As you might have seen, there's a fitness challenge going on here at ScienceBlogs. A few years ago, when I first started blogging here, my non-participation in any fitness-related activity would have been a safe bet. But that was then.
Over the last couple of years, I've come to realize that the numbers coming off the blood pressure cuff were not actually figments of the doctor's crazed imagination. I've also started to recognize that the number "2" should not be appearing in my weight twice, and it probably shouldn't be the first digit in the number. I've finally acknowledged, in other words, that I'm not that young anymore, and not that immortal.
And I've been working at a gym.
That's working as in employed, not working as in "working out". When we relocated to Alabama, I discovered that, for a number of reasons, the hours and schedule for lifeguards at the base Physical Fitness Center was the job that best matched our family circumstances. That means that I've been spending an average of 40 hours per week at the pool.
Adding some workout time to that wasn't too hard. This is good, because although I might be a lifeguard, the only way I'm going to get close to the Hoff's bodytype in the near future is with photoshop. I'd already decided that I need to get into a shape that's not round, so when Ethan proposed a fitness challenge, I actually took notice.
Some people might like calisthenics, and some might like free weights, but neither of those is my kind of thing. On land, I'm all about the machines, because the machines let me multitask my way through the workout - the thing that I hate the most about exercise is knowing that I could be doing something else that interests me a lot more. But that's the minor part of my exercise plan. Mostly, it's about the swimming. (Go figure.)
If you're looking for a whole-body workout that will get your pulse rate up without putting undue stress on your bones and joints, you might want to think about swimming. A good swim workout will simultaneously work your arms, legs, and core. Kick-boards, fins, pull buoys, and paddles can be used to focus effort on specific parts of the body, and you can set workouts that will build strength, endurance, or both.