Getting Physical

1920s basketball team via Garconniere

As I approach my 29th birthday, I’ve realized that the promises I make to myself in my literally weaker moments (trying to carry my amp into a venue, grind apples for juice, beat Mike in a race to the video store) won’t be made good unless I get moving now! Moving as in exercise. Ew, the word feels yucky in my mouth! However I have many lovely friends who bike/run/dance/group sport regularly in their lives. I’m happy for them, but those activities are not really my speed, at least not right now. Like a few of my other friends, I’m a closed-door-and-curtains-get-out-of-my-studio type person when it comes to getting fit. With this in mind, I’ve started a hunt for not-lame fitness DVDs.

Iggy Pop's wiry bod in the 70s: exercise built or drug addled? Perhaps both. via learntoread

My main objective is to get my heart healthy, so to get my cardio up. The Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation recommends 30-60 minutes a day of activity a day, most days of the week. My other objective is to keep this initiative freefreefree, so no joining gyms and the like. I realize that for many folks that having a membership to the YMCA or a workout buddy keeps them motivated, so I don’t want to polk holes in that reality- this is really about making a routine happen that makes sense for my lifestyle. So I started my research into workout DVDs, hoping agaianst hope that there were non-lame options available out there (meaning: no cheesy techno music, image-focused goals, oiled up instructors, non-hetero-normative). The only option I found that fit this criteria was a Sweet Moves DVD I’d read about in the back of Bust Magazine years ago. It’s a silly, sex-positive take on working out complete with a porno soundtrack. Check it:

While I appreciate the chutzpah, I’d rather not pop that in each and every morning, so I turned to Montreal’s Grande Bibliotheque. After furtively flipping through the DVD racks, the least offensive option I came up with was Cardio for Beginners with Petra Kolber (I also took home a cheerleading DVD sponsored by Paula Abdul but the instructor seemed so nervous that I wanted to offer her some active listening). The DVD ain’t hip but it does the job with options to choose 10 or 20 minute cardio workouts, options for “Dance” or “Athletic” routines plus a five minute stretch exercise, all which you can program before getting started.

She's actually not that scary on video.

So I now do this thing before noon each day- I’m totally feeling good about it. I’ve tried turning the sound off of this DVD to make it more palatable (yes there is dance music going on) but I really do appreciate the instructions she gives (even the hilarious “I would high five you through the screen if I could!”). However, if anyone has an other recommendations for DVDs, or feels like making an “indie” workout video with me in a few months, that would be awesome: please leave your ideas in the comments section. Best of luck to you (and me!)

Here’s a fun vid sent to me from my bud Astria:

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