If you are like most Americans, you made a New Year's resolution to get fit and live healthy. Then, you blew it all during the first week by doing something like diving face first into a convenience store display of Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies.
"Bur hroatmurr res grud fer ruu," you sputter.
True, oatmeal is good for you (you have marshmallow fluff, right there … no, higher … got it), but your transgression proves a theory of mine. New Year's resolutions are like speed limits -- always broken but never without an excellent excuse.
Getting fit, it is said, is a long-term process you achieve through baby steps (unless, of course, you're of a tax bracket that allows it to be a short-term process you superficially achieve through plastic surgery -- in that case, kudos to you). Therefore, if you make small adjustments to your everyday routine today you'll be healthy not tomorrow, not next week, but maybe just in time to drop dead from old age. And old age is a good long-term goal!
Don't believe me? Then let me guide you through some popular ideas for creating a healthy lifestyle in 2009 that people making a lot more money than I am have been spouting on the talk shows and in respected medical journal's like O Magazine:
Skip the elevator/escalator and take the stairs! A great cardiovascular workout and it tightens the glutes, so I can't argue with this … if you live and work on the 83rd floor of the Empire State Building. In the town I live in we have like three buildings over four stories high. I blame our region's planning and zoning commissions. I demand restitution for their inadequate contemplation of our collective buttocks!
Park as far from the front door of your destination as possible and walk! This is not usually a problem in my town, especially when it's raining, you're in a hurry or -- like my children -- you occasionally forgot to put on pants. So when I plan to indulge in a particularly heavy, fatty meal at a fine restaurant, for example, I counterbalance the extra calories by parking even a little farther away than normal. Like in south Jersey (I walk the Parkway, not the Turnpike back -- the added curves and tolls enhance the burn!)
Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day! Recent research has raised doubts about this long-held belief. However, I say, poppycock! Balderdash! Antidisestablishmentarism! The study author obviously doesn't have two kids and a wife who conspire to be in the potty every frickin' time he needs to relieve himself. The "I gotta go but I can't go here" jig works muscle groups I can't even begin to discuss with you because of my subsequent giggling.
Two shots of vodka, a little rum, some bitters, a smidgen of vinegar, a shot of vermouth, a shot of gin, a shot of scotch, a little brandy, a lemon peel, orange peel, cherry, some more scotch! Ooops, that's the recipe for an Alaskan Polar Bear Heater. I don't recommend this. Especially near open flames.
When talking on the phone, stand, stretch and move! Of course, until you build up your stamina, you might find yourself being a little winded during phone conversations and breathing heavy. Pro: You might get a date out of it! Con: You might be slapped with a harassment suit!
So you see -- there's no miracle cure, folks. Just try to eat better foods, consume fewer calories and exercise more. If you must, consider joining a good gym.
But not until about Feb. 13. That's when all the other people who made resolutions to get fit and healthy give up and sell their annual memberships at drastically reduced prices. This is so they can afford to purchase Whitman's Samplers for their favorite phone callers.
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