How to Work Out

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By Charlotte Latvala

Yes, yes, yes. We all know we need to work out. For years, our generation has been lectured to death about the importance of staying active.

Being active is one thing. Overdoing it is quite another. You can hurt yourself with a too-enthusiastic exercise program; plus, you make others feel bad about themselves. With that in mind:

Do not run.

Do not leap.

Do not partake in any exercise with the word “challenge” or “tough” or “three-day” in the title. It’s both undignified and thoughtless to sweat near or on other people.

But you don’t need to blaze a trail to the senior center, either. Here are the How to be 50-approved methods of exercise.

  • Yoga. Forget intimidating and uncomfortable positions. Yoga simply means walking into the coffee shop with a rolled-up mat under your arm, looking dazed. Order your coffee and the workout is over. Isn’t that peaceful?
  • Walking. What could be easier? No training or special equipment required. No one can prove you’re not serious. If you run into someone you know, just pick up the pace till she’s passed. Then go back to checking messages on your iPhone.
  • Gardening. Anything that combines both dirt and plants qualifies, so it’s not like you have to hoe 40 acres. Container gardening – you barely need to stand to do it – is all the rage for this reason.
  • Sex. Fun fact: Sex at 50 may actually involve more effort than gardening and yoga combined!
  • A trip to Costco. Wrestling a 12-pack of mayonnaise into a shopping cart? Of course it qualifies as a workout!
  • Squeezing into last year’s jeans. If you’re huffing and puffing, it’s exercise.
  • Pacing the aisles of the liquor store. Every step counts when you’re trying to figure out the best booze for your monthly book club meeting. Don’t forget to strap on that FitBit!
  • Gripping the car door. Why not combine teaching your teenager to drive with the benefits of strength training? Those unpredictable stops and starts, the hairpin turns, the slight rush of adrenaline as you veer into oncoming traffic – all fantastic for your heart rate!
  • Thinking. Well, no, it’s not exercise, per se, but the first step in any workout routine is to picture yourself doing it. Preferably while sitting in a lounge chair with a nice cold margarita before book club.

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Filed under 50, exercise, humor, mid-life, middle-aged, workouts

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