

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