A Lazy Woman’s Guide to Exercise

by Allison Davis

If you’re anything like me (and if you’re pushing/at/just over 30, you are) you may have noticed that some very curious, curious indeed things are happening to your body as you get >cawf< older. Perhaps your boobs are all heeey, belly button! Or maybe your ba-donk-a-donk is starting to resemble a ba-donk-a-don’t. In other words, things are sagging and drooping and wrinkling and buckling and GROWING HAIR YOU GUYS in very unexpected places.

This is your metabolism striking back after five years of vodka Red Bulls, 2 a.m. burritos, and an underused, annoyed uterus. Here’s some real-world examples of where exercise actually comes in handy for an urban, lazy intellectualish lady, with, yes, the extra bonus of looking good in a sweater dress and staving off gout, or whatever.

The Bathroom: I happen to live in the great city of San Francisco, a place where people literally flock to see and be hippies, and it’s common practice to let it mellow if it’s yellow. Conversely, the city insists on keeping a little tissue paper holder over most every toilet seat in any dining or drinking establishment you may find yourself in, because, gross, germs. However, in most parts of the nation, this is not the case. And at the club, a little tissue paper over an atomic bomb of piss, toilet water, and errant cocaine isn’t going to save you. So you gots to hover, girl! That means engaging the shit out of those quad muscles for anywhere from 10 seconds to a full minute and if you’re drunk, you might even need those hammies back there too. Fortunately, there’s an exercise that stimulates this exact practice: Find a wall, anywhere. Sit like you’re sitting in a chair where there is none, so that your back is flat against the wall and your knees are at a 90 degree angle. Hold it. If you’re not shaking like a whore in church within 30 seconds, scoot down a little lower. Yeah, there it is. Automatic bonus of some shapely thighs, plus you’ll be able to hover for days (while putting on lipgloss while talking to your girlfriend in the next stall about whether or not to go home with the drummer while she’s handing you tissues because of course there’s no toilet paper).

The First Birthday Party: If you’re getting to the age where saddlebags aren’t just for horses anymore, you’re probably also at the age where your friends are having kids. And because they’re your friends, you put down the Real Housewives and suck up your hangover and go over there for the bris or christening or naming ceremony, and you pick up the baby and put down the baby and pick up the baby and oh, hello there, hold this baby while I clean baby puke off my Marc Jacobs Jersey Dress, no it’s fine, I’m sure it will come out, just take the baby please, and all of this takes an enormous amount of tricep strength. And the older they get, the more reps are required, because when you’ve played Superman once with a two year-old, well, you’ve done it a thousand times. So, here’s what you do: Find a ledge. Or coffee table. Or couch arm. The lower, the more difficult (and better). Stand with your back to it and extend your arms behind you to grab the ledge/table/arm-palms down, with your fingers facing your body. Scoot your feet out so that your body is about 45 degrees from the floor. Keep straight. Using just your arms, lift yourself up. And down. Keep your body straight! Do this until it burns. Now you’re ready to toss some babies around! And reduce cafeteria lady arms by about 80%. Yup.

The Bedroom: Some of us, and I’m not naming names or looking at any eyes or implicating myself here, but some of us like to try some new shit in the boudoir from time to time. Maybe you’ve been singing the hook to that one Sean Paul song for weeks before you realize, “huh. So maybe this is an actual thing?” Or your boyfriend saw it on redtube and is like, “You knowww, this IS an actual thing…” Whatever the move, I almost promise that it’s going to involve your core. Some of us (and I am DEFINITELY not talking about me here) have a spare two hundo a month to drop on Pilates. Yay, you. For the rest of us there’s the plank. Do this: Get on the floor in push-up position. Drop to your elbows, so that you are resting on your forearms, but keep on your toes. Keep your back straight, and flex up like you’re trying to pull your belly button through your spine. Hold it. Harder than it sounds, innit? Yeah, keep holding it. You wanna drop it like it’s warm, or drop it like it’s hot? THEN HOLD IT LIKE YOUR SEX LIFE IS RIDING ON THIS EXERCISE BECAUSE IT MIGHT BE.

The Thing You Have To Wear Heels To: I mean, you could wear flats, but then you’d get there and you’d be like oh, motherfuck, everyone is wearing heels and I feel 12. Again. So you wear heels, even though you never wear heels because heels hurt your feet, and…now your feet hurt. And it’s only 10 p.m. But you have to keep smiling and acting like you want to be there because that’s what kind of thing this is, otherwise you’d be at a dive bar that could give a shit about footwear, like a very practical (about to be/over) 30 year old should be. However, if we do some calf exercises, this might not be such a big deal. So, let’s try, hmm? First, find a curb, or a stair. Stand on just the first half of it, on the balls of your feet, so that your heels are hanging off. Push all the way up like you’re reaching for something, then let your heels back down. Repeat. Hold on to a nearby handrail or lamp post if you have to. The slower the action, the better, and the longer you do this, the more svelte your calves will look in said stupid, albeit very, very, killer heels.

NOTE: I can’t do anything about the hair in weird places thing. Pluck it well, and often. That’s all I got for you. Maybe ask Jane.

There you have it! A full-body workout with a practical purpose for the girl on the go, and as an added bonus for being so smart and pragmatic, you get to look slammin’ just in time for bikini season. (You’re welcome).

Allison Davis is a writer and TV producer living in San Francisco.