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by Alfie

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I make things on the web, mobile and in the actual world.

I've done lots of bits and bobs over the years, and right now I'm mostly working on this.

I enjoy speaking about things I like, most recently this. You can email me if you'd like, and I'm on twitter.

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Nerdercise Fitness training (underpants optional)

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Over the years I've had gym contracts, gone running, tried to cycle more often. I even tried skipping once. Nothing really worked for me, mainly because it was really boring. Then there is the tedium of actually having to *go* somewhere to exercise, a total pain. For the last 5 years or so I have mostly worked from home. That situation has an implicit proximity to snacks, and a marked lack of reason to shift ones arse very often.

I've kind of figured out a method that works for me. It works for me because it takes advantage and makes virtue of my nerd-like existence. I started about a month ago and am much fitter, happier and healthier. Here's all you need:
  • an exercise bike (mid range, about £100, Amazon)
  • a pair of 4.5kg dumbells(turned out I only need the one so give me a shout if you want the other)
  • 5lb ankle weights (optional but v. useful)
  • Underpants (optional, but I recommend them and hey, if you're like me you're probably sitting in them right now so, handy!)
  • a computer
  • the internet
  • a printer (or access to one)
  • favourite TV shows (the more mega-movie length the better, The Wire/Sopranos/West Wing ideal at 40 minute + run-time)
  • a floor
  • video player software
Every day at what would otherwise be my lunchtime (no-one else is really working at 1pm so you're unlikely to miss many emails) I wheel out my bike, plonk it in front of my monitor and load up the latest episode of Dexter, Mad Men, House, Fringe, Flash Forward etc.

For the next 35 minutes I am mostly unaware of my body churning through 15km of cycling, sweat dripping, and the 350 calories burned as I focus on the show. The cycle finished I go to the printed sheet of where I am in my 100 Push-ups or 200 Sit-ups schedule (I alternate each day) and start doing them on the floor in front of my computer (I have a mat but you don't really need one). After each rep (less than 30 seconds each) you rest for 60 seconds, during which I re-focus on the show (I've been listening of course) and then continue to finish.

This puts you almost perfectly at the end of a 42 minute show. On the weekends I switch to shows like Community, Californication and Bored to Death as they are shorter at 25-30 minutes and so I get a bit of a workout  but nothing too strenuous (I don't do pushups/situps on the weekend).

After a week or so your brain should have conflated exercise with TV Nerd pleasure, so you find yourself looking at the time to see if you can get your bike out. Heck, sometimes I can't stand the anticipation so get it out early (have you *seen* the latest episode of Mad Men!?). As opposed to *any* other exercise routine I've tried to get into in the past (skateboarding excluded - aside from the pain that's pure pleasure for me) this one has actually worked. Not only is daily exercise of greater than 30 minutes part of my routine, it is something I both look forward to and find pleasurable. And there you have it, being a TV nerd could be the best thing that's happened to your general health and well-being since those 3 evenings you made it to the gym you still pay for and never visit.


beth says:

Ace, glad it's working out for you.

I still find cycling boring though. My next plan is to get my hands on a waterproof mp3 player for swimming in the pool with. It's funny how making exercise more pleasurable involves gadgets for some people huh?

B

27th Oct 2009, 15:28

Alfie says:

Cycling *is* boring. Honestly though, if you're really into a show you don't much notice that you're even doing it. I also want a waterproof MP3, but to fit into my nerdercise paradigm I'd need a swimming pool in my flat.

27th Oct 2009, 15:32

beth says:

Ah, I joined the hotel gym that's on the next street to my house, sometimes it's still -too- far away though.

curse my lazy bones!

27th Oct 2009, 15:33

540air says:

Terrific way to exercise. "Nerdercising" could be the next big thing!!

I disagree about cycling being boring though, you see so much more than you do when driving and then there's always the challenge of teh stopwatch, the speed, the jumps........ :)

27th Oct 2009, 16:53

beth says:

Oh I mean static cycling - I love normal cycling! It's a bit dangerous in Leeds though.

27th Oct 2009, 16:56

jc1000000 says:

I love the fact you put on special trainers for the routine :)

27th Oct 2009, 17:59

Alfie says:

haha! I have workout togs :) @540air - what Beth said; static cycling is boring, real cycling can't be.

27th Oct 2009, 18:12

540air says:

Static cycling can be fun, the last time I did any, I also managed to complete a 36 hole golf tournament on the ps2 and have a couple of beers. Nerdicising is the way forward!! :)

27th Oct 2009, 20:12

beth says:

yes, i don't know why he's wearing a wet suit as well though..

28th Oct 2009, 02:04

JokerXL says:

lol @ 540's cycling with beer comment. I could get into that.
;-)

29th Oct 2009, 13:29