Oliver Lee Bateman has spent the past two decades skimming the glossy magazines in supermarket checkout lines. Here’s what he thinks he learned from them about staying healthy.
In the December/January 2011 issue of Men’s Fitness, television mega-celebrity Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino offered eight hot tips for developing a body like his. Given that “The Situation” has a turkey neck, a hairless upper torso and nonexistent shoulder muscles, it is unclear why such a body would amount to a desideratum for anyone. Nevertheless, he got to co-author a column in one of America’s most popular periodicals, and that probably counts for something. Since dispensing advice also happens to be my métier, I’ve decided to prepare a set of health tips for impoverished adults who can’t afford the glossy, attention-grabbing magazines sold in the checkout lines of CVS, Walgreen’s, and Rite Aid.
Start by limiting your carb consumption. Carbs are your enemy, and they’re lurking everywhere. That candy bar you love so much? Thousands of carbs. The ranch dressing-saturated side salad you buy at the Wendy’s near the strip mall where the K-Mart used to be? Incalculable carbs. Even air has some carbs in it, which is why you’ll want to breathe sparingly and use nose strips whenever and wherever possible. FYI, this is why you see so many NFL players wearing those things: They’re worried about consuming too many life-threatening carbs.
Another thing you need to do is to eat plenty of omegas. Omegas contain a crapload of health — way more health than carbs or sugars — and they were mentioned frequently on Oprah’s award-winning television show. One way you can get omegas is through nuts, which are sold exclusively in 3-oz. packages at Starbucks. This nut monopoly is one of the reasons there are so many GD Starbucks in the United States — an unalterable fact of life that our hottest college comedians will never tire of laughing about.
The blue group — which includes blueberries, blueberry juice, blueberry muffin tops and blueberry-flavored Kool-Aid — is another great source of good stuff. According to research I’m either dimly remembering or completely making up, there are antioxidants in these products. What antioxidants do is assist in the war against oxidants, a struggle that has raged inside your body since long before you born. Once you’ve got a bunch of antioxidants running a train in your bloodstream, you’ll be ready to take your health stardom to the next level.
It’s possible that doctors have said that small meals are better than big ones, so focus on grabbing between 15 and 20 “quick bites” per day. A good way to keep track of this is to individually bag 15 grapes, writing a number on each bag. After you’ve done that, eat the bagged grapes in numerical order. Between bites, consume four gallons of water. This might seem like a lot, but do the math: The earth is nearly 75 percent water, your body is 98.6 percent water, and water is 100 percent water. In other words, you’ve got a lot of H2O drinking ahead of you.
After you’ve started eating right, you should focus on getting lots of sleep. A good average is around 15 hours per night. Although that might seem like a lot, you can fit it into even the busiest of schedules. One way you can catch up on some much-needed rest is by creating your own vacation. If you have work or classes on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday but choose not to show up, you’ve created a new holiday. Not only is this a healthy trick, but it’s great fun, too. Unlike in high school, where some crusty principal will track you down à la Ed Rooney in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” most McDonald’s assistant managers and college profs couldn’t care less if you take a little time off to enjoy the finer things in life.
Finally, you can’t reach optimal health without exercise. According to TV and the Internet, the most important body parts are the arms and the abdominal muscles. You’ll need huge “guns” if you’re a swoll bro on the prowl, and thin, toned arms if you’re trying to look as classy as our First Lady. Abdominals come in handy when you’re trying to wear your midriff-baring shirts with your low-rise jeans.
A great exercise for the abdominals is the crunch. To do a crunch, lie down flat on the ground and bend forward a fraction of an inch. Do several thousand of these and you’ll be sure to feel the burn. One thing you’ll want to avoid is the sit-up, which uses a full range of motion and can make your stomach feel sore. You can tone your biceps with a wide variety of “As Seen on TV” products, ranging from adjustable dumbbells — available for the low, low price of $5,999 — to high-intensity Shake Weights that target all of those hard-to-reach areas.
As Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino writes in his extraordinarily well-researched article, you should “make working out your No. 1 commitment, because it builds the confidence and discipline you need to succeed in every domain of your life.” In other words, your health comes first. It certainly doesn’t come second or third, and there’s probably no way on earth you could live without it. College/early middle age/middle age/late middle age/retirement is a tough time for everybody, but that doesn’t mean you can’t beat the odds, the evens, and the imaginary numbers to achieve the body of your dreams. Once you’ve got such great health, you’ll never need anything else, not even a reason to live.