Lawton Posey: Twice a day, these exercises will help you stay fit
I was never really an exerciser, though for several years after heart bypass surgeries I obediently attended cardiac rehab classes and walked all over the West Side.
Now, as I see 80 over the horizon, but far enough away so as not to increase my anxiety, I have encountered a very efficient way to stress my body and my mind twice a day.
Besides, since the election is over, I need to make efficient use of my couch time.
Perhaps you are guessing: Posey has taken up Pilates.
No, surely he is into Zumba. Has he put ice skates on with additional padding so as to not break anything when falling?
None of the above.
I now have become an avid user of two daily newspapers to increase my health and vitality.
Each day, two Charleston news sheets come to our apartment door.
One, I call the "morning paper." The other is the "evening paper," which allows me to see comic strips earnestly desired. Doonesbury and Pearls Before Swine cause laughter and an increased breathing rate.
I must also mention that the "morning paper" contains Zits, a true commentary on adolescence and its perils.
I am writing of exercise.
Let us consider a recent issue of one of the papers. As I remember it, there were sections A, B, C and D. Add to that the classifieds, which display both used cars and used everything else.
To begin: While seated on a comfortable sofa with a cup of hot, reduced-caffeine coffee close at hand, grasp section A, and attempt with one fluid motion to open same after having read the first page headlines and news.
Following my dad's advice, use the wet finger method for separating the newsprint pages. If energetic enough, puff air in the general direction of the adhering pages and immediately use the wet finger to make the second and third pages visible.
Due to the way the management of the papers set up things, you will surely have to also view the last page in the section to get the end of featured stories. This involves some complexity of actions and a visual search of the one-word headlines to arrive at the continuations.
By this time, respiration or perspiration are increased. Pause and drink coffee.
Repeat this exercise on all sections, adding a re-folding operation for each of them.
While seated, the newspapers will appear to be folded horizontally.
I have found in developing exercises that the re-folding operation is more difficult than the unfolding. Newsprint seems to be less flexible than in former days.
Dexterity is tested and increased by attempting to create the same neat appearance as was achieved by the folded paper lying beside the hall doorway. An attempt must be made to straighten out the unfolded sheets, preparing oneself for frustration as the pages become wrinkled and the center fold or crease locates itself in a remote place.
Rest. Drink more coffee. Animal-like sounds may be made and audible remarks exhibited during completion of this exercise.
The whole newspaper, exclusive of classified advertisements will then be patted, centered, and placed so as to resemble the original paper as delivered.
Repeat as desired. The more, the better.
I did not mention reading the paper. This is, of course, important, and may also increase heart rate and vocal expressions of opinion, both positive and negative. The exercises are physical and mental.
Considering that the above-described exercises are done twice daily, unless a paper remains from a previous delivery, one will experience either a loss of weight or temper.
The average human temper weighs three pounds. While scientists are in no agreement as to how much body weight is shed by this twice-daily routine, it is possible that something may be lost, somewhere.
I feel more muscular than ever. Life opens up.
Now, where is that fruitcake?
Posey, a retired Presbyterian (USA) minister, writes from his home in Charleston.