Also see Songs about Walking, Songs about Running, Health and Sports.
Better to hunt the fields, for health unbought,
Than fee the doctor for a nauseous draught.
The wise, for cure, on exercise depend;
God never made his work, for man to mend.
Wife: "Don't you have an exercise class tonight?"
Man: "I'm not going back."
Wife: "Why not?"
Man: "Because after the last one, I was so sore I could hardly move."
Wife: "Well, Artie, that's to be expected. Haven't you ever heard 'No pain, No gain'?"
Man: "Yeah, but I believe more in the 'If it hurts, eat a dessert' philosophy."
People who exercise regularly are prepared for pain. Take joggers: you see them plodding along, clearly hating every minute of it, and you think, "What's the point?" But years from now, when you're struggling to adjust to the pains of the aging process, the joggers, who have been in constant agony for twenty years, will be able to make the transition smoothly, unless they're already dead.
Use the road die-cut from the travel pack and say: "This is your health club" . . . and then shoe die-cut . . . "This is your equipment." (mamajo)
Everyone, it seems, is jogging these days.
Everyone, that is, except me.
Now I do know that jogging is good exercise. Good Exercise, while a positive virtue akin to daily bathing and good oral hygiene, does not exactly set my libido all aflutter. It's not as if jogging would give me whiter teeth, fresher breath or transform a 32A into a 36C.
Besides, I've tried jogging. It felt remarkably like running. Running really only makes sense if something is chasing you, such as the gigantic Doberman who came lunging over a five-foot-high barbed wire fence and began frolicking along beside me, coyly slathering.
"Good boy!" I wheezed frantically, with what little breath I could spare.
Good Boy responded by making several fairly impressive passes at my left ankle.
Fortunately, I happened to be passing our neighborhood delicatessen.
"I think it's wonderful," exclaimed the deli owner, as I collapsed across a case full of cold cuts and three-bean salad. "Imagine a woman your age out jogging!"
"I'm not jogging," I panted. "I'm running."
"You don't understand. I'm being chased."
"Don't be silly!" he hooted. "Who'd chase a woman who's jogging with such a vicious looking dog?"
Q: I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it. Don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.
Q: Should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?
A: You must grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100 percent of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.
Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. Bottoms up!
Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have a body and you have body fat, your ratio is one to one If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.
Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain . . . Good
Q: Aren't fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!. Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?
Q: Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.
Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: Are you crazy? HELLO . . . Cocoa BEANS . . . another vegetable! It's the best feel-good food around!
Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.
I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets And remember "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways--beer in one hand, burger in the other--body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming--WOO HOO! What a Ride!"
It's time someone made a stand for those of us who don't jog, cannot touch our heads to our knees (under what circumstances would that be important, anyway?), and really don't care when Mademoiselle has a two-for-one offer for fat people who hang out together.
All this fitness craze has gone far enough. It stops here.
Susan Campbell dons tights for no one. No one.
Nor do I feel the burn, go for the gold or get runner's high. I have never jumped rope, and I don't lift weights. You won't find me in a pool counting laps or on the sidewalk running over old men.
Oh, I jogged once. I was religious about lacing up my Brooks and seeing if I could outrun neighborhood dogs. The problem was I ran only because it felt so good to be done with it for another day. And the dogs practiced on the side and got faster. Or something.
I even had an exercise program, but that fell by the wayside because I could never figure out a good stomach-reducer I could practice while I ate and watched television at the same time.
Don't get me wrong: Activity in general--as in most organized sports--is fine. What American could decry team spirit? It's the single-mindedness of total body fitness--particularly while wearing coordinated shorts sets--that makes me want to attach myself to the nearest recliner and eat potato chips until I die. Life, after all, is too short to waste sweating to music. And all these "Seven Days to a Reasonably Great Body" (Dell Books) are beginning to annoy me.
Seven days. Big deal. I once lost ten pounds in four hours.
(Granted, childbirth is not for everybody, but it worked for me.)
I began to not care about weight during my pregnancy. When I was pregnant, I weighed . . . uh, never mind. I weighed a lot. More than my husband, even. More than my husband sitting in a Civic. More than my husband sitting in Civic with our entire record collection of Georgian chants and the Pipes of Scotland in the back.
My finest hour was ripping my last pair of maternity jeans--those of the delightful, stretchy panels that don't always stretch enough--with two months to go before my child's birth date. That taught me that weight isn't important. What counts is inside.
Everyone kept telling me it was only water weight.
It was not. Water evaporates. This was muscle, bone, tissue and blood that didn't magically turn to steam as I jumped from the delivery table just in time to milk the cows and paint the house. It, all however many pounds of it, hung on with both hands to most of my body. Even my nose gained weight.
And at the peak of my weight gain, I read a Newsweek story about how even pregnant women were exercising to Jane Fonda's obnoxiousness. Not this one. I was too busy watching my ankles swell.
Then there were the exercises for pregnant women, really tough ones like sitting on the floor and reaching for the ceiling.
I could manage to do that one. I just couldn't get motivated to do it.
After my child's birth, losing the pounds was a matter or ignoring them. you pretend they aren't there and stuff you body into the clothes you wore pre-pregnancy. You get a lot of funny looks, but eventually the fat rots off from lack of attention and circulation.
Now, tell that to your fitness instructor. They will laugh because if they don't you might quit coming to their gym.
For my fiftieth birthday this year, my husband (the dear)
purchased a week of personal training at the local health club for me. Although I am still in great shape since playing on my high school softball team, I decided it would be a good idea to go ahead and give it a try. I called the club and made my reservations with a personal trainer I'll call Bruce, who identified himself as a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and model for athletic clothing and swim wear. My husband seemed pleased with my enthusiasm to get started.
The club encouraged me to keep a diary to chart my progress.
Started my day at 6:00am. Tough to get out of bed, but found it was well worth it when I arrived at the health club to find Bruce waiting for me. He is something of a Greek God--with blond hair, dancing eyes and a dazzling white smile. Woo Hoo!! Bruce gave me a tour and showed me the machines.
He took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. He was alarmed that my pulse was so fast, but I attribute it to standing next to him in his Lycra aerobic outfit. I enjoyed watching the skillful way in which he conducted his aerobics class after my workout today. Very inspiring. Bruce was encouraging as I did my sit-ups, although my gut was already aching from holding it in the whole time he was around. This is going to be a FANTASTIC week!!
I drank a whole pot of coffee, but I finally made it out the door. Bruce made me lie on my back and push a heavy iron bar into the air then he put weights on it! My legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made the full mile. Bruce's rewarding smile made it all worthwhile. I feel GREAT!! It's a whole new life for me.
The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the toothbrush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I believe I have a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer or stop. I parked on top of a GEO in the club parking lot. Bruce was impatient with me, insisting that my screams bothered other club members. His voice is a little too perky for early in the morning and when he scolds, he gets this nasally whine that is VERY annoying. My chest hurt when I got on the treadmill, so Bruce put me on the stair monster. Why the heck would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by elevators? Bruce told me it would help me get in shape and enjoy life. He said some other stuff too.
Bruce was waiting for me with his vampire-like teeth exposed as his thin, cruel lips were pulled back in a full snarl. I couldn't help being a half an hour late, it took me that long to tie my shoes. Bruce took me to work out with dumbbells. When he was not looking, I ran and hid in the ladies room. He sent Lars to find me, then, as punishment, put me on the rowing machine which I sank.
I hate Bruce more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. Stupid, skinny, anemic little cheerleader wannabe. If there was a part of my body I could move without unbearable pain, I would beat him up. Bruce wanted me to work on my triceps. I don't have any triceps! And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me the %*@*#$ barbells or anything that weighs more than a sandwich. The treadmill flung me off and I landed on a health and nutrition teacher. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like the drama coach or the choir director?
Bruce left a message on my answering machine in his grating, shrilly voice wondering why I did not show up today. Just hearing him made me want to smash the machine with my planner. However, I lacked the strength to even use the TV remote control and ended up catching eleven straight hours of the %@*#$ Weather Channel.
I'm having the Church van pick me up for services today so I can go and thank GOD that this week is over. I will also pray that next year my husband (the dog) will choose a gift for me that is fun--like a root canal or a hysterectomy.back to top of page