Fitness Friday:: Funny Headlines, Regardless of Your Political Affiliation
Reading this post will not only help you burn calories, but also help you decide how to vote in the up-coming presidential election! I’m not making this up.
First, the calories. A new study confirms that laughter is a legitimate form of exercise.
“…laughter is fundamentally a physical action. ‘Laughter involves the repeated, forceful exhalation of breath from the lungs,’ says Robin Dunbar, a professor of evolutionary psychology at Oxford, who led the study. ‘The muscles of the diaphragm have to work very hard.’ …prolonged laughing can be painful and exhausting. Rather like a difficult workout.”
What does that mean for you? Well, assuming you laugh, it means reading this post is akin to a painful workout. I think that’s a good thing. Therefore, I can almost guarantee you some good abs, because science is on my side.
Of course, laughter also produces an endorphin release, which is known to increase your pain tolerance. And the increased pain tolerance will help you endure the next week and a half of negative political ads, which, in turn, will help you make wise and informed decisions on November 6th.
Speaking of political ads (and good abs), did you know both Paul Ryan and Michelle Obama do P90X? If you were to vote, based on this information alone, you’d probably be what they call an “undecided voter” which would qualify you to participate in one of those post-debate panels on Fox News. Hello? Bucket list!!!
Did you also know that “Paul Ryan Shirtless” is Googled 9 times more often than “Paul Ryan Budget”?
For research purposes ONLY, I typed the words “Paul Ryan” into my Google search engine. And sure enough, the first suggestion Google gave me was, “shirtless.” Followed by “budget.”
Followed again by “Wikipedia.” Which is completely irrelevant to this post.
Again, for research purposes ONLY, I entered “Paul Ryan shirtless” into the Google search engine and–after thinking about how much I love my job–found this:
I also Googled “Barack Obama shirtless” and “Joe Biden shirtless.”
I have nothing newsworthy to report there.
I did not, however Google “Michelle Obama shirtless”. Because I have boundaries. And an aggressive internet filter.
But here is Michelle Obama flexing her biceps:
Say what you want about Barack–but Michelle is just classy. I like her. In fact, in my fantasy presidential race, Michelle and Paul Ryan run against each other. Wouldn’t that be cool? The debate could include a “Feats of Strength” category.
More on Michelle: If your kids go to a public school, you are probably already familiar with Michelle Obama’s healthy school lunch initiative, Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The policy was intended to not only wipe out hunger and malnutrition among American students, but also encourage healthy eating. It calls for changes in the school lunches by adding fruit and vegetables and fewer sweet and fatty foods. It also limits the calorie count of each lunch to 850.
My kids go to private schools, so we are not affected by the initiative, but I’m happy that someone is doing something–ANYTHING— about the school lunches.
I have some strong opinions about what the schools feed our kids. The greasy, fried, nutrient-deficient lunches need to stop. Our kids are obese, tired and ill-behaved. Terrible food is not helping.
So, imagine how excited I was in August, when for the first time ever, the administration at my kids’ elementary school sent home an “approved snack list.” The teachers explained that kids learn better and behave better when they eat healthy snacks.(Agreed!) Therefore, they kindly asked that any snack sent from home be from the “approved list” only. (Great!)
Finally, I thought, some recognition that bad food adversely affects our kids. Even though I was a bit suspicious about what they deemed “healthy” (Cheeze-its? pretzels? fruit gummies?), I was hopeful this meant junk food in the classroom would cease. Or at least decrease dramatically.
Not so. In just the first 2 months of school, my children have already been served in the classroom
- donuts (for the letter “D”)
- ice cream (for good behavior in the cafeteria)
- a Mc Donald’s Happy Meal (for the letter “H”)
- cupcakes (multiple birthdays)
- and cookies (no clue)
- And almost every day, my kindergartner comes home with some form of candy–usually a small pack of M&M’s, Skittles or Smarties. I have no idea where this is coming from or why she has it.
- Oh, and the Middle School and High School still have soda machines, racks of packaged snacks (think Little Debbie’s and chips), Chick Fil-A every Wednesday, and Papa John’s Pizza every Friday.
Yet, my homemade granola bars are on the banned list. Why? Because of the chocolate chips. I can’t send granola bars with chocolate chips in for a snack, because chocolate is not on the “approved list”.
I still send them though. I’m a rebel that way. I’m waiting for someone to call me on it, so we can have this discussion. Trust me, I’d be more than happy to have this discussion.
(I know some teachers and fellow parents read this blog. For the record, I love our school. In every parent survey since my 8th grader has been in kindergarten, I have expressed my clear opinion that I love the school, but for the junk that is constantly served in the classroom. My husband has spoken to a board member about the issue. And I accepted an invitation in the spring from another campus of the same private school system to teach the students and their parents how to make healthy snacks. So, if you are wondering if I’m just ranting or if I’ve actually tried to do something about it, the answer is yes. I’m ranting AND I’ve tried to do something about it.)
Okay…Where was I?
Yes, Michelle’s school lunch initiative. Apparently, most people are not supportive of it, which I find terribly disheartening. Turns out, some parents never introduced fruits and vegetables at home (duh—that’s why we need it), so kids don’t like the veggies at school. Instead of eating them, they are throwing away their lunches. Thus, they are hungry. Which ironically, is the exact opposite of what the initiative hoped to achieve.
Some students in Massachusetts actually created a black market for chocolate syrup. Really? Was a chocolate syrup an entree on the school lunch menu at one point prior to this?? What kind of crazy nation is this??? If I put a few more question marks, will I appear more baffled??????
In addition, high school athletes claim that an 850-calorie lunch is just not enough to sustain them. I guess I get that. But to this I ask: can’t they pack a snack?
Or, maybe if they didn’t throw out their fruit and vegetables…
You may have already seen this viral You Tube video, written and produced by a group of hungry student athletes in Kansas. It’s kinda funny–a parody of the song “We Are Young.”
(Note: this post contains several You Tube Videos. If you are reading this through your e-mail subscription, you will need to click over to the blog to see them)
Speaking of kids and nutrition (or lack thereof), Honey Boo Boo allegedly fell asleep on TV during her interview with Dr. Drew. I have never watched Honey Boo Boo or Dr. Drew, but had to follow up on this story—you know, for research purposes ONLY.
You can see the clip of the interview here:
Or better yet, I’ll just save you 53 seconds of your life and tell you what I think: Clearly Honey Boo Boo’s mamma needs to feed her a healthier diet, and maybe administer some more effective discipline. But, I don’t care what they say, that child did not fall asleep. If you’ve been around kids longer than about 5 minutes, you recognize a fake-snore when you see it. It was a fake snore. She’s a kid. She was playing.
And this last story isn’t news (as if that last story was?), but it’s funny: Here’s Ellen challenging Michelle Obama to a push-up contest. What a hoot.
Those P90X arms can crank out some push ups. I should know. Just last month, I beat my husband in a push-up contest, fair and square, I kid you NOT. My children counted and they stand as my witnesses.
Jon stopped at 33.
I stopped at 34.
Michelle Obama stopped at 25,
Technically, I beat Jon, Michelle AND Ellen.
I am the champion–of the world.
My husband accepted his defeat graciously, despite the fact I posted it on Facebook for all our real-life friends and family to see. And now, of course, on my blog for the rest of the world to see. It’s probably because he knows he can finish a Half Iron Man (1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride, and a 13.1-mile run) in under 5 hours. He also knows I would die five minutes into the swim and never make it to the run or the bike.
So, he lets me have the push-ups contest.
Linking up with Jill Conyers today!
Speaking of laughter, you left off one important aspect of the push-up contest…that’s right…laughter. There’s an added degree of difficulty when three taunting children are yelling “go, go, go” in your face. I mean how does one continue to pump out push-ups when your stomach is cramped up from laughter. Just saying.
Still, 34 push-ups is pretty freakin’ amazing.
Let me have this, Jon. I ran with you a few weeks ago and stopped after 5 minutes. Let me have the push-up contest. That, and Centipede. I can beat you in Centipede.
P.S. Happy Birthday
The sweets in schools drives me crazy! My daughter is almost 3 and goes to a morning program twice a week. Almost once a week, she’s had a giant cupcake or cookie because someone had a birthday and brought in treats. I used to work in an elem school and was appalled at the lunches, not to mention treats, parties and candy rewards. I hear ya!
Wow…she goes only twice a week, and has a sugary treat one of those days??? That would drive me crazy, too. Especially, at age 3.
While I do agree with the nutrition in school aspect, we are on the opposite end of the spectrum where NO FOOD other than a packed lunch is allowed. (some grades have a snack depending on when their lunch hour is.)
There is not even a snack at the parties. (sniffle….)
So, I think that there can be a balance, as in, for the three parties a year, can the kids have a fun cookie and some water? Or, pick one day a month to celebrate those birthdays – advise the parents ahead of time what day it is and we will let that be their treat that day instead of one in the lunch box or at dinner.
Such a first world problem 😉
Have a good weekend!
I agree, Mindy. I think a balance would be nice–our school has not found that yet. Doesn’t sound like yours has either.
There are so many good healthy snacks that kids could have at parties that do not have to be store-bought cookie cakes or store-bought cupcakes with 3-inch blue frosting (those appear so often in my kids’ classrooms. I despise them.) Popcorn or fruit with a sweet dip is such a treat to a kid, yet still has nutritional value. A home made granola bar. A giant tray of fresh and colorful veggies and dip. Trail mix…I could go on…
It is a “first world problem” in the sense that we are probably the only nation who has such an epidemic of obese kids, kids with type 2 diabetes, kids with heart disease. It breaks my heart.
When I hear the term “first world problem” I think of something that seems significant to us, but in light of the world’s problems, really isn’t a big deal. But I think this truly is a big problem. On one end of the spectrum, kids in other countries are dying of malnutrition. On our end of the spectrum, kids are dying (or are very ill) from over-indulgence and STILL malnutrition. So, I think it’s a pretty big deal. And in our country, it’s such an easy fix. Because we have unlimited access to whole foods. If we just fed our kids a diet of mainly whole foods, the occasional treat wouldn’t really matter all that much.
OK…I’m ranting again.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I hope I didn’t just scare you away!! 🙂
Sandy this is awesome! I read P90X and saw Tony’s face and had to read it all! I challenge Chad and Alec to planks and I’m undefeated 🙂 I’ll have to see how I do against them with push-ups.
I like your way of voting! 😉
The snacks are awful, I wrote a similar post on my blog last week about the awful “treats” people feed to their kids all the time. I find it ridiculous that my daughter walks out of dance with suckers and candy every week and I get looked at like the bad mom when I tell her she isn’t going to eat that right before dinner (if ever!).
My husband and I went to see a famous comedian and I laughed harder than I ever had in my life before or since. I was sore for days afterwards. More than ab ripper X. Hmmm…maybe I just start watching comedy DVDs rather than that P90X.
Wow, you, Michelle AND Ellen can beat me in a push up contest! I think that the stuff served at school is ridiculous! We used to have a “Nutrition Break” in high school, but what they sold at the cafeteria was mostly candy bars, donuts and soda!
I did watch Honey Boo Boo a couple of times just because it’s my job to be culturally relevant and all that. I do have to say, the kid is hilarious. Parents? Nope. But she is really, really funny. Much funnier than my kids.
Just think how much funnier she’d be if she actually had a vegetable once in a while.
You never scare me, you just enlighten! 🙂
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