Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Writing Out My Workout

This shouldn't count as exercise, I'm pretty sure.

It's a little better than my usual walking-and-Sidekicking (which I have done every weekday since buying the Sidekick). I walk more slowly while I'm writing, maybe 2.5mph instead of my usual 3.0. Not that 3.0 is much exercise, either.

What I'm doing now is shimmying. 'Shimmy' is the name of a kind of bellydance motion. The basic motion is bending and straightening the legs at the knees. The standard shimmy does this with feet flat and alternating sides; one leg bends at the knee while the other straightens, then the converse. The easy and nontraditional way is to lock the knee when the leg is all the way straight. The hard way (and the way I've been doing it for the last -- wow, seven minutes) is to keep both legs at least slightly bent throughout. It's actually pretty hard on the thighs. My quadraceps are in a special kind of pain right now. Suffer, quads, suffer. It's good for you. Or me. Or something.

Exercising while multitasking is a lot easier for me. Ideally, I'd multitask with somethiing that required no physical part of my body. My best workouts are when I'm listening to music and thinking. The important thing there, thiough, is that I need to have something really engaging to think about. It works if I have some fantasy to engage my mind with, elaborate stories to craft in my head or ideas to work through.

But I think much better in text, leading to the problem: I'd much rather be writing than thinking about what I want to write. Also, a lot of the time I have no ideas that are itching at me to think about them. If I had any right now, I'd be writing them instead of this. And yes, I'm still shimmying as I type this. My thighs are past the point of hating me and have moved into a kind of miserable resignation to their fate. This is kind of a crappy workout for most of me but it's certainly hard on them.

The funny thing is how well-suited bellydance is to this sort of thing, texting and moving. See, a big part of bellydance exercises is isolation, so it's very natural to be contorting my lower half and even my abdomen around while keeping my shoulders and arms mostly still. I don't normally do it this way - usually I move around my arms to get a better workout. But this does work. More or less. Better for the typing than the exercise. Though I'm sweating a lot more than usual, but I'm more inclined to attribute that to the humidity down here than my hard work.

Still, whatever it takes to get me through a workout. It's gotten increasingly hard to motivate myself to exercise. Learning new dance moves just wasn't doing it for me; the 'being graceful' part is too hard and the 'physical exertion' part not hard enough. So instead of feeling like I was getting both benefits at the same time, lately I've been feeling like I'm not getting either.

I've been doing regular jogging, about 2 miles at a time, 3 times a week. Mainly the only thing going for it is novelty. I don't do it more than three times a week because it's hard on my knees and I want to give them time to recover. I should take the_vulture's advice and buy running shoes. I do have good athletic sneakers, but they were marketed for walking, not jogging, and I've had them quite a while. I don't know what I'll do when jogging gets dull.

Weight-lifting got dull; I haven't quite stopped, but I've averaged once a week for the last couple of months, which ain't good. It's just barely enough to keep me from losing ground. I'm trying to get back to two times a week. Which means lifting weights on Friday; my most recent session was Monday and I'll jog tomorrow if it's not too hot. If I was really diligent about lifting weights I'd've done it today, instead of thirty minutes of lower-body bellydance exercises and typing. Typing was a lot more engaging than weight-lifting, though. Odd how I never really tire of writing, even after 30+ years of it. On the other hand, I don't do it with the regularity or daily discipline that I demand for exercise.

Whoa. Stopped shimmying and my quadriceps expressed their displeasure with me. I think I'm going to be feeling this tomorrow. Funny thing about exercise with a good distraction: sometimes it's easier because you're too distracted to workout properly. And sometimes it's easier because you're too distracted to realize how hard it is. Trouble is, often I can't tell which is which.

Almost done stretching now. Whee! This was a fun way to exercise, in fact. Maybe I'll do it again, and write about something more interesting than what I happen to be doing at the moment.

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