Written by Bob Woelk Wednesday, 13 February 2008 09:30I am intrigued by the large number of Hillsboro residents who have signed up to compete in our very own Biggest Loser contest. My understanding is more than 175 participants have weighed in.
It will be interesting to see the final figures (pun possibly intended) on how many pounds will be shed by the group. At any rate, I am happy to see so many concerned enough about their health to give it a shot.
Exercise will, of course, be a part of the plan. There are the usual options: walking, running, lifting weights, biking. In addition, I have discovered a few more ways to lose those unwanted pounds.
Have the place you work start a huge remodeling project. The construction of the new training facilities and locker rooms at Hillsboro High School, my employer, has created quite a detour.
I wanted to know how far it is from one of my classrooms in the main building to my second classroom in the technology center. So I wore a pedometer one recent Friday. Turns out I have to travel about a quarter of a mile one way.
On a typical Friday, I make that trip three or four times. I was amazed to discover, then, that I walked just a bit more than two miles that Friday. Briskly. We only have five minutes between class periods.
Shovel some snow. And, we have had plenty of opportunity to do that chore this winter. I don’t know the exact number of storms we have tallied, but I am sure we have reached double figures. I conservatively estimate this last storm deposited a 6-inch blanket on our fair city.
According to my figures, I moved 780 cubic feet of snow from my driveway last Wednesday morning. My drive is 150 feet long and varies in width from 8 to 14 feet. That’s a whole lot of frozen precipitation, my friends. Thank goodness I sprang for that new crooked-handled shovel from the local hardware store. That thing is a real back saver.
Help a friend move. If that friend has a piano, a fridge, a washer and dryer, and a sleeper couch, you are sure to burn your share of calories.
Leave the cell phone at home and go to Wal-Mart with your spouse. I don’t know how she does it, but my wife can be standing next to me one second, and an instant later she can be clear across the store. There must be some special portal in Wal-Mart that only women know about. Either that or a cloaking device that only the ladies can use.
If I don’t have a cell phone with me, I will spend an hour looking for my bride. During that time, I will have traveled about 30 miles. Then, like magic, she will reappear with a cart full of toilet paper and paper towels valued at $100.
Cut and pick up the branches from the December ice storm. I believe it was Robert Frost who said that fire warms a person twice—once while it is cut and again when it is burned. And, even though we use gas-powered chain saws these days, trimming limbs and stacking wood still burn a whole lot of calories.
Show a youngster that trick where he or she walks up your legs and flips over. Once flipped, the child will ask you to do it another 900 times or so. This exercise is good for building upper body strength and burning calories.
Do a carwash fundraiser with teenagers. Chances are, you will have to rewash every vehicle yourself because the owners are paying good money to have their cars and trucks hand washed. You will feel guilty if the autos are not clean.
In the meantime, your “workers” will be chasing each other with buckets of water. Trying to get them to buckle down and work will be an exercise (pun alert) in futility.
No matter what method is chosen, any kind of exercise is good, and there is no time to start like the present. Those who have decided to try to become the biggest losers are in fact likely to become some of Hillsboro’s biggest winners.