Don’t even look at me; I can feel the weight of your WordPress avatar’s judgmental gaze on me. I’m doing just fine.
1. Make yourself late for a delivery.
Why pay for a gym membership when you can just incorporate cardio into your daily life?
Hey, riddle me this: do you get anything delivered to your apartment? Like, I don’t know, food? Laundry? Drugs? Frankly it doesn’t even matter what it is you’re getting delivered, just place the order so that you’ll inevitably have to rush home to make it in time for the delivery. You’ll soon discover that this is enormously more effective than any old treadmill. For one thing, there’s actually something tangible that’s motivating you to run like a maniac down the street. And then there’s also the glaring fact that the finish line is your bed.
2. Commute from the L train to the A, C, or E.
If you should choose to transfer from the L train to the A, C, or E (and if you’re anything like me, then you should certainly choose this righteous path), you’ll find a big ol’ hill, riddled with gum wrappers and human feces. Climb that hill. It will hurt — it will work your tush! — but it only lasts for one minute tops and will leave you triumphantly gasping for air. Last time I climbed that big guy it took me all the way from 14th street to 96th street to catch my breath. Do the right thing.
3. Instead of a plank, stand in line at a bank!
Hey, Karlie, is that fun? Sure looks like a lot of fun. But let’s say, for common folk’s sake, that we don’t have strong obliques and tend to get a stiff neck whenever we’ve attempted a plank. What do we do then? We stand in line at a bank, of course. The time spent waiting on line, observing the slow-moving bank clerks, and looking around at the drab decor will have you writhing in impatience and sweating in frustration. It’ll leave you looking slim and fit, and the best part is you’ll never have to do a plank again.
4. Have a panic attack.
Panic attacks can be triggered by any number of things or nothing at all. If you’ve ever suffered from one then you’ve probably been given measures or tips to take in order to help alleviate your anxiety. However, if your intention is to get your heart rate going then you must quickly abandon all you were taught in times of heightened panic. Instead of calming breathing exercises, try putting a pillow over your face to stifle your oxygen intake — that’ll kickstart an attack. And instead of trying to focus on serene and tranquil thoughts, try filling your mind with images of war — senseless war — and images of your body being attacked by cancer cells. If you’re lucky, you might even detect a palpitation or two.
5. Set up a really important interview.
Interviews are not my strong-suit and I can say with full confidence that I’m glad I haven’t had to subject an interviewer to my sweat mustache and my awkward eye contact in quite some time. Having said that, I can appreciate the benefits of an intimidating interview: that is, increased heart rate. the trick here is to maintain a viscerally uncomfortable vibe. Interrupt the interviewer constantly, come ill-prepared, or, if you’re like me, just show up as yourself and the mere sight of the interviewer is usually enough to prepare you for a half marathon.
Something that’s always worked for me: at the end of the interview, tell them you’ll “keep in touch.” As the one being interviewed, you telling them you’ll “keep in touch” will throw them off enormously, leave them questioning your intent, and will make your heart spiral into a state of chaos.
6. Stand outside in the cold for a long period of time.
This past weekend I left my abode for the first time in months. It was a harsh reminder that standing out in the cold for too long will cause you to shiver uncontrollably WHICH, in turn, will ultimately increase your heart rate.
7. The NYC subway.
The subway in New York City is a hotbed of anxiety and thus a fortuitous environment to increase your heart rate. I’ve found that keeping your elbows up and pushing your way through strollers usually helps. But the ultimate subway heart rate accelerator comes when your train car is blessed with the “Showtime!” crew. Ranging in ages from 8 to 18, these guys are good but novices, and consequently force you to agonize over a number of concerns: will they kick me in the face? Is this dude’s elbow going to meet my temple in an epic one-two swing-around-the-pole punch? Will I be called out for not smiling? Please don’t call me out for not smiling. I’ve been reading the same page of my book for 15 minutes now; I wonder if they notice?