Shake your groove thing (just don’t break it)

Exercise is still a fact of life, pretty much daily, though at this point I don’t go into DTs if I miss a day or two. And the intensity has been forced back a few levels, not so much due to age as to injuries (some self-inflicted, some K9-inflicted), pushing too hard/being too competitive and just plain knuckleheadedness.

Running is reduced to walking, barring the occasional sprint with a dog or two. Until last fall, I still ran once a year, in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, but 2010 was the year I just walked — and was OK with it.

Extreme-yoga-induced sciatica prevents forward bends, and double rotator cuff surgery has me banned from gyms — “What part of ‘you can’t be trusted around weights’ don’t you get?” my mildly exasperated ortho doc asked me after I’d slightly torn them again within a month of joining the Downtown Athletic Club with the hubster. So I’m reduced to baby weights and working out at home. Like a good girl, I gave away everything heavier than 12-pound dumbbells and an 18-pound bar, though I did sneak to the store and buy one 20-pounder for one-armed bent rows. What can I say?  But weight lifting is mostly therapeutic — lots of reps of 5- to 8-pound baby weights.

Whatever. It works and the Big Buff ’80s are long gone. My wiser (and three-year-younger) friend Rhonda, my weight-lifting partner in the BB80s, still manages to sling some heavy ones — she says I’ve been her cautionary tale of what not to do. (Just like my three-year-younger sister said she watched what I got in trouble for growing up and did the opposite — or at least made sure she didn’t get caught.) I’m glad I could be of service to those I love.

Speaking of love, I love, love, love my Wii Fit Plus — I weigh (almost) everyday for informational purposes and trendspotting (after years of not owning a scale because it made me nuts) and workout on it on some non-weight days. It’s pretty groovy with it’s record-keeping functions and offers all kinds exercise activities. If you don’t have one, I’d recommend adding it to your workout arsenal, especially if you already have a Wii in your house.

But my go-to workouts these days are mainly of the DVD variety, usually Lotte Berk Method variations and Pilates- or dance-based moves. The ones I’m loving right now are a fairly new one and an older one I pulled back out.

Jackie Warner’s Xtreme Abs Standing Abs workout is great. Perfectamundo, in fact. It’s just hard enough, lively without being perky and doesn’t hurt any of my ouchy zones (I do it sans weights). I think it’s not suggested for beginners (rated intermediate), so proceed with caution if you’re a newbie, but I love it. L-O-V-E it.

Reminds me of all the standing abwork we did when I coached the girls soccer team at NLRHS. Didn’t we have fun, girls? Can’t you admit it now?

My slightly older but ever-so-goodie that I’ve been doing again lately is from my old friend Kathy Smith, also known as the living Barbie. We’ve worked out together since the late ’80s. And I actually got to do a long phone interview with her in 2004 — she’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever talked to, just so you know. Don’t hate her because she’s a beautiful Amazon woman and your husband likes to watch her workouts for entertainment purposes. She’s in her late 50s and looks incredible. 

Actually, forget looks. She is. Her Total Body Lift is a Lotte Berk/Pilates/dance-inspired workout with the typical “we love to work out” Kathy Smith flair. Again, this one doesn’t hurt anything that plagues me. It’s also considered intermediate, but if you follow the modifier, you should be fine. Kathy won’t let you get hurt. And she’ll laugh with you if you teeter — and admit when a move is a bit too tough even for her. You’ve got to love her teaching style. If you don’t, well, that renders me speechless.

And that’s hard to do.

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