Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Body Beautiful

Fit And FaithfulImage by kamshots via FlickrThe unofficial national sport of New Zealand is garage sale-ing, not to be confused with Americas' Cup sailing which we also have a penchant for.

The true officianado with have have scouted the papers several days before and penciled in any likely prospects.  As their name suggests, garage sales take place in an owner's garage and the object of the exercise is to get rid of as much bric a brac as possible, at knock down prices.

Garage sales usually feature at least one exercise machine.  These are last year's model discarded after a couple of months of over exertion and hefty chiropractic bills, only to be replaced by the latest fad.

Charles Atlas
Have you every noticed how the exercise demonstrators on television adverts all go through their paces with permanently fixed grins on their faces?  At first I thought they were enjoying the experience but now I believe it is more likely a grimace of pain as they violently rotate their abductors in near impossible arcs.

The names of the apparatus get even more exotic; the mid drive fluid motion quantum elliptical trainer for example. They have all the 'extras' including built in cooling fans and stereo speakers.

It used to be that people such as Charles Atlas sold a contraption with two handles and a set of springs between.  These were bought through magazines by mail order and there was a certain knack to using them.  Hairy chested men were particularly at risk if they got the exercise routine wrong.

Exercise machines are now everywhere and prevalent in all cultures. You can't even go for a quite walk in the park without being confronted by at least one exercise option around every bend.

Thankfully in Singapore the condo's are small and so most overt exercising takes place in the condo gym.  There was one in Queens condo where we lived but I quickly discovered you needed a pilot's license to programme the walking machines so I preferred to take my exercise in the pool.

There are now attorneys who specialise in home exercise machine accidents and that has got to tell us something about the folly of buying these devices.

As for me, I think I still have that set of springs in a cardboard box in the garage, or did I sell it?
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