Earlier today I sparked upon the idea of using a cat toy as something humans can exercise with. The toy in question, was a simple mouse dangling on a long string from my chin-up bar - a cat toy we received during Christmas for our cat Victoria (see The Pet Project for more details). However what sparked my imagination was using it for other activities, such as:
Which are two intense cardiovascular sports, both requiring a level of dexterity and accuracy.
I thus conducted a fun experiment during which I practiced punching at the string, with an eye towards accuracy - after all, what good is a punch if it completely misses the target?
What I discovered is that a moving string - being both small and moving quickly, presents an interesting challenge for accuracy while boxing - it forces the person to concentrate on the accuracy and the quality of the punches over brute force. (I should note this is not the first time I have used a string as a target, being a huge fan of "splitting the string" during my personal archery practice.)
For the 2nd part of my experiment I decided to get my tennis racquet out of the closet and try batting the mouse on the end of the string back and forth, letting gravity and pendulum motion to bring it back towards me each time. This turned out to be an excellent exercise for practicing my back swing and also switching back and forth.
With a few changes it would be pretty easy for someone to practice with a tennis ball on a string indoors with a similar set up.
Add a pole in the middle and you have a sport similar to tetherball.
Inventing your own sports / exercises can be a lot of fun, whether you do them for a specific purpose such as training for a sport, or whether you are simply looking for a frugal exercise you can do at home.
A few tips when it comes to inventing your own exercises:
#1. Avoid anything where you think there is a chance you might injure yourself.
#2. Use objects that are sturdy and can withstand impacts if dropped. Avoid anything you know to be breakable.
#3. Don't do the same motion all the time with your new exercise. Find ways to change it, spice it up. Repetitive motion can lead to a sports injury. Not all pain equals gain, sometimes pain means you broke something or are repeating the same motion too much.
#4. Try to invent exercises which are fun to do, or can be combined with music or other exercises to make it more fun.
#5. Hydrate. Don't forget to drink something regularly. Many people forget to do this.
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