Tuesday, December 06, 2005

How to exercise in the hospital

I have exercised every day - no exceptions - since December 19, 2002. I have had a strict policy of accepting no excuses other than lying in a hospital bed or being under doctor's orders not to exercise. As a result, I have gone from someone who hated to exercise, to someone who looks forward to it every day. And it's kind of like brushing my teeth - I wouldn't feel right if I went a day without it.

So here we go. Next week I will be in a hospital bed for at least a couple of days, and then I have been ordered by my neurosurgeon not to exercise for 7-10 days thereafter (and only light exercise that doesn't break a sweat for several weeks).

As I am naturally concerned about going this long without a workout, I am considering ways to sneak in some kind of mild physical activity without hurting myself. Some ideas so far:

1. Isometric gluteal contractions while lying in bed (translation: butt clenches). My brother-in-law and I were having a good laugh, picturing this being done to can-can music, just like the Simpsons episode where Homer Simpson fantasizes about flexing his pecs in the mirror.
2. Ankle rotations (good for the cankles).
3. Kegels (I hear the collective groan from those who have been pregnant before).
4. Isometric tummy contractions (as in, quick - hold in my stomach whenever anyone walks in the room).
5. 20 laps around the hospital wing when they test to see whether I can walk.

I realize that these will likely burn the caloric equivalent of 3 tic-tacs, but hey - it's better than nothing!

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