I’m so fed up with the constant drone of the message of good health through regular exercise. It’s a theory I remain skeptical about. And with my love of freedom, I have objections to an oppressive exercise regime that forces me to hand over lengthy irretrievable chunks of my lifetime to the most undesirable of activities.
‘Living longer and stronger’ is a questionable theory at best, if one considers the balance of input and output. It seems likely to me that if the accumulated drill time were mathematically tallied and subtracted from a fixed lifetime, the remaining ‘living time’ is more likely to be less than the foreshortened life of a couch-potato.
If quality of life means anything, wouldn’t it be better if more time could be carved out of a yet-undetermined-life-span for more pleasant indulgences? Like a cozy nap, a good book, idle thoughts, twiddling my thumbs, or basking in the sun? Shouldn’t I give preeminence to that, rather than to ripping great raw and ritual chunks of my one and only life-span to the long walk, the long jog, the long drill, and the long grind at the gym with tread-mill and bench-press?
I’ve often contemplated this kind of debate about gain or loss. But now I can finally sit up, clap my hands with glee, and wiggle my toes with delight. My good cheer today is a consequence of a report on Health News that the latest study has proven that compressed exercise can be every bit as beneficial as the extended sessions previously recommended.
So how elated was I to find that this new study suggests that equal benefits can be achieved with only 3 minutes of brisk exercise twice a week? How sweet to know that there is a way to sidestep the time-consuming exercises of the past that gluttonously devoured huge blocks of valuable and irreplaceable present-time existence.
The one drawback is that with the new condensed approach to exercise, there is a warning. The warning is that very few individuals will have sufficient zeal to get blood vessels flowing and heart pumping with the vigor needed to achieve the desired effect.
Still, it’s a warning that doesn’t apply to me. I examined my life style and found I fully meet the strait-laced and unbending requirements of the 3-minute program. I have vigor. I have zeal. In fact my routines go far beyond that requirement.
So now let me tell you how my personal program works.
Starting first thing every day there is the intense frolic of pulling myself out of bed including the repeated rocking to get a leg on the floor and my body off the bed. And then, combined with that, the effort to recover a wayward sock that slithered under the bed. An effort with such extreme stretch and intensity it gridlocks my neck in the search (oh pain!), but eventually the sock is retrieved. But now my bones are locked in a low crawl position and upright stance can only be achieved with as much effort as it would take a walrus to scale a telephone pole.
And so, when I eventually right myself, we move on to calisthenics with even greater intensity. Now, rather than sitting on the bed or bracing myself against wall, bed, or dresser, as I used to do, I dress free-standing in the middle of the room. Obviously dressing from the waist down is most challenging – i.e. underpants, socks, jeans—but I keep my balance, on one leg at a time, with a fast flailing dance imitative in every respect of keeping one’s balance in a slip-dance on keen ice. It can’t get more intense than that.
So you see, I haven’t even had morning coffee yet, but my exercise program is vigorous enough that I can cancel, guilt-free, gym visits or road jogs. The process may have swiped 20 minutes from my free-living time, rather than the optimum 3 minutes, but at the same time, I am well-ahead of the exercise game for this week, this month, this year.
And yes, I am exhausted and as breathless as I should be. All my muscles have been stretched, all blood-paths rushed, heart palpitated, and all cells oxygenated. And now I’m so ready for the couch.