Don't get me wrong. I'm a big fan of 1000+ page novels and other reading commitments but I do enjoy spending an afternoon lazily flipping through pages of a magazine looking at the beautiful photography and reading the short and easily digestible articles.
Have you heard of Next Issue? I love it! It's a monthly subscription service that allows you access to a wide variety of magazines on your reading device. In my case an iPad mini. The range of magazines is pretty broad and you can pick the ones you're interested in. At the moment I have 31 different magazines I get every month but I can change that any time I want. There are probably just as many I don't get and they are adding more all the time.
Thirty-one magazines. And some of them are weeklies. Think about that for a minute.
I love it because I can explore magazines I wouldn't ever go out and buy and would never subscribe to. But, since they're included in my subscription, why not? I read golf magazines, cooking magazines, news magazines, financial, running, fashion and health magazines. I have National Geographic and The New Yorker. I have things for the days when I want to look at pretty clothes and nail polish colours, things when I need some workout inspiration, financial encouragement or news bites. Thanks to Next Issue I am never at a loss for things to read.
And imagine how much more fun it is to fly when you have all those magazines at your fingertips!
So the other day I was catching up on a few issues of Prevention magazine. One of those magazines that I had never even heard of before Next Issue and would probably never buy. It's a combination of articles like how to get in touch with your pet's emotional side intermixed with how to increase the amount of iron in your diet and a smattering of tips and tricks for how to strengthen your calves.
I was flipping through it in bed the other night and came across one of those articles that shows a few different exercises you can do at home to strengthen your core. You know the ones I'm talking about. They have tiny photographs of a lovely looking model doing all sorts of seemingly easy poses using a kitchen chair, broom and cans of soup. I usually flip by those in a hurry to get to more substantial articles.
This time I didn't.
I stopped and read the intro article. I studied the 14 exercises. And I thought "I can do that!"
In fact I took it one step further and thought "I want to do that".
See, I'm a big fan of cardio-type workouts. I swim, run and cycle regularly. But I don't have any strength training in my routine. I used to lift weights at the gym years ago but haven't in a long long time. The workout that I read was designed to strengthen the core muscles as well as arms, shoulders, butt, legs etc. There were 14 exercises that you do for one minute each and then you repeat the entire cycle.
I can do that.
So on Sunday morning I put on my sadly unused yoga top and shorts and headed to the living room. I pulled out my yoga mat, my elastic band thingie and some hand weights I used to use (8 pounds each because those were the lightest I had).
I worked my way through the workout and was dripping by exercise 4. Shaking by number 6 and unable to completely do the last few. I collapsed on the mat for a few minutes at the end of the 14 and then convinced myself to do a second run through. It was a little easier the second time but nowhere near easy. Thirty minutes later I was a weak, humbled, soaking mess of my former self but I was grinning from ear to ear.
"I'm so gonna hurt tomorrow" I said.
By bedtime I was actually a little disappointed that nothing hurt yet. I thought I must have worked some muscles hard enough for them to hurt. But nothing. I went to sleep feeling oddly bothered by the fact that I felt fine. I woke up around 3am having to use the ladies room. I was lying on my stomach so I quietly began to push myself up but quickly stopped. Bloody hell - my abs are killing me. Instead of pushing myself up and clambering out of bed I gingerly rolled myself out. My abs hurt, my legs hurt and my butt hurt.
It's been a long time since I've felt that familiar ache of a tough muscle-burning weight training session. I forgot how much I used to enjoy that.
I'm giving myself a few days to recover and will be doing it again on Thursday.