Before I took this desk job as a computer tech, maintaining a level of physical fitness was not a problem. Working as a fitter in a welding shop for 8 – 12 hours a day does enough. I remember fitting a 2:1 elliptical head on a shell, it taking 2 hours to get the job done, and a lot of that I was swinging an 8 pound hammer. One tower I built going to Saudi Arabia was 1 3/4 inch thick, about 11 feet in diameter and the head was 2 inches thick. Instead of using a hammer, dog and wedge, I had to use a 50 ton port-a-power hydraulic jack. The hydraulic jack probably weighed 30 or 40 pounds – I had to pick it up, set it down, pick it up, set it down,,, for 12 hours a day, and for an entire week. Then there was the walking to get the parts for the job I was working on. 1 welding shop I worked at, it was 1/4 mile long, another shop was close to 400 feet long, another shop about 800 feet long. It was not uncommon to walk the length of those shops several times a day.
Before I went into junior high school, mom and dad put my brother and I in little league baseball and football. Our coaches made us do drill after drill after drill,,,,, and run laps around the practice field. The training that I received at such an early age has stayed with me later in life – even though I do not use it anymore. At the very least, I had the concept of training drilled into my head.
Once I started junior high school, I did not want to do any more sports. To be honest, I never wanted to play football or baseball. I think mom and dad signed my brother and I up so we could meet other kids and give us something to do. As soon as I could get out of the sports I did – I had other stuff I wanted to do, like go camping and play in the woods.
Even through junior high and high school, we were required to take Physical Education classes. We had to take a PE class until we were a junior in high school. Some of the seniors took PE because it was an easy credit. I finished high school in 1986, that should let you know the time period.
But today, PE classes have been replaced with math, science, or something else. Instead of teaching kids to take care of their bodies, we teach them how to be smart – so they can buy health insurance to treat their weight related issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.
Sooner or later health related problems, and their medical expenses will consume a major portion of the worlds economy. Just take a look at how much money people spend on high blood pressure meds ever month.
Then there is how the obesity problem in America is affecting our ability to fight a war. I know of a certain person that wants to go into the Army – he has already served 1 tour in Iraq. But after getting out of the military, he put on so much weight the Army will not allow him to re-enlist. He has to lose 30 – 40 pounds before he can go back in. But the thing is, he was taught how to exercise and nutrition the first time around in boot camp.
The guy wanting to go back into the Army brings up an interesting point – how many people actually “know” how to exercise? Out of todays generation, if the children did not take some kind of sports, how many of them have been introduced to physical workouts? As I walk around the local stores, the kids these days just seem to be a lot “fatter” then the kids from 20+ years ago. When I was in junior high and high school from 1979 – 1986, it was rare to see an overweight kid, we had a few, but not many. And today, it seems like fat kids are all over the place.
With PE being taken out of school, I wonder how many of todays kids “know” about physical exercise. When I was 11, 12 and maybe 13 years old – my little league football coach was making me run laps after practice. Today, kids sit in front of the computer, or gaming console and lead a sedentary lifestyle. Sedentary lifestyles contribute to all kids of medical problems.
As an example, did you know that Rickets is on the rise, due to poor diet and lack of exercise?
Maintaining a level of physical fitness is easier then it sounds – all you have to do is do “something” every day. But dealing with the southern heat is not an easy thing to do. In July and August walking out of the house is like walking into an oven.
Treadmills – are exercise “machines.” You either keep up with the motor and the set speed or you go off the back end, that is just the way it works.
Ellipticals – can give a good low impact workout, but only go as fast as the person allows themselves to be pushed. Unlike the Treadmill, most ellipticals do not have motors. My wife and I are looking at buying an elliptical for the low impact worout side, so my knees to not take a beating like they do on the treadmill.
Workout ball – I have one of these, its about 24 inches in diameter. Their good for balance and doing crunches on.
Weight bar – I use a weight bar with about 35 pounds on it. It seems like a good weight to do lunges, curls and over-head press.
Weight ball – my weight ball is about 8 pounds, and I use it when I’am on the workout ball to help with the crunches.
The problem with all of that – my workout room is my living room, so when my wife and I have company over, its impossible to use any of my fitness equipment. Also, the grandkids like to come over and visit in the evenings.
Due to company wanting to come over in the evenings, I found its better to go for a simple walk right when I get home, then to wait for everyone to come over. The other day, my wife and I got home from work, and made a couple of laps around the block – while we were still in our work clothes. We were able to get our heart rates up for a little bit, before anyone came over. A lot of times people may just not “feel” like working out. Who “really” wants to get home from work, and go straight into a workout – but sometimes that might be what we need to do.
Washing the car or truck – this is something anyone should be able to do at least once a week.
Cut your grass with a push mower – a lot of people pay others to cut their grass – and a lot of times its for social status reasons. When I was working in Kingwood, Texas, I had people brag to me how they cut their own grass and saved $200 a month. Instead of paying the lawn company to cut their grass, they did it themselves.
Run that weedeater – swinging that weedeater back and forth, and having to pull the extension cord is a good way to work up a sweat.
Play with the kids outside – a simple $5 ball can provide play time with the kids and give you a chance to work those arms. There is no better investment, then time invested with your kids.
Join a martial arts or dance class – most towns (even the small ones) have some kind of martial arts class, or dance class. It may not be the “exact” type of stuff your interested in, but something is better then nothing.
Post your comments in this forum thread about my workout plan.