Friday, December 31, 2010

Successful Weight Loss and Fitness Strategies for the Genealogist

Countdown to 2011!

You know what that means. The holidays and the parties did a number on you. The fit-em-all pants don't fit anymore. The TV is already blaring with ads for weight loss centers and exercise equipment. These ads guarantee you will drop 20 pounds in 20 days.

But did you know that there is a weight loss and fitness plan that is geared strictly for genealogists? Follow these simple strategies and you'll be well on your way to a healthy and fitter new you!

Trim the Fat from your family tree - Do you collect ancestors or do you collect family history stories? When you discuss your genealogy with others do you brag about the number of people in your database or do you share an interesting story? It might be time to stop following the leads on the ex-husbands of your third great aunt Tillie's fourth cousin and get back to working on your direct line ancestors and their immediate families. Ignore some of those green leaves that keep popping up on Researching those distant kin can sometimes help tear down those brick walls, but are you pursuing a family line that has no relevance to your personal history? Narrow your focus and find the stories about the people who are most relevant in your lineage.

Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! Get moving! Cemeteries are all around you and it's easy for your pedometer to click off 6,000 - 7,000 steps in an afternoon. Although you might become a bit distracted if you have your camera along and decide to start photographing tombstones. In that case, you might need to do a little weeding around the graves, removing old leaves and branches out of the picture. You can burn about 250 calories per hour of gardening. In other words, three hours of cemetery cleanup will burn off that Big Mac you had for lunch.

Tone Those Muscles - Keeping muscles toned via weight training is essential for everyone, especially those of us who are females and over a certain (ahem!) age. You don't need to visit the gym. You don't need to buy any expensive equipment. You can even do it in your local library! Just find two comparable sized 876 page county history books, put one in each hand and lift! lift! lift! Up! Up! Up! Work it! Work it! Can you feel the burn in your upper arms? If you're lucky, your research facility has multi floors, so forget the elevator and take the stairs as frequently as possible.

Blog - If you don't already have a blog, it's time to start. One minute of writing burns about one calorie. That's even fewer calories than you can burn while sleeping. So - to burn off one pound of fat, you only have to blog for about 58 hours! Piece of cake!

The Buddy System - You don't think you can handle this alone? Get a buddy to help you! Just think of all of the valuable research time you can miss out on by hanging out with your buddies on Facebook or Twitter. Not only that, you'll be helping them with their research goals, too!

Metabolism - everyone's metabolism is different, we all have a different genetic makeup. So make 2011 the year that you have some DNA testing done for your genealogy. After all, everyone knows that once you have your DNA tested and you get in the massive database, you'll receive all of these family trees and family group sheets in the mail - you won't have to spend any more time in the musty basements of those old courthouses!

There you have it! A sure fire plan for weight loss and fitness success in 2011! Happy New Year!


  1. LOL - great tips, Susan! Maybe this is a weight-loss strategy I can really stick to!

  2. *chuckle* Great theme and maybe a New Year's resolution I might actually keep :)

  3. So good. This article belongs in a genealogy magazine. You are so creative, I love it. But, I blog and eat cake at the same time, so I'll never burn calories.

  4. You're not kidding about burning calories by lifting those books - cleaning up my office today must have burned off at least a couple of pieces of fudge ....

  5. I love this! Finally a weight loss program that sounds interesting :-) I had to laugh about the "ex-husbands of your third great aunt Tillie's fourth cousin" I SO do things like that - I really need to FOCUS in 2011.

  6. Wouldn't that be great if DNA would solve all of our brick walls and help us lose weight at the same time?!! Great (and funny) tips, loved this post!

  7. What about spending a few hours living out the types of things your ancestors did. Cut out the T.V. dinners and fast food, appliances, and cars. Cook, walk, and make things by hand.