Exercises for the New Year

In listening recently to a number of trusted, reliable authorities, it would seem that all around the country, people are returning to work after the holiday break, fretting. By this, I mean heightened anxiety, restlessness, difficulties in concentrating, an inability to settle to anything in particular and weighed down with a common concern. That is, how to meet their New Year’s resolution of losing extra holiday-induced weight and getting yet more exercise, when their job requires long hours, endless desk sitting and sedentary activities of Olympic gold proportions. And in a parallel process, employers across every sector also share a common, related concern – that is, noticing the fretting and wondering how they can sensitively redirect their employees’ frenergy (energy expended by fretting) into productive, work orientated activity. They’re worried about productivity, you see.

There is however, a solution to this problem. It’s quite simple and requires employers to educate and assist their employees to recognise that their day-to-day business activities provide numerous opportunities for meaningful exercise. It’s simply a matter of knowing which activities will provide the best workout, for maximum result. And yes, there are many, many activities, undertaken daily, in every workplace, that will definitely hit the mark.

A little bit doubtful? Then try the following less than traditional exercises and see how you go using your frenergy more productively, keeping yourself fit and on track with your New Year resolutions. A word of caution though. For those with existing medical conditions, delicate constitutions or new to regular exercise, check with your doctor to ensure the exercises will be safely within your capabilities. Loose clothing is recommended.

Begin your workout with gentle warm ups, to avoid injuring your muscles. Start by holding your cards close to your chest (25 calories, depending on the number of cards per hand) then proceed to giving a listening ear (25 calories per ear). Do remember to stretch in between exercises. When you feel your limbs have loosened sufficiently, sit on the fence (50 calories for a picket; 30 calories for concrete block) and when you have a captive audience, gently blow your own trumpet (100 calories per rendition). Then run your eye down your “to do” list six times (50 calories per sweep). Do remember to stretch and breathe, simultaneously.

Once you’re warmed up, move to beating around the bush (100 calories – gloves are essential, brooms optional) then jump to conclusions, using old files as a springboard. Do ensure you have adequate tread on your footwear (150 calories per jump). Proceed quickly to climbing the wall (150 calories per 3 metres) then throwing your weight around (500-1000 calories, depending on your weight and number of throws). Remember to stretch, breathe and flex your abs.

Without pausing, pass the buck (200 calories per issue, skilfully thrown) then add fuel to the fire (200 calories per accelerant. Pokers optional). Keep going to make mountains out of molehills (4000 calories per molehill) without dragging the chain (500 calories), swimming against the tide (1000 calories) or sweeping things under the carpet (1000 calories. Broom and tack hammer essential). Do remember to stretch, breathe, flex and sip water throughout.

There’s no gain without pain, so keep going until you’re all at sea (100 calories), then surf the net (1000 calories per session), keeping your head above water (200 calories) and putting your oar in (200 calories per stroke). Face a different way then throw some ideas around (200 calories each idea) and stir the pot (200 calories). Then hit your head against a brick wall (200 calories). Remember to stretch, breathe, flex, sip water and keep moving.

Wind down gently now by keeping your eye on the ball (100 calories) and then juggling your priorities (100 calories). Spring to your own defence (50 calories), then sprint to keep ahead of the game (50 calories per 10 metres). Stand with your back to a wall and then hide your light under a bushel (50 calories). You’re nearly finished now, so get a grip (on yourself, 25 calories), let sleeping dogs lie (25 calories) and stretch the truth a little (25 calories). Lunge forward to take a stab in the dark (10 calories) and let the cat out of the bag (10 calories). Then stretch, breathe, flex all your muscles, sip water –and stop.

These exercises can be done daily, throughout the year. Some require paction (passive action) and others more deliberate intent. Do pick your exercise with care – and await the results! ©


January 2003�

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