Earlier this week, I moved my Cheesecake Factory Teddy Bear  (who is dressed in a pink workout outfit I might add) off my stationery bicycle (which I had not used in almost six months or longer) and I started a new exercise regiment. which features a 15 minute morning workout.  I set my weekday alarm for 6:00 a.m. instead of 6:15 a.m. and I get up and start to do what I call my “mini middle age workout.”

Of course, I  have to practically throw my body out of bed each morning when the alarm goes off as it did this past week.  But, I told myself, “it’s so good for you Judi, just get up and keep it up.”

What prompted this sudden burst of morning energy, you may ask?

Well, well, well…it happened after I read an article in last week’s New York Times, Magazine, called A Workout for Your Bloodstream, about the molecular effects of exercise. The article featured the results of research done by Dr. Gregory Lewis, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Dr. Lewis’ study gauged the metabolic effects of exercise. The results found that  “after only 10 minutes of exercise, even the least fit showed evidence that their bodies were burning fat; the more fit, the more metabolic evidence of fat burning.”

I immediately took a liking to Dr. Lewis and to his study.  I had been frustrated of late because I was having a tough time fitting exercise into my busy schedule. But now I decided, if even 10 minutes of exercise can possibly make a difference to my long term health, I have no more excuses.   And, if I add several 10 minute workouts throughout the day, perhaps it can also help me better maintain my weight.

It’s been a fun challenge.  On Tuesday, I felt totally full after dining out with some colleagues from work.  It’s time for another mini middle age workout, I said to myself as I drove home. You ate that mini key lime pie, now go take 10 or 15 minutes and go work it off.

Off to the gym I went.  I had never worked out at 9:00 p.m. before.  But, if it was only going to last for 10 – 15 minutes, I was definitely game.  Zip, zip, zip – I lifted my weights and I was outta there and back home by 9:30 p.m. Ooh, aah.  Ooh, aah.  I’m starting to like these mini middle age workouts more and more.

What other mini middle age workouts can I do?

– 10 minutes of jumping jacks (Can I do that?)
– 10 minutes of push ups (Will I get Michelle Obama’s arms like my yoga teacher always says when she puts us in plank position?)
– 10 minutes of sit ups (Wonder how many sit ups I can do in 10 minutes?)
– 10 minute walk at lunchtime (I’ll be moving morning, noon and night!)

I sure hope I can keep this incremental exercise regimen going this coming week?  Tomorrow is Monday morning. I just set the alarm for 6:00 a.m.  My Cheesecake Factory Teddy Bear is sitting on the pillow right next to my face.  I have no choice.  If I turn to my left – there’s the alarm clock.  If I turn to my right – there’s Teddy. 

Will I do it?  Won’t I do it?  If I keep up my mini middle age workouts for a month maybe I will build up some momentum and promise myself a special treat like a new pair of New Balance workout shoes, or a new yoga outfit from my favorite Lucy store? 

Oh, no. Oh, no.

Another  study that was published in the March issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association says that “Women at a normal weight who consume a normal diet can beat middle-age weight gain by working out intensely for 30 minutes a day, whether by running, cycling, swimming laps or working out at a gym. Weight gain can also be prevented with 60 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, a leisurely bike ride or playing catch.”

Better get some rest so I can get up early and start working out.  I may need to max out my mini middle age workouts to keep my middle-age middle in check.