Hotter Than a Match Head

Hot town, summer in the city
Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty
Been down, isn’t it a pity
Doesn’t seem to be a shadow in the city

All around, people looking half dead
Walking on the sidewalk, hotter than a match head

It’s 104 degrees out right now in Dayton, Ohio. The official heat index number is 107. Though it was my intention to get three episodes of exercise during each week, I’m a little daunted by exercising in this.

Other blog posts and articles suggest that if you stay hydrated enough, anything is possible. On the other hand, people of all ages drop dead while exercising in brutal heat.

So, what to do? There are lots of suggestions on the internet: go to the gym, go to the pool, get active on your Wii-Fit home fitness system, engage in some mall-crawling.

Well, I don’t have a gym membership. (I’ve tried them, and I just never go. My husband got a free-membership to the YMCA through his Medicare coverage and guess how many times he went in a year. Yes, that’s right. Zip.)

The pool is out, at least for this week. My sunburn is just healing from last week’s foray to the pool. Plus you know it has to be mobbed.

I’ve staved off my son’s constant pleading for video game consoles for a decade, I’m not going to give in now. And honestly, folks, it does look kind of goofy, gyrating there in front of your television screen.

The mall thing doesn’t really work for me either– it’s just walking, and I was looking for something to do in addition to the walking. (Engaging in something more energetic than just walking at the mall surely provides too much amusement for the people watching husbands waiting patiently on benches.)

I had planned to garden today. There are a couple of hollies and a rose-bush I want to get in. I figured the digging would count for something. But really, it’s 103-feels-like-107. Maybe I can get up extra early and do it tomorrow.  An evening bike ride would be nice– quietly peddling along the river, it might be tolerable, especially with plenty of water and appropriately dressed in loose, lightweight, pale clothes. But I took my bike to the Bike Shop two days ago for a tune-up and a good cleaning and it won’t be done ’till next Wednesday.

I did find a lot of great suggestions for fitness that could easily be added to one’s day-to-day activities– dancing around the house, isometric exercises where you sit, five-minute cleaning frenzies, a mini-trampoline. Great ideas all, but not really the “active event” kind of exercise I was looking for.

But there were some suggestions that have real merit.

Racquetball.  There’s a club here that lets non-members play for ten bucks an hour. The courts are air-conditioned and you can play by yourself if you like. I haven’t played racquetball since I was a freshman in college, but just fooling around won’t be hard to fall into again. I like Squash too, but the Squash club charges $960 a year for a membership (billed in 12 convenient monthly statements) so Racquetball it is. I ordered a racquet, balls and eyewear on Amazon.

Waterplay in the backyard. You know, like when we were kids– firing off water pistols, dodging water balloons, running through the sprinklers. This would work better if the grandkids were here– I think our son may have aged out of this one.

Bowling. Bowling. Well, I hadn’t thought of that. When I did a search on “how much exercise is bowling?” I was bowled over by the results. (Sorry.) Apparently bowling is pretty decent exercise. Maybe not much in the way of a cardiovascular workout, but it does stretch and tone and burn fat. Good enough. Plus the bowling alleys are air-conditioned.

Sex. My husband will be so thrilled.

Today’s target number 55. Steps yesterday 5738 (Which included 1.5 miles on the treadmill, and I ran for a quarter-mile of those. Two furlongs!) Breakfast: blueberries with yogurt and granola; two tenderly scrambled eggs with a piece of ciabatta toast and a little butter; Lunch: 2 ounces roast pork, two hard-boiled eggs, banana. Dinner was a second banana and another  hard-boiled egg.

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