Are those flowers coming or going?

Isn’t this a beautiful painting? My cousin did it for an assignment in college, it’s a copy of Matisse’s The Goldfish Bowl.

I’ve had for over ten years and although I have done nothing to physically alter it, I have ruined it. About a year ago I hung it in front of my treadmill so there could be something pleasant to look at while doing the monotonous walking and running. A couple of days ago I looked at those fish, those leaves, the meniscus on that bowl and knew that I couldn’t stand to see that painting another time.

While out shopping yesterday I found another great piece of art to ruin.

I am sure that smile will taunt me, maybe that is not a good choice? Perhaps I should have gone with something like “The Garden of Earthly Delights” by Hieronymus Bosch.


Click to zoom

Then I might be able to figure out whether the flowers are coming or going.

What do you think?

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Four Rough Minutes to Fitness

You know why those 20 minutes a day! exercise equipment infomercials are so successful? It’s not really the product they are pushing that creates those before and after results, it is the exercise routine.

You don’t need to buy any of that stuff or join any clubs to get in shape. Here is one of the most successful exercise routines on earth and it only takes 20 minutes two times a week. You can run down the street, get on a bike, or jump up and down… Anything that gets you sweating and raises your heart rate considerably.

But first a standard disqualifier: Ask your doctor if doing this exercise is likely to kill you. If he says yes or maybe, don’t do it.

So you have talked to a doctor and you are greenlighted to get fit and healthy. Your doctor has likely told you this exercise will decrease insulin resistance (making you less likely to develop type II diabetes), increase metabolism (bye bye pesky fat cells), and give you a stronger muscoskeletal system. Don’t be bitter about the check you had to cut for that doctor visit, in the long run, you’ll be seeing less of that guy because you’ll be healthier. Damn good investment.

Choose an activity such as power walking, running, jumping jacks, cycling, or if you can, riding a unicycle. Anything but sitting on the sofa, sorry. I’ve run across this exercise recipe in nursing books on diabetes and on fitness web sites.

FOUR ROUGH MINUTES

Let’s pretend we’re walking/running in place. You don’t even need a street to do that, no excuses that you don’t have what you need to do this. All you need is determination.

Stretch out for 3 minutes. (this is the most important step, it prevents injuries)

Exercise as hard as you can for 30 seconds. (run! run! run!)

Slow down for 90 seconds. (walk in place)

Repeat the high intensity exercise and recovery 7 more times.

You’re done.

Notice the “hard as you can” part adds up to a measley four minutes? Don’t worry about how many calories you’ve burned or what the scale says. You’re exercising. You will feel and look better and you did not spend a penny on any equipment.