Nov 20, 2013 2 Share

Pushing Myself

Close-up of man doing push-ups.

The "Battle of the Bulge" was one of the most infamous conflicts of World War II. It has—regrettably in my view—inspired a more informal usage of the name to describe some people’s ongoing struggles to maintain a healthy weight. I have been working on reducing my own waistline, which has taken on a particular roundness from years of sitting while completing my college education (my father has given me a creative nickname of “Buddha Belly”). The latest tool in my ongoing crusade to better my physical being is a new DVD exercise program with which I hope to get some promising results.

The program consists of a series of 10-minute workouts, each honing in on different areas of the body. A person can do from one to three of these workouts (with warm-up and cool-down periods) each day. Some of the exercises require the use of a mat and elastic bands.

Due to my current stamina level, I am concentrating on one 10-minute workout per day, but I hope to add more workouts in per day as time goes on. Each workout is made up of 10 to 20 exercises which target specific muscle groups for the area of my body that I am working on in a short span of time. I watch the exercises being carried out on a DVD and then perform them myself. 

I do the best that I can, but sometimes I do not notice certain nuances of the exercises and assume a bad form. I usually start out concentrating on one important detail of the exercise while missing finer details and my form reflects that. My mother acts as my coach and spotter, helping me to maintain proper form and to properly utilize my equipment. Her help and encouragement has made these workouts much more bearable for me. If I am using bad form or missing an important component of the exercise, my mother stops me, and I watch the DVD again to see where I have to correct myself.

When first trying a new exercise, it is hard for me to concentrate on its multiple aspects. However, after watching the exercise again on the DVD and with my mother’s verbal instructions, I eventually gain an understanding of what I am supposed to do. My moves smooth out and my frustration level lessens as I see that I am moving along with the instructors. I also like this particular DVD program because there are modified moves for beginners—something I really need right now. I know that as I work with the program more everything will come to me easier and the workout will go much smoother. The workouts do place some strain on my body, which is something that I do not normally physically feel very often but notice right away when I am experiencing it. The exercises can be quite grueling for me because of my weak muscle tone, gross motor issues, and very tight hamstrings. Not being able to motor plan as well as most people my age is a disadvantage for me, and I can become very frustrated when I cannot move the way I want to, especially when I see the instructors moving well and doing the exercises perfectly. I have to remember that I am just learning and nothing is perfect in this world. My mother also reminds me that I can do the modified moves and as long as I am trying and doing the exercises as well as I can, I am benefiting.        

I am still at the beginning stage of figuring out my new exercise program, but I do like it. I work up quite a sweat, and I feel that all my hard work will better my overall health. After all, this program is helping me set a new precedent for good healthy habits for the rest of my life, so I feel it is well worth pursuing. 

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re: exercise program

Hi, Ben, I wish you well in your new exercise program. Stay healthy while you're young, because after 50 it's all downhill! I am so out of shape that when I read the CCC requirements for gym class, which was to work out for two hours a week at the YMCA, I cried. I literally cried.


Thank you for the encouragement!  I am planning on staying healthy for a very long time, and I hope this exercise program will help me to do just that.  I remember looking at the health classes in my college catalog; the walking program looked interesting to me, but I was so busy with my regular college work that I feel it would have been hard for me to find time for it.  Now that I have more time and energy to spare, I hope I can become more healthy, or at least to get rid of my belly fat!  Thanks again for reading!