Editorial: Exercising made easy

PETER O'NEILL
Last updated 05:00 11/01/2013

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OPINION: Been to any garage sales lately? Was there some version of home gym equipment on offer? Going cheap.

I'd venture there was, because, it seems, every home has something like this gathering dust somewhere.

The purchase of said equipment comes about through a rush of blood to the head, usually around this time of year, when we decide we're going to get fit and lose weight. Really, we are.

And a month later we slide whatever it was we bought under the bed, meaning to get it out later.

What's prompted this rambling was an article yesterday saying that, in the United States, body weight training has emerged as the third-ranked fitness trend for this year.

It had not appeared in the top 10 before.

What exactly is body weight training? Well, it's common sense, that's what it is.

It's press-ups and sit-ups and squats and the like.

It's what I think of every time a TV ad screams at me the virtues of some wonderful machine that, in just 10 minutes a day, will give me the six-pack I've always wanted.

And what I think is, why not just lie down on the floor and do it yourself.

And now, that's what America is thinking. Fiscal cliffs will do that to you.

Using your own body weight to exercise just makes sense. Gravity doesn't cost a thing.

I practice this resistance training every day. I call it getting out of bed.

But that's a long way from the 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week recommended by the Ministry of Health, a measure a Southern Cross survey has found 60 per cent of us don't reach.

Why don't we? Because we're getting out of bed way too quickly, that's why.

No, it's not. It's time, expense and convenience, according to the survey.

Well, body weight training takes care of two of those. Or all three actually, if you do your sit-ups and press-ups in front of the TV.

So what's your excuse now?

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- The Timaru Herald

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