Saturday, December 3, 2016


IS fitness tracking helpful?

Sure! Having a tracker helps, like wearing a nice outfit helps, and taking a quick look at the tracker is a way of encouraging yourself to keep going. The most expensive one is $849; a more typical, less expensive tracker will help too. ($29.00 to $89.99).

Even so, the manufacturers of FixBit, (one of the most popular trackers), says that only 10% of the purchasers wear it for a year.

The fact is, the tracker just helps you stick to your exercise routine. No matter what you do to keep in shape, the repeated routines get boring. Based on my background as an ex-dancer who stays in shape, I think you need to find a way to make each exercise session special.

My husband, John Cullum, hates exercise. He vocalizes, when he's getting ready to perform as a singer; he rehearses the lines for a play and exercises that part of his brain, but physical exercise -- abs, stretches, jogging, biking, weight-lifting -- none of that stuff is for him.

Sometimes he shops for groceries. We live on the 4th floor. There's no elevator; the stairs tire him. Maybe he'd be less tired if he exercised his stair-climbing muscles. He could do the stairs while holding in his abs; or climb the stairs with his shoulders arched back. He might try standing extra tall, or raising each knee as high as possible as he climbs; he could try holding the banister for one step, and not holding for the next step. Any of these simple physical things might make stair-climbing easier, and become a way of exercising that's not boring.

With or without a fitness tracker, I'm suggesting that you review what you do every day that you can possibly transform into a more challenging use of your body.   

Could you transform making a phone call into an exercise, and stand or sit tall, stretch, or suck in your abs before you input the number? If you're in a hurry, you'll probably think to hell with this routine. But you could certainly transform bed-making, dishes, sweeping, laundry -- any tidying routine could become an exercise as well.  

Almost every day (for more than ten years), I exercise -- I do a dance ritual, using a recording that I fell in love with many years ago. Before turning on the sound system, I warm up with stretches, standing tall, and sucking in my abs -- the warmup isn't fun, but it enables me to move confidently, full out. Playing the music, I perform choreography which I've had to simplify somewhat over the years, but the movement fits the rhythms and crescendos of this music perfectly. 

This painting expresses how I feel when I'm dancing.

Charles Darwin once remarked, “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once every week.” Albert Einstein declared, “If I were not a physicist, I would probably be a musician.” Jimi Hendrix called music his “religion.”

Fellow exercisers, find some music -- rap, classic, rock and roll, a song, or sounds you love -- and play it. Exercise becomes dancing.

You dance -- yes -- dance -- to wonderful music.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016


John Cullum is, in fact, already working with a team--a writer, arranger, and director--on a one man show.
Will it happen? There's no biz like show biz--plans, dreams commitments change with the wind and weather.

Will the wind blow him into the theater --THE JOHN CULLUM THEATER, on 54th street?