In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Jan. 20, 2005 /10 Shevat, 5765

Iron-mom exercises option to get fit

By Marybeth Hicks

Printer Friendly Version

Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Exercise produces endorphins. That's what all the magazine articles say. That's what the exercise physiologists say. It's universally accepted that rigorous physical activity creates endorphins that make you feel happy   —   dare I say, even euphoric.

I don't care what they say; this simply is not true. Exercise produces pain, and only desisting exercise stops the pain.

Like countless middle-aged women, I give just one part of my body adequate regular exercise: my right calf muscle. This muscle's job is to accelerate and decelerate my minivan as it careens down the streets of suburbia, carting children to their various athletic endeavors and events.

Engaged in a mindless "point and flex" routine, my right calf tones itself by performing millions of "reps," moving my foot from gas pedal to brake pedal, brake to gas, gas to brake   —   over and over, mile after mile.

The only problem is, I have two legs, and the automatic transmission in my van leaves nothing for my left calf to do but atrophy   —   not to mention the rest of me.

The irony of this situation is not lost on my middle-aged physique. Here I am, desperately in need of regular exercise, which I don't get because I spend roughly one third of my waking hours driving children to places where they will enjoy   —   you guessed it   —   regular exercise.

This brings me to the issue of fairness. Why is exercise a priority for my children but not for me? I even posed the question to some other parents at a basketball game: "Why do our kids get a healthful lifestyle while we parents just sit in the stands?"

"There's no justice," we agreed while sharing some hot buttered popcorn and avoiding the arduous climb to the top of the bleachers. Our hearts only race when there's so much traffic on the way to the game that we have to sprint across the parking lot to make the tip-off.

The thing that really tipped the scales for me   —   in addition to my burgeoning hips   —   was the sanctimonious attitude I saw growing in my teenage daughter. Clearly, she thinks I'm lazy, if not lacking in athletic ability.

She has no recollection of years spent in the child care room at the health club. In those days, I huffed and puffed for long stretches on the treadmill. I swam laps. I walked the indoor track. I even played tennis.

My children don't know I used to lift weights, either. They think I'm only strong enough to lift bags of groceries, baskets of laundry and the occasional tall-skinny-caramel-cap-no-whip-no-foam to my lips.

Donate to JWR

They don't know I used to be fit, and they think the very idea of my running is funny. People run, not mothers.

In an effort to find my inner fitness freak, if not simply to disabuse my daughter of the notion that I'm a slug, I vowed I wouldn't accept a sedentary life any longer. Not to mention, my children look as if they belong on the pages of High School Runner magazine, and their mother wears sweats because elastic waistbands are more comfortable than pants with zippers.

I had to face the fact: There comes a time when you can no longer claim "running to the grocery store" as a workout, even if you are wearing sweats.

This is why I started walking. Not just walking   —   power walking   —   the kind where you look as if you're rushing to get to a bathroom or a hair appointment. Walking purposefully   —   head up, shoulders back, arms engaged, abdominals taut.

My walking routine worked for a while   —   until the inevitable boredom set in. Even with music piped to my ears, walking is monotonous. Plus, it's too easy to bail on my workout in favor of the day's chores and activities (such as driving people to sports practice).

So I declared my quest for fitness by going public. I joined a women's walking group that's preparing for a marathon. For a small fee, I got a team shirt, a walking schedule and a certified walking coach who will teach me to do that funny-looking "race walk." So far, when I walk at her side, I'm only looking at my coach's right shoulder, but she swears that one of these days I'll keep up with her.

Did I mention that all this walking takes place in the great outdoors? Nothing empowers a walker in training like a brisk stroll on a Saturday afternoon in subzero temperatures. Besides, once you lose the feeling in your extremities because of the wind chill, you hardly notice the pain.

But what about those endorphins? There's supposed to be a chemical reaction to exercise that takes place in the brain. Dopamine is supposed to course through my bloodstream, creating a natural "high."

I don't get that. What I do get is a healthy sense of self-righteousness when, on a blustery cold day, I'm hauling my cellulite out the door for a power walk while my teenage daughter lolls on the couch in full potato mode. She's between seasons.

It's probably too late to change the shape of the bucket in my bucket seat, but I'm not discouraged. One of these days, I'll be the only athlete in my family to complete a marathon. When that day comes, I'm going to get someone to drive me to the race, just to see how it feels. trouble.

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 17 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.

The hard work of bringing up geeks
What if teenagers made the rules?
Sage advice to a mom about Instant Messaging

© 2005, Marybeth Hicks