The exercise mantra to beat all mantras

I am absolutely delighted to announce that I have found THE exercise mantra! I have broken the I-just-don’t-have-the-time-or-the-place excuse into a zillion pieces.

Here’s a little background:
I used to be svelte and slender, now I am svelte and pear-shaped. Sceptics may protest that svelte and pears are mutually exclusive.

I beg to differ and I offer two arguments in my favor:

Argument 1:
Svelte (svelt) adj. svelt·er, svelt·est Slender or graceful in figure or outline; slim.

Slender or graceful – obviously I am alluding to the graceful, not the slender, in the definition.

Argument 2:
This is my blog.
Don’t get me wrong – I love the fact that you are here, but this is my blog and I am allowed a few liberties.

Anyway, back to the background:
I was in the top…er…six of the Kendriya Vidyalaya, Ferozepore, girl’s basket ball team.
Also, I could high jump with the best of the high jumpers and I even came third in a 400 meters race, once, in medical school.
What I’m trying to say is that I have always had a fondness for exercise in any form – which happily meant that I never had to watch what I ate.

Then suddenly I woke up one morning and found myself pear-shaped (though svelte).

It shocked me to the core of my being! The message my body was giving me was: step up the tempo, babe! Next stop…a barrel-shape.

I tried everything! (You’ve heard that before?)
First the stationary cycle.
I managed two years (yes, two years) of steady cycling,
I felt great.
My calf muscles were the envy of my friends.
Then this-and-that got in the way. The cycle grew cobwebs, and currently serves as a clothes line.

Next, I tried the manual treadmill but I couldn’t get it to move. Since I couldn’t afford an electronic one, I had to go out into the big, bad world.

It was fun…for a very short while.
How short?
Like, one day…but I can give you three good reasons why I gave up.

Reason 1: The potholes were magnetic, especially the ones full of water. For some reason I stepped into every one of them, in spite of having 20/20 vision.

Why not chose a pothole-free-path?
There are none in my colony. It is a young colony with many houses still under construction. Lumbering, gigantic trucks carrying construction material ensure that no road in my colony is pothole free.

There are no walk-able parks in the area and I refuse to drive to a walk-able park in another area just so I can walk in it. I mean, come on!

Reason 2 of why I gave up walking in the great outdoors:
Bulls, drat them – lumbering and as gigantic as the construction trucks that plagued my walks.

Bulls (of the bovine variety, I’m sure you know that’s what I meant) would cross the road to walk with me.

Now, here’s the thing…I am a Sagittarius. I’m supposed to love animals – but Bulls? I draw the line there. I know what and who I love, and bulls are not included in the list.

Reason 3: *sigh* human-kind’s best friend!
Yes, dogs were not amused at my taking to the ‘streets’. They hated it and they showed it as only dogs can!
I quit.

Then one day, several kilos later, serendipity struck…and that, after the long preamble, is what this blog is about.

Here is what I did:
I found myself the longest room in the house.
I moved a chair or two out of the way.
I set up the FM radio.
I was ready…no, wait…
I put on my walking shoes.
Then, I was set.

Since my home is built with the ‘open-spaces’ concept I had no difficulty in converting the passage that runs by my open kitchen and family space into a walk-track. It helped that one end led to the indoor staircase, and the other opened into my son’s room.

I’d had my morning cuppa, and after I’d put the porridge on ‘cook’, the washing machine on ‘wash’, the AC on ‘cool’ and the FM radio on ‘Radio One’, I walked.

I walked and walked, and I danced, and I climbed the stairs up and then down again. And all this in my night clothes.

I didn’t even have to be all dressed up for my walkathon.
I could dance (when the music mandated it; you can’t NOT dance when they play ‘Move ya feet’).
The best part is I could gyrate without oglers. I mean, try doing that on your ‘real’ morning walk!

The even better part? I lost 500 grams!
I ignored NJ when he said the springs of the weighing scale behave differently when the weather cools, and it may not have had anything to do with my walkathon.

I said: what do you know?
He said: you’ve walked precisely one day!
I said: exactly! See? It works!

Sceptics…anyway…all you enthusiasts who are constantly stymied by the weather, by the flora and the fauna, and by just about anything, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Break down a couple of walls in your house (ONLY if you can’t find a room long enough). The thing about a small room is that you keep hurting your nose – your tempo doesn’t allow you to slow down soon enough to turn before you bump into a wall.
  2. Confiscate your children’s FM radio or any other audio device that you fancy and set it up.
  3. Get good walking shoes.
  4. Walk.

In case you are worried your spouse/family members will object to one wall of your bedroom being torn down, do it while he/she/they is/are at work. Believe me, he/she/they will love the new svelte you. In time he/she/they will forgive you!

Note: This is an old one I posted on my Sulekha blog many years ago.

7 thoughts on “The exercise mantra to beat all mantras

  1. caroleparkes

    It works! I started walking around the house more than a year ago. Luckily, we have a through lounge designed house which means I can just keep going in circles, through the lounge and dining room (area) to the kitchen which leads into the hall and then the lounge. It’s perfect for regular walks throughout the day. I start with twenty minutes giving me about 2,000 steps, then do regular shorter walks when i remind myself throughout the day. As I’m 73 and have osteoarthritis of both knees (grade 3), I stiffen if i sit too long, so its perfect.

  2. grantleishman

    Great idea and a great blog – for me it is thirty minutes a day on my rowing machine. Not aerobic (sigh) but at least it’s exercise. Mind you, I count climbing the stairs at home exercise so that should all add up.

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