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Slipping in exercises between commercial breaks during the biggest games of the year

Running & Fitness
Thursday, December 30, 2021

Last week presented a few problems with the festivities of Christmas and this week just added to the problem with New Year celebrations. It starts with New Year’s Eve staying up past midnight to see the New Year in. That makes getting up for an early morning run difficult. And if you are a sports fan — especially football — there are those bowl games most of the first day of the year. That leaves any try at getting a run in hard to find until Jan. 2. The one difference I have noticed is that instead of one big meal on New Year’s Day, it is a buffet-style where you tend to go through the table of food every time out and quarter and halftime breaks. It all adds up at the end of the games. I say games as it is usually a watch party that starts late morning and continues until the evening. Getting that run in is a real challenge. 

If you are really serious about fitness there are things you can do to prevent the food buffet and sitting down for long periods of action on the television screen. Instead of a trip to the buffet, get some exercise in at the numerous breaks. Those 30-second time-outs are actually closer to two or three minutes long. That is enough time to take a quick run, or fast walk, around the block. Or maybe do a few sit-ups and push-ups. If you are fortunate to have some stairs in your home or apartment a few trips up and down during the breaks will all add up. For the really serious fitness person, you can put that treadmill in front of the television and run while watching the games. If you are a weight lifter, a couple of dumbbells can be used during those breaks for a set or two.

The hard part of this routine happens if you are with friends or in a group. The heavy breathing that is associated with running and lifting weights tends to get on the group's nerves. And running on a treadmill is not always a quiet form of exercise. And if you are leaving the room for a quick run around the block or a trip up the stairs at every timeout and break for ads makes the guests think you are trying to avoid them. You have to be a little selective about who you invite to watch the games with if you are a fitness buff. 

If Christmas and New Year’s celebrations make it difficult to get those runs in, it continues with the championship college football game the next weekend. For sports fans, this is a tough season for maintaining fitness. And then the Super Bowl playoff is still on the near horizon. Then the Olympics start in early February for many hours of coverage. Trying to stay fit and get the necessary training in makes this time of the year a real challenge. For those serious runners and fitness people that are not sports fans, these problems are not anything to worry about. Just about the only problem is if any of your training partners are sports fans you may be doing your workouts alone.

For fitness-minded people that live in Texas, or the southern portion of the United States, it is difficult to relate to the Olympic events of downhill skiing, slalom skiing, speed skating, bobsled and luge events, and biathlons and cross country skiing when the temperatures are warm and there is no snow to see or relate to. The one thing that is similar is the fantastic condition and skill that the athletes possess while competing. For a runner, the times of the speed skaters over the 5K and 10K are almost impossible to imagine. And skiing down a long hill at speeds you can only achieve while driving a car on the open road is hard to perceive. The ski jump looks like it is something no sane person would do. While it is a thrill to watch the skier, the height is a little misleading. The landing is a downhill slope and the distance is not as high as it seems. It is still not a fun thing to not land correctly and can lead to injuries. Standing on top of the start of a ski jump and looking down is a real eye-opener for an average person. It reminded me of my first attempt at diving from a 10-meter platform. Watching a diver from down below is not anything like standing over 30 feet above a pool that has suddenly shrunk in size to that of a donut. I remember having to talk to myself for several minutes and a few glances at the ledge before diving off. The only thing I had going for me is the advice I had from one of the cliff divers from Mexico when he said, “It is a long way down so don’t dive down, but up and out. And keep your hands in a fist and close together to keep from getting a real bang on the head when you hit the water.”

San Marcos Record

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