One of the things I do before we go out for extended periods of time is put together a little exercise program for us (and by us, I mean me) to be all gung ho about for a week, and then completely forget about it. Yoga did not work out for me, and George won’t participate in any way other than pointing and laughing, so we marked that off the list. We always walk, but let’s face it, I’m damn near 50 years old, have a belly, and love to eat – I’m going to have to kick it up a notch if I want to be able to do anything other than maintain my current weight.
I always thought Tabata was an exotic sauce or something, and being that I don’t eat condiments, I never really looked into it. Turns out it means “4 minutes of sheer hell” and is not a sauce, but the name of a doctor who devised what he believes to be a most efficient way to kill you in less than 4 minutes. I found it by jokingly Googling “shortest workout ever,” because I had made the statement if I could be done in less than 10 minutes I’d probably actually do an exercise routine. I know there are a lot of people who love it, but the thought of being trapped in a Zumba class for an hour makes me want to swallow glass, and there really aren’t many Zumba studios in truck stops, so Dr. Tabata’s torture seemed right up my alley.
I started the program yesterday, and I’m proud to say I’m able to move my fingers this morning. Four minutes has never been so long. I feel like I had my spleen removed. The vain-as-hell me doesn’t think I’m in that bad physical shape, while the nurse in me knows I’d survive about nine minutes during a zombie apocalypse if I had to carry a pack and run. I’m 47, a little bit fat, smoke cigarettes, and eat like a toddler left to its own devices. I haven’t had a physically demanding job in more than three years and I hate to exercise, so yeah, four minutes kicked my ass like it’s supposed to.
If you’re interested, there are a myriad of versions and tons of information on the interwebs about tiny houses, Bigfoot sightings, and…what were we talking about? Oh yeah, 20-second interval workouts that kick your butt. The exercises are all very straightforward and easy to do, even for someone as completely uncoordinated as myself. I would suggest a mat or piece of cardboard box to lie on, but other than that, no equipment is necessary for most of the circuits.
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