As a writer, It’s not often that I find myself at a loss for words. But a couple of news topics this week rendered me speechless:
1. Ryan Lochte
2. Mermaid thighs
I’m out of words for Lochte mainly because they’ve all been used already. He messed up and is now paying the price in spades, unfortunately.
That leaves mermaid thighs up for discussion.
I said I had no words, but I lied. I actually have a lot to say on this “new and improved” body image classification.
Remember thigh gap?
I talked about this topic in a former post HERE. Basically, thigh gap refers to the inches of space between your thighs when you stand with your feet together.
What? You don’t have one?
It probably means one of four things: You weigh more than 12 lbs., you are not 9 years old, you do not have an eating disorder, and/or your right and left hips do not live in two different zip codes.
Congratulations, you win the war on ridiculous body expectations!
As with many body image obsessions, the pendulum once again swings the opposite way into, you guessed it: mermaid thighs.
Apparently we need fun and festive names for body parts in order to feel good about ourselves.
The term refers to women whose thighs touch together when they stand normally, thereby indicating they likely imbibe in this bizarre ritual called “eating.”
This includes an estimated 99.9% of the worldwide female population, according to my personal observations, which consist of looking around the room with my eyes open.
Thankfully, now I and all my fellow normal size peeps can burst out of that shame closet knowing we possess the “body of a sexy aquatic sea creature.”
That sound you hear? It’s me weeping quietly for the entire sake of humanity.
Okay, I’m back.
So this mermaid thing.
Why do we need a trending hashtag about a body part to accept ourselves?
As a woman who spent way too many years starving herself, I get emotionally exhausted hearing these trends, even if they’re in reverse.
At 57, I know the work it takes to simply maintain status quo, let alone lose weight.
Therefore I am definitely NOT on board with any diet and exercise fads or extreme workouts, mainly because they don’t work over the long haul — and they’re usually painful and frustrating. Plus, you can get hurt.
So “no” is my final answer.
In line with this concept, you really can’t go wrong with body weight exercises.
They’re challenging for beginners as well as seasoned exercisers, can be done without any special equipment, they improve balance, strength and overall fitness using only the weight of your body, which most of us carry around with us at all times.
In other words: We are walking, living, breathing workout machines. Cue the Terminator theme song.
And, if you do the exercises back-to-back they can double as a cardiovascular workout.
In short, what’s not to love?
I’ll tell you: They’re not easy. You still have to work. And you still have to watch your diet.
I’m pausing now to give you time to throw things at your computer screen.
But here’s what’s cool: You can do them anywhere. So whether you’re vacationing, visiting your in-laws or are on house arrest for the time you sped through a stop sign so you could make the last hour of a Macy’s one-day sale, you can still stay in shape.
The following five are some of my faves.
The first one is brand new and especially good if you have knee osteoarthritis like me. This exercise single-handedly eased my knee pain.
Overall, these five exercises hit all the major muscle groups: legs, glutes, core, chest, shoulders, arms and abs.
SIT TO STAND
SQUATS (note: you can do this and sit-to-stand or one or the other)
Which one of these exercises will you try this week? Let me know in the comments section below…
Other posts you may like:
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Your Ageless Body Coach,
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.