Exercise Tips for the Unathletic Broke-Ass

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I haven’t broken into a run since 2002.  That was sophomore year of high school, when I used to get in trouble in P.E. class for leisurely bicep-curling five pound weights and gossiping with hoodrat girls who called me “Tasty Vanilla,” when I should have been pumping iron.  But, alas, times–and my metabolism– have changed.  I’m not getting any younger, and I’m afraid that the king-size bag of M&Ms I ate on Halloween (and the mountain of mashed potatoes I will eat on Thanksgiving, and the piles of cookies I will eat on Christmas), will begin to show themselves on my waistline. By 2012, I will be busting out of my chinos, and I just can’t have that.  No, I don’t have body issues– I just want to continue to fit into my clothes!  I ain’t got the money for a new wardrobe!  I have to maintain my hot, non-curvaceous, pasty bod (on the cheap, of course)– and I plan to do it without a gym membership, any athletic skills, or the willingness to wear a sports bra.

I still refuse to break into a run, mostly because I don’t own a pair of running shoes and those things are hella expensive.  However, I do possess about 20 pairs of completely inappropriate footwear, thanks to an addiction to discount shoe shopping at thrift stores and TJ Maxx.  Instead of jogging around the block, getting red-faced and looking like an idiot when I am no doubt out of breath after about 50 feet, I’ll strap on some chunky-heeled jellies, fur-trimmed orthopedic booties, or wedged rain boots and vigorously speed walk for miles.  I learned this speed walking technique when I took community college aerobics at age 15 (and barely passed due to poor attendance)– shoulders back, pump your arms at a 90 degree angle, clench that booty, and step heel-to-toe.  Doing this while wearing heavy, heeled shoes–and struggling not to trip and knock out a tooth– has to be some sort of workout.  I may still look like an idiot, but at least I won’t be sweaty enough to realize that the organic deodorant I’ve been buying actually doesn’t work.

Speaking of aerobics, why would I need to take classes at junior college when I can just aerobicize for free in the comfort of my own apartment? For inspiration, I will repeatedly view YouTube workout videos like this one about praising the Lord while doing plies.  I might try to copy his moves, or choreograph my own– either way, flailing around like a fish out of water in my athletic shorts and holey socks will definitely burn a few calories.

Next, I’ll look for free or cheap dance classes in my area– everyone knows that dancing is super fun and therefore doesn’t seem like real exercise.  I’m actually the (dancing) queen of community center classes, having taken everything from ballroom, to Israeli folk dance, to Sexy Ladies Hip Hop.  However, my favorite dance class was swing dance– not because I was good at it (I was horrible!), but because my friend signed us up for the class and didn’t realize that it was held at the Senior Center.  We were the youngest dance students by about 45 years, and the only people in the class who didn’t show up with partners who we’d been married to for decades.  At the end of each session, the instructor would make us dance with the person we came with, but wouldn’t let my friend and I dance together because we are both girls.  Instead, we had to dance with “invisible” male partners, which made us feel like 22 year old spinsters.  Embarrassing invisible-date dancing aside, boogeying with people who could barely stand up without the aid of a cane was a great way to get moving without really exerting myself.

Lastly, I’ll join my local softball Meetup group, and hit some home runs in McCarren Park.  Just kidding!  I hate getting dirty and most of my attempts at team sports end with me crying and running off the field yelling, “But I am trying!”  I will, however, be the water girl, put together a stylish A League of Their Own– inspired softball outfit (love you, Tom Hanks!), and maybe set my slutty friend off on the opposing team’s pitcher to convince him to throw the game.

With these few tricks of the broke-ass/lazy-ass trade, I can power walk, gyrate, and slowly two-step my way to a better bod (or at least not have to throw away my chinos).  You should try them, too– unlike Oprah Winfrey, most of us don’t get better with age.  So kind of get off your lazy asses and kind of exercise, people!

Photo credit: The Brady Bunch Blog

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Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven is a natural-born storyteller from California, but she
lives in New York now. She likes dogs, nail art, and Mexican food,
but mostly she likes scoring sweet deals at thrift stores. She tends
to have a flair for the dramatic.

1 Comment

  1. Heidi Smith - The Ultimate Scavenger
    November 16, 2011 at 9:32 am

    love it!