Monday, May 16, 2022 |
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My wife, I’m sure, thinks I’m crazy.
Every morning she wakes up, she finds me in the living room waving something called a Bodyblade that I picked up at the thrift store for a few bucks.
I have no idea if it actually does much. Its creators claim it can improve strength and fitness simply by waving it up, down and all around for 5-10 minutes a day. So, that’s what I do.
Next, I’ll grab an eight-pound ball and jump, hop, skip, bounce sideways and do my version of lunges and squats for another 5-10 minutes. How effective this is, I’m not sure. But I do it.
I read that holding a ledge and letting your body hang loose for a minute or two is also a great way to help stretch and straighten out the skeleton structure, so I do that, too. When I’m feeling strong, I’ll swing side to side and back and fourth, my version of America Ninja Warrior.
I bought, for a few dollars, a used curved board called a Simply Fit Board to stand, twist, spin and hop around on, because I read a good review on it and it’s fun. I’d still be spinning around on it if it hadn’t snapped. But I have another circular plastic device with resistance bands I can do the twist on. That goes on for about three minutes.
You get the idea.
I’m always looking for ways to get in better shape, run faster, be stronger, be smarter, and as long as it’s nothing too demanding, I’m game. I love all these fitness gadgets and have what I called my bag of tricks filled with weighed sticks and gloves, different sized balls, a foam yoga block, handles for tougher push-ups, and high-tension, circular metal bands.
Each morning, I go through a 45-minute routine before heading out the door to run, and I’m willing to try most anything that offers the most benefit for the least amount of pain. But there is one exercise I hate to do because it means, done right, pain and suffering and I’m not big on pain and suffering. Yet, I do it. It doesn’t involve any goofy gizmos that claim to have you looking like Hercules next week. You don’t need a health club membership. Running shoes are not required.
You just need some willpower and discipline.
So what is this amazing, miraculous exercise? Get ready for this:
The push-up may be the single most effective exercise ever invented. It has been called the world’s greatest exercise. It’s fast and efficient. You can do them anywhere, any time. But oh, they hurt. Sure, you can stop after 10 or 20 and avoid the suffering part. But if you keep going, keep pushing, until your arms won’t elevate your body back up even one more time, you will notice a difference. This is just an example, but build up to 100 a day, for 30 days, and you will feel the difference.
I should warn you: You will hate push-ups. Everyone hates them. Because they are hard. They hurt. They are not fun.
You can, though, be creative. There’s the standard push-up. Or you can place your feet on the couch and grind out push-ups. Place a medium-side ball on the floor, and do push-ups from that, either with your hands on the ball or your feet. you can even buy one of those gadgets I’m talking about and do push-ups. And yes, try Rocky-style one-arm push-ups.
Now, that all sounds great. But there is a catch. Here is it: You have to do them right. Most people do them wrong. A little cheating makes them easier. My kids always mocked my push-ups. My son Ray, who is in the military, introduced me to his Army push-ups. Yeah, a little tougher than what I was used to doing.
Push-ups are not rocket science. I encourage you to check them out. As my friend Sam says in the world’s finest book, “Green Eggs and Ham,” “You do not like them. So you say. Try them! Try them! And you may. Try them and you may, I say.”
So try them.
And remember, no pain, no gain.
But if you’re are looking for a little fun during exercise, I do recommend the Bodyblade.
Bill Buley, editor-in-chief, can be reached at 245-0457 or email@example.com.
Thanks for the inspiration, Bill.
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