One thing I admire about the fitness boot camp revolution is their determination to use the resources available to provide a well-rounded workout to their participants.* Park benches are an area for crab-style push ups, double-decked outdoor strip malls equal running with variety, and every piece of land is a good place for crunches. With this in mind, I have recently decided to seek out my own local un-intended training facilities, starting with my apartment building.
My building has high ceilings on every floor – fourteen feet to be exact, which means one thing to an aspiring resourceful workout-girl: longer sets of stairs. This evening, after my return to the very sedentary work force, I found myself with too much energy despite an early morning run. My cure? Using my building as a gym.
I began by running the stairs. This half-hour five-story ascent and descent turned out to be kick-ass in both lingering glut soreness and in cardio-fitness. As I began, I felt like perhaps I misjudged the activity. Running upstairs felt too easy. By pass three I finally felt a sweat come on, and at pass five, I was near-dripping. And pass eight? That’s all it took for me to kind of want to stop. Ten up-and-downs took me to the twenty-two minute mark, which left me with eight more minutes to get myself worn out.
Jogging back to my apartment, I decided that sit-ups were the way to go. With my iPod blaring Saves the Day’s “Anthem,” I picked up an old Anatomy textbook and held it over my head while I did 50 crunches. I then swapped to a teacher’s edition of a reading anthology for another 50 (Mosaics if you must know), and did my final 50 without any weight at all.
What I love about being just a hint creative is that you don’t have to have a gym membership to get a slightly different workout: you simply have to see potential in what you already have access to. Sure, you’ll never swim through the air, but you can use pots and pans as resistance, your living room as a fitness center, and whatever your building offers as a training grounds.
*Speaking of boot camp, something that severely makes me shudder is this article about how the army is revamping their training methods to accomodate increasingly overweight and under-fit recruits.