Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Don Quixote Mind/Body Workout

Are you in danger of looking like Sancho Panza?  Want to get your svelte Don Quixote figure back without resorting to an enchanted balm, eating grass or going mad?  Well then the Don Quixote Mind/Body workout is for you!    The Mind The Don Quixote Mind/Body workout is unique in that it exercises both your mind and your body.  It is a revolutionary approach to exercise that does not involve yogic contortions or dangerous Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon moves.   The program is broken into two sessions.  The first half belongs to the mind.  Find yourself a comfortable chair with good support.  Open Don Quixote, I recommend the hardcover Edith Grossman edition for best effect, and read.  If you are a beginner it is okay to prop your book up on a pillow until you gain the stamina to support it without assistance. Read for 30 minutes. DQMind   The Body After you have exercised your mind it is time to move your body around.   Bicep Curls. Every knight errant worth his salt needs strong arms to lift his sword and lance.  Maidens in distress are not exempt either.  Maidens need strong arms to fend off attacks on their honor until a good knight can come and rescue them.  So, take DQ in hand, be sure to keep your wrist straight and bend your arm from the elbow.  Repeat 20 times each arm or as many times as you can before your hand goes numb and the book falls to the floor. DQbiceps   Sit Ups A knight needs to be able to fit into his armor and a lady into her silk gowns.  Add something extra to your sit ups by placing DQ on your chest and wrapping your arms around it.  Be sure to keep your knees bent.  Hook your feet under a chair or sofa to keep yourself from sliding across the floor.  Repeat 50 times, 100 if you want that "six-pack" abs look. DQsitups   Leg Lifts Leg lifts are particularly important for maidens who may need to give something or someone a good swift kick in the ---.  But knights need strong legs too, armor is heavy and they will not always find themselves sitting on their valiant and noble steeds.  Place DQ on your legs between your ankles and your knees, lift your legs up together, hold for a count of 5, then lower.  If you find you have trouble keeping DQ on your legs, then using a bungee cord is acceptable.  Repeat 20 times DQleglifts  Push Ups. Knights need strong shoulders for battle.  Maidens need to look attractive in off the shoulder gowns.  Both will benefit from push ups.  While face down on the floor, place DQ on your upper back.  With your hands next to your shoulders,  push yourself up until your elbows are nearly straight then lower yourself to just above the floor.  If you find your are unable to keep DQ from sliding off your back, first check to see that you are keeping your back straight.  if you are sure you are doing the push up correctly and still experience trouble, you can use bungee cords or place DQ in a backpack.  Maidens repeat 20 times, knights 50 DQpushups   Aerobics Now it is time for the aerobic portion of the workout.  Remove the slipcover from DQ and place on a flat, no-skid surface.   You can now use DQ for your favorite step aerobic routine.  If you want to work out your arms during aerobics, then be sure to avail yourself of a paperback edition of DQ. DQaerobics   Cool Down Meditation After you have completed your Don Quixote Mind/Body workout, be sure to spend at least five minutes in cool down meditation.  Sit on the floor, legs crossed.  It is acceptable to sit on a pillow.  To help strengthen your neck and spine during meditation and to help you be more balanced, place DQ on your head.  Close your eyes and relax your arms on the tops of your legs.  Breath deeply and feel your muscles let go of all the stress of knight errantry and maiden in need.  DQmeditation   And there you have it, the Don Quixote Mind/Body workout. You'll be slim and trim in no time.   As with all exercise programs, be sure to speak with your physician before beginning. For those who like a little music with their workouts, may I suggest trying one of these?

*Special thanks to my Bookman for posing for the push up photo, and to the dog, Godzilla, for making a special guest appearance.