May is Fitness Month: My Program Is Weight Watchers and Jazzercise

I learned at my Jazzercise session this morning that May is National Fitness Month. For many years, I have been keeping fit with Jazzercise and Weight Watchers. With the camping season approaching, you may be thinking that you should start doing something to make yourself fit too. Here’s an idea I actually learned at Weight Watchers, but it ties in with Jazzercise. My Weight Watchers group was discussing ways to get moving, methods of sneaking exercise into our daily routines. I already knew about parking at the far end of the parking lot at the supermarket, and taking the stairs instead of the elevator when I have just one floor to go, but two people came up with truly innovative ideas, I thought, especially for couch potatoes. They started talking about moving around during television commercials. Some people confessed that they used that time to walk to the fridge for a snack, but one person said she leaves the room and walks up and down the stairs several times during the commercials. Then another person said she keeps some weights nearby, and during the commercials she stands up and does some simple upper body exercises. That made me remember the day in 1996 when I was in the hospital with some broken leg bones from a skiing mishap. The physical therapist came to teach me how to walk with crutches, and my husband, who is a specialist in rehabilitation and was her boss, came to check me out. Using the crutches and without stepping down at all on my broken leg, I could walk only ten or twelve feet. My husband watched us and commented, “I had no idea she had so little upper body strength.” Ever since then, I’ve been sensitive about maintaining upper body strength. When I came home from that Weight Watchers session, I went to the garage and pulled out an old pair of weights for the television room. Here’s what I do now during commercials: I pull myself up from the sofa (abdominal strengthening) and walk up and down the stairs ( quadriceps and other leg muscles), lifting and lowering the weights in my hands the way I learned in Jazzercise (arms, shoulders, back muscles). So when the backpacking season starts for me this summer, or when I’m lifting our camping gear out of storage and packing it into the car, I know I will be strong enough to do the work that needs to be done.

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