The Lighter Side of Fitness
Part One

Christmas is the most hectic season of the year because everyone is running around trying to finish gift lists and attending holiday parties. But gyms across the country are experiencing the opposite. Fitness centers can be the loneliest of places starting mid-December. Keeping fit and losing weight are probably the last priority in people’s lives at this time. So let’s keep the mood light and take a look at the lighter side of fitness.

Outrageous exercises
In FitStep.Com, personal trainer Nick Nilsson writes, “In the course of my experience working and training in gyms, I’ve seen people doing some incredibly ‘interesting’ exercises. Here are some of the top winners”.

· Dumbbell Hair Combs – Start by holding a dumbbell in front of you. Do a front raise with it, then whip the dumbbell back and over the top of your head like you’re combing your hair with it. Make sure to just miss your skull.

· Hog-tied Face-Rubs - Lie on your stomach on the floor. Grasp your ankles behind your back and rub your face back and forth on the ground repeatedly. Continue until you've had enough.

· Abdominal Earthquakes - Lie on the floor on your back in the classic start position of a crunch. Now yank as hard as you can on the back of your head up and down and thrash your legs around in the air like you're fending off starving dogs. This evidently works your abs. You will resemble Jello that has just been dropped on the floor. Your face should be as red as a tomato by the time you're done.

· Dumbbell Doggy Digs - Bend over at the waist so that your back is rounded completely over like an arch. Your legs should be completely straight and locked out. You should look like you are trying hard to touch your toes but not really succeeding. Hold two dumbbells down at arms-length. Now spin them round and round repeatedly just off the floor so that you resemble a dog digging a hole.

· Pec Rockets - Set the pec deck machine with far too much weight for you to handle safely. Make sure you are very sweaty and slippery before attempting this one. First, use your entire bodyweight to get one arm pad up to the front. Then, throw yourself at the other one to get it to the front. Hold them there for a half-second then get shot four feet out across the floor as you squirt from the machine like a greased banana.

Exercise equipment
If you have bought one too many pieces of home exercise equipment from TV infomercials that are now gathering dust in your closets, Nilsson has discovered how to recycle them to tenderize meat. If you don’t see your “white elephant” in the list below, use your imagination.

· Dumbbells – Bash the meat with the dumbbell repeatedly. Great shoulder and arm exercise too! May increase the iron content of your food significantly.

· Ab Rollers - Lay the meat down below the headrest and rock violently back and forth on top of it.

· ThighMaster – Set the meat on the counter, squeeze the ThighMaster shut with your hands then release the spring on top of the meat like a bear trap.

· BowFlex - Remove one of the bows and slap the meat silly with it.

· Electric Ab Training Belts - Set the meat on the counter, place the belt on top of it, turn it to the highest level, then lean down on it with all your weight as it tenderizes and sears at the same time!

Fitness program
No need to go to the gym or buy exercise equipment to get fit. According to an unknown canine-loving author, a dog is all you need to get in shape.

· Inner Thighs - Place the dog's favorite toy between thighs. Press tighter than the dog can pull. Do not attempt bare legged - dogs who favor shortcuts to success will just dig the toy out. You could be damaged.

· Upper Body Strength - Lift the dog - off the couch, off the bed, out of the flowerbed. Repeat, repeat, and repeat. As the dog ages, this exercise is reversed - onto the couch, onto the bed, into the car and so on.

· Upper Arms - Tug the rope. Tug the pull toy. Tug the sock. Repeat until your shoulder is dislocated or the dog gives up (we all know which comes first).

· Balance and Coordination, Exercise 1 - Practice not falling when your dog bounds across the full length of the room, sails through the air, and slams both front paws into the back of your knees.

· Balance and Coordination, Exercise 2 - (for use with multiple dogs) Remove all dogs from lap and answer the phone before it stops ringing.

· Hand Coordination - Remove foreign object from dog's locked jaw. This exercise is especially popular with puppy owners. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Remember, this is a timed exercise. Movements must be quick and precise (think concert pianist) to prevent trips to the vet, which only offer the minimal exercise benefit of jaw firming clenches.

· Calves - After the dog has worn out the rest of your body, hang a circular toy on your ankle and let the dog tug while you tug back. Warning: This is feasible only for those with strong bones and small dogs. Have you taken your calcium supplement today?

· Neck Muscles - Attempt to out-maneuver the canine tongue headed for your ear, mouth, or eyeball. This is a lifelong fitness program. A dog is never too old or too feeble to "French Kiss" you when you least expect it.

My personal favorite.
Q. What is the difference between an aerobics instructor and a dentist?
A. A dentist lets you sit down while he hurts you.

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