Functional Fitness for a Sexy Life

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I'm not one for routines so for the first time I met with a personal trainer: while snowed in during a blizzard. Even then I asked her to outline what she would be teaching me instead of just doing it.

While I'm no model fitness guru, this year I'm embracing two ways to make exercise fun:

1) Make daily chores and activities your fitness

This was a year that saw me repeatedly saying "You could make a DVD of that workout and make a lot of money."

These weren't gym routines, but real hard work. The kind like you see in Guatemala with people balancing 50 pound sacks on their heads. Or where I live people on the street carrying heavy sacks of cans.

When I see people blasting leaf blowers it drives me crazy. Not only because they're re-distributing the leaves but because if I had to guess, they go off to the gym to workout when they could simply rake the leaves, save time, the environment, and a lot of noise pollution.

Sure you can lunge around the city with barbels through a gym program. But what can you do that does something like de-cluttering, hauling boxes, to achieve the same.

susieThe hottest body I saw this year was on a young woman whose chores are her workout: shuffling goats and lugging 50 gallon metal cans of milk around the farm. What guns. What gams. The ultimate "fat farm." My best workout this year came from moving from one storage unit to another and lugging fruit boxes on a farm.

Over the holidays my best workout came from spending a vacation with my niece and nephew; coincidentally before arriving one day at the gym it occurred to me that strengthening routines centered on expecting parents could be a huge seller. How I've worked out this week:

  • Full body and aerobic: Fending off a karate attack from the kdis
  • Core: Hula hooping on the Wii
  • Aerobics: Rocking out with kids to School of Rock
  • Full body strengthening: Shoveling snow (Raking leaves is another favorite) and all sorts of airplaning and lifting the children.
  • Legs: Doing all my holiday shopping errands locally by foot
  • Stomach: Working on my laptop standing up while making belly dancing motions with my hips and stomach
  • Arms: Dancing with weights and lots of cookie batter stirring. That counts right?

2) Get fit to achieve a fun or serious goal

My best trick to keep going is a vision of being able to achieve with glee all the things I want to do in life. Like sex with abandon. Or saving someone's life by carrying them 20 flights of stairs.

Aside from marathon training years ago, the hardest and most diligently I followed a routine was training for surfing lessons: It was in writing in the contract that I had to be able to swim 750 meters. The idea of arriving and having them test me plus the idea of needing to be rescued got me swimming daily. They didn't test me.

Sure this is all easy for me to say. Yes I need to get in a routine.

But there's got to be an intersection between making workouts fun by tying them to what you want to do in life.

What are your tricks?the farm workout

Photo by Susie Wyshak @ Krugerrand Farms - maker of great American aged goat cheese

Susie Wyshak writes about her artisan food discoveries and is working on a new effort to support food entrepreneurs / starting a food business. She continues to help people dream up their life goals (like getting fit!) at a website she founded,


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