A Little of What you Fancy Does you Good

A few relatively short bursts of intense exercise, amounting to only a few minutes a week, can deliver many of the health and fitness benefits of hours of conventional exercise. What do you think about that little bit of research from the most recent episode of BBC2 Horizon then? Being more of a Big Fat Gypsy Weddings or Any Trash Reality TV Programme kind of girl, I didn’t actually watch Horizon, I was informed of its contents by a local Stay at Home Dad (SAHD) who I sometimes bump into on my daily dog walk.  I was just moaning about going off for another exercise session when he dropped the ‘did you know some people only need to do 3 minutes….’ bomb. What?! There’s me, slogging my saggy butt off for up to 4 classes a week when ‘research has shown’ I could just run around my front room a couple of times and spend the rest of the hour eating cake?! Ok, it didn’t exactly say I could eat cake, but…

I thought I’d look into this 3 minute malarkey and of course, there’s a catch, it’s all in the genes. So on the other end of the scale to those lucky, lucky people who need just 3 minutes to be fit and healthy, some people (I bet I’m included) could train for hours on end, busting a gut,and still never get any further than being moderately fit. Wow. Bummer. But there’s an upside to this, just as our old nans told us ‘everything in moderation’ and ‘a little of what you fancy….’ is probably the best way to live our lives in order to stay sane and balanced. Here’ s my philosophy on a happy, balanced lifestyle:

* You must eat cake: Well, seeing as we’ve now been told that eating 5 a day of fruit can rot our teeth and the acids in fruit juice are akin to drinking neat paint stripper (oh, now I’m exaggerating, but you get the jist) I’ve decided that every day I won’t force another apple down, I will replace 1 of my 5 a day with a cupcake.

* You should walk and not run: Like teacher used to yell at you down the corridor, I firmly believe that you should ‘walk and not run’ to be happy. Me and my workout buddies LLL and FFJ sometimes (well a few times last summer) ran the 3 mile river route nearby. And that’s okay if like LLL you have legs like a gazelle – or even Giselle

But…I haven’t! And it hurts and I don’t feel good when I’m running (I feel sick!) So, I will still do my river route because it is beautiful and the scenery makes my heart skip (when I’m not throwing up) but I shall walk it briskly instead. And another thing with running, the way my jowls are quickly descending southward bound, they don’t need the extra jiggle power that running will give them. So I would need to invest in a face bra if I don’t want to wind up looking like this:

You must dance every day: Again, like walking rather than running, dancing is fun and natural and makes you feel upbeat and happy – especially if you’re dancing to music you really enjoy. On the upside, a half an hour of shaking your booty (wobbling your bum) can burn 150 calories! Downside: If your kids see you, they will either choke laughing or cry with shame. But strangely to me, even that is an upside! Haha – kids, look – watch mummy Samba!

Limit your alcohol but enjoy a nice glass: I found it a bit of a wake-up call when official figures revealed that middle aged men and women are five times more likely to drink every day than those in their teens and early twenties – and women more than men. Of course I understand the health implications of drinking too much, but did you ever see that nightly glass of wine in front of the TV at night as too much? I didn’t, but I do now. So, for the last few months I’ve had at least 3 nights off the booze a week and only drink a couple of glasses at the weekends. I feel much better for it and I enjoy it much more.

Have a laugh: Whether it’s moaning and laughing with your friends about your mad family and realising (thank heavens!) that we are, as mums, all in the same barmy boat, or giggling with your kids about the latest ‘naughty’ trick they’ve got up to (some of them we don’t laugh at My Boy!) I truly believe that making time out to have a chat with a friend, sister, brother, husband – anybody that lifts your spirits, is the greatest way to stay sane in this loony world of ours.

So, in the words of your old nan – smile and the world smiles with you

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