My New Year’s Resolutions

It’s stupid to wait for an arbitrary date to decide to make changes in yourself. That said, this is the year when I will:

  1. Do 100 push ups.
  2. Read a poem a day.
  3. Visit Glacier National Park once per season.

As a note, it turned out to be harder than I expected to get a poem delivered to my inbox every day. Searching for “poem of the day” mainly turns up outfits that will send you a daily poem during April, National Poetry Month, but not for the rest of the year. So far, the best option I’ve come across is the daily email newsletter from Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac.

Also, if you-like me-have always been push up challenged, you might want to check out the six-week program I’m going to use to get to 100. Based on how many push ups you can do right now, the program provides a training program in which you gradually work up to the desired total. This program was a “thing” on the Internet for a while in 2008, and a lot of the mentions of it that I saw were by people (especially women) who never thought they’d be able to do such a thing, but the program got them there. So, if you’re dubious, know that this is a preeminently achievable goal.

Why should you want to do 100 push ups, anyway? Because-according to this New York Times article– you won’t be able to without being in pretty decent shape overall:

“The push-up is the ultimate barometer of fitness. It tests the whole body, engaging muscle groups in the arms, chest, abdomen, hips and legs. It requires the body to be taut like a plank with toes and palms on the floor. The act of lifting and lowering one’s entire weight is taxing even for the very fit.”

You don’t have to be able to do 100, though:

“Push-ups are important for older people, too. The ability to do them more than once and with proper form is an important indicator of the capacity to withstand the rigors of aging.”

This is because, among other things, being able to do a couple of push ups means you have the strength to catch yourself in a fall and to get up again afterward.

But in general I just like the idea of a significantly challenging bit of exercise I can do anywhere, without equipment. Ideally, that would describe my whole exercise routine. In fact, I’m on the lookout for some kind of effective exercise routine I can do to work out my major muscle groups without equipment. I guess yoga would fit the bill, but what I really want is some sort of isometric routine designed by Soviet scientists in 1962 or something along those lines. So please let me know if you’ve heard of any.

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