Monday, March 29, 2010

OK, ladies, get out there and exercise


I love conventional wisdom—when it’s the same as what I want to do anyway.

Now, our friends the scientists have come up with a study that shows that to avoid gaining weight as they age, women must do “moderate” exercise an hour a day.

Or 30 minutes five days a week, anyhow.

Normal weight women with a normal diet will still gain as they age without this exercise.

Another study said people really need to do a hour seven days a week.

In the study, 134,000 women over 45 were tracked over 13 years. Those who did the stints of exercise stayed the same weight. Those who did less gained an average of 5.7 lbs.

If you are fat—all bets are off—you have to cut calories and increase exercise and even then….as many find…well….

I had a doctor tell me to walk an hour a day. I did it every morning in the National Zoo before opening time. Very peaceful, no one around, dew on the plants, beautiful. I once got to pet the dingoes out on a leash with their keeper. In retrospect, this was probably not a great idea, but I was pretty relaxed in those days.

I didn’t lose weight, as I once said in this blog, but I did stay about the same, I guess.

Then, one week, I got back from a trip and learned that a disturbed woman had jumped in the lion pen and the pair had killed her and consumed part of her leg.

I had stood for literally hours watching those two lions watch me… Kind of took the edge off, hearing that.

I also used to watch the tiger swim back and forth in his moat. He was pretty svelte, as tigers tend to be. His head was the size of a large bushel-basket, though.

And the panda? When I went, they were down to one. The keeper would lay out his breakfast on a tree stump, an orange, grapes, and an armful of cut bamboo beside him. He would sit with his back toward me and eat. No matter what I did--whisper, talk to him...He just munched away.

Talk about the best years of your life--and you didn't even know it at the time.

I mean me, not the dopey panda.

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