About two summers ago, I had a similar thought and so I bought a jump rope. "How hard can it be," says I to myself, "I jumped rope all the time when I was younger." I'll let you pause here to give a long, hearty, loud laugh at my expense. I set the timer on the microwave for 15 minutes. I made it about...five. Yeah. Five.
I think I tried to continue for about two more days before life took over and the jump rope went onto a shelf in the basement. But I'm rethinking that. Jumping rope is a good activity that does not require me to leave my front yard. I can put the baby in a stroller nearby to watch Mama act like a crazy woman and jump until my lungs burst or my legs crumple beneath me. At least until the two-year-old enters the yard. Then she can jump until her legs crumple while I watch my exercise moment move out of reach again.
Thinking along these lines led me to a point this past Friday (yes, the day that our intrepid Three Friends Fitness duo were out running hard in the 5k) in which my six-year-old was laughing hysterically at his Mom while she jumped in place in the kitchen next to a skillet of frying eggs. Did it work? Did I get my heart pumping and my lungs expanding? Yes and no. The lack of rigorous arm motion gave my little jumping exercise a lower payoff point than I might have had otherwise, but I was breathing harder at the end and I had gone for a full 17 minutes!
This morning, I got up a few minutes early and decided I'd try giving the dog a walk instead of shooing him out the back door. So we walked out and up the street. After Oscar-the-Dog had finished his, er, business, I turned him back toward home and we jogged back. We jogged past the house and down about another seven houses besides, then jogged back up the hill to the house again. So at a pretty good little pace, and in walking shoes that are not designed for running, and in bone-chillingly cold air, I made it about 3/4 of a block jogging. I suppose I should look next at getting a true pair of tennis shoes in which to run my little 3/4 of a block.... but that is for another post!
A short list of "other" activities that might get your heart rate up and your blood flowing:
* run up and down the stairs fifteen times. Housekeeping Hint: take something with you to put away each time you move from one floor to the next!)
* Head to the track - the kids love to jump on with the grown ups and just run or walk while you get your time in too
* Tag on the playground - the kids love it when Mom is "it" and will frequently pick YOU to be the fall guy
* Roller skating
* Faster-paced long distance hiking
* Ice skating
* Race with the kids
* Crank up the music, grab a kid, and dance - this takes a little more time, but after a good 35 minutes or so, you're tired, kids are tired and happy, and you've had a good work out!
What's your favorite?