Monday, January 08, 2007

fellow travelers: exercise is important!

hey guys, public service announcement: having a strong, supple body is fun to attain and makes existance much easier to enjoy. it also makes your life in your current body longer, so listen up.

like anybody, my attention level to this aspect of my health has waxed and waned. right now i'm waxing. because i'm a guy who want to physically attractive to people in my culture, i have a few bottom lines that I have to stick to. these are:

1.) Not getting obese
2.) Being strong enough to do routine activities and play rough games
3.) Being happy with my self-image, so I can choose to be less than fully clothed around semi-strangers
4.) Ability to motivate myself in getting off my ass whenever it behooves me.

To this end, I do as many of the following 6 exercises as I can (called repetitions, or reps) two, three or four times (called sets), every two or three days:

dips these are the shit. i do them all over the place, most notably between pairs of newspaper vending machines

chinups, and next time, pullups as well

careful sit ups (naysayers can go work at a gym. bah)

pushups there are a lot of cool variations on the theme

this thing where i lie on my back, put my hands under my butt, and take my streight and together legs up to 5 degrees, then 30, 60, 90, 60, 30, 5, holding each for at least 12 seconds, doing that at LEAST twice

and finally, something where i lie on my stomach, feet together, and hold my hands in front of me like Superman in his flying pose. i then bring my hands back to where i could extend my thumbs to touch my shoulders, while simultaneously rearing back like a snake (or a yogi in cobra pose) and holding my torso up for a second with only my lower back muscles, before lowering down. do a few sets of 20+ of those

(normally i jog and climb and what not, but not with a healing foot.)

why not give them a try? a generous chunk of DIY wisdom that Misha Golfman of Kroka Expeditions fame shared with me is that pushing around your own body weight can better prepare you for realistic activiites better than usually machines can. also, that the world is really your playground. one time a group he was leading on an expedition to camp Quebec and explore Cree culture, myself included, went to a kids playground to work out. i scoffed, as i usually do at the guys ideas, but he directed us to make use of that playground equipment in 12 or 13 different ways so that by the end we were all tired, sweaty, and wonderfully achey. props

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