In honor of the crazy week on the East Coast, this week’s Fitness Friday features the “Natural Disaster Workout.”
When it comes to potentially hazardous conditions, most people think only of the obvious exercises such as jumping to conclusions or making leaps of faith. But you can get much more out of your disaster. Make Mother Nature work for you next time she throws Weather-Channel-worthy climate conditions your way.
This week we had our first noticeable earthquake in many years. Most of us were out of shape and totally unprepared for the 30 second marathon of extreme terror or at least mild curiosity. So in order to be ready for any aftershocks, you should plan to do the following exercises for ten repetitions three times per week. The first exercise is a Balance Surf. Crouch in a flexed-knee position, extend your arms at your sides, and practice riding the floor as if you were on a surfboard. Falling is optional, but good practice.
The second exercise is a Panic-Cycle Run. Run to the door as if you think it will be safer to get outside. Once you reach the door, turn around and run back into the center of the room, uncertain whether it might be safer to stay inside after all. Repeat. As an optional challenge for those who need a little extra workout, try the same running cycle with stairs thinking “I’ll be safer downstairs where I can’t fall as far” and then once you’ve reached bottom, consider that “but if I’m down here the upstairs might collapse on me and I’d be better off being on the crush-ing floor rather than the crush-ee floor.”
After the earthquake workout, you’ll need to cool down. For this, I recommend the Bend and Reach motion, in which you simulate bending down to pick up the stuff that shook its way off the shelves during the earthquake and then reaching up to replace it. As an optional challenge, add the Uncertainty Twist, where you turn your head and upper body from side to side in an attempt to figure out just where the stuff on the floor came from since the shelves are already full of other stuff.
You want to vary your Natural Disaster workouts just as you would any other workout, so just in time for Hurricane Irene, I’ve added the Hurricane Anticipation Workout. To warm up, you turn the TV on to the Weather Channel and set the alarm function on your cellphone to go off at 45-second intervals. Then go about your business until the alarm goes off, at which point to you drop whatever you’re doing and race to the television to get the latest update on the storm’s projected path. As a challenge, do five pushups for every different model they use to forecast the trajectory in that update.
Once you’re warmed up, you’re ready for Survival Training, one of the most intense workouts you’ll ever face. Stock up with water and nutritious snacks, get into your car, and be prepared to endure hours in the checkout lines as you wait to buy bottled water, batteries and toilet paper. What about milk, you ask? Ah, you’re getting the Hurricane Survival Training confused with the Blizzard Survival Training. Both require superfluous quantities of toilet paper, but where blizzards demand the purchase of ridiculous quantities of milk, hurricane survival requires you to buy multiple bottles of spring water. You could instead buy a couple of water coolers and save your own tap water, but you won’t get the same cardiovascular benefits as when you have to push people out of the way to grab the last few bottles of overpriced pre-packaged water from the shelf.
As a challenge skill, you can use the gallon jugs to knock over fellow shoppers, thus speeding your way to the Checkout Line of Doom. Most of the water you plan to purchase will need to be consumed while you wait to pay for it, since the majority of the checkout clerks will have called in sick so they can go buy toilet paper. But it will be worth it when you reach the end because you will be prepared and you will be in shape and ready for the storm.
Good luck everyone!
Quick, download and print a copy of this before the power goes out.