Here's something LA Fitness doesn't want you to know: You don't need a gym to get lots of exercise.
The girls and I got plenty of exercise today doing something I'm sure a lot of mothers wish their kids would do less of: running around inside. With the temperature in the low 30s and Rachel already coughing something fierce because of a recent cold, it seemed unlikely that any of us was going to get out our restless energy, let alone give ourselves the sort of activity that doctors say is useful for maintaining heart health and that parents say is conducive to a good night's sleep.
Well, bollocks, I say. We're too imaginative to let a little thing like cold weather keep us immobile.
Rachel and I started while Evangeline was still at a play date downtown. I gave her a minute, and told her to see how many laps she could manage on the stairs. When she finished off at four, I gave it a try and began running as fast as I safely could, until at the end of seven trips back and forth, I was glad that she would get to go first on our next contest, and really disappointed at how far I've gone to seed.
Still, I had regained my breath by my turn -- thank goodness I'm not that far gone -- and followed Rachel's lead of running from the front door to the bathroom, and back. I beat her at this one, too, but Evangeline, back from her play date by this point, edged me out by one lap.
After that, it was more conventional exercises like push-ups and sit-ups, before we turned our attention back to the stairs.
We didn't go as far or as long as when I've taken the girls out on some marathon walks on past weekends, but by the time we had finished, all three of us had had a blast. We'd had a couple ticklefests, got a decent workout without needing a trip to the gym or needing to buy expensive fitness equipment like stationary bikes or Stair Masters. All we'd needed was the floor and the staircase that came with our house.
And if that's not good enough, I know the girls'll be happy to do this again tomorrow and any other day I propose it.