The Little Lies I Tell Myself


At the beginning of every year I tell myself that I am going to exercise more and really get into shape – just like thousands of other people in the world.  I look at all of the ads for exercise machines and gyms – but mostly I look at the ads for the cute workout outfits and tell myself that as soon as I lose some weight, I’ll buy one of those outfits to work out in– until then, I’ll work out in my sweatpants with the elastic waist and my old Weight Watchers t-shirt!

Because I want to make sure that I don’t have to break my resolution again this year, I have decided that the following items will count as exercise:

1.  Typing.  Not only are you moving your fingers (which counts as a cardiovascular exercise), but you can’t stuff food into your month while your typing!  I type a lot for my job — and obviously here for my posts.  There are levels of typing just like there are levels of walking.  There is a leisurely type – which is basically typing in search terms and using a mouse to find things on the page — this is worth 50 calories per hour.  There is a moderate type which means that in addition to searching and surfing, a person is taking the time to add comments to certain posts and Facebook pages.  This is worth 100 calories per hour.  There is the fast paced typist — in addition to the exercise in a leisurely type and moderate type, the fast paced typist also is able to answer the phone, laugh with friends, text on a cell phone and have multiple conversations going on instant messaging – this is worth 250 calories per hour.

2. E-athletes.  My son, Bob informed me many years ago that he was an e-athlete and competed on an e-team.  He played one of the war games – don’t remember which – but he definitely spent many hours with his e-team.  This type of e-exercise is worth 500 calories per hour.

3. Changing the TV channels without the remote control.  This involves so many muscle groups — getting up and down out of your chair (squats) and walking to the TV (cardio) – a kind of cross-training.  This is worth 150 calories per hour.

4. Yelling at your favorite sports team when it is doing poorly.  This actually burns more calories than yelling in happiness at your team.  We all know that anger burns a lot more calories happiness — you clench your fists and your jaw (isometric) and your heart rate goes up (cardio) — all-in-all a good workout.  200 calories per hour — an extra 50 per hour when you actually throw things at the TV.

5.  Reading a book.  When one reads a book, your imagination runs wild – so of course, this is a cardiovascular workout.  Throw in a few ‘racy’ scenes and you can get a lot of exercise!  Murder mysteries – 100 calories per chapter; Science Fiction – 150 per chapter (you have to go all the way to outer space!); Romance – 200 calories per chapter.  Nonfiction such as history and science doesn’t burn anything — you might want to use them for a cool-down.

I think that by using these as my ‘exercises’ this year, I will definitely be able to stick to my resolution.  My mother used to tell me that she couldn’t take up jogging because it would put out her cigarette – and I don’t want to jog because it’s hard to read when your eyeballs are bouncing up and down!

Actually, I think I will just stick with Mark Twain’s attitude towards exercise –  he once said “When I have the urge to exercise, I lay down until it passes.”  I like that — and breathing counts as 1000 calories per hour!


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