An Exercise for Your Body as Well as Your Brain
I once again bring you a strange exercise I do to make working out less of a burden. I call this one: "EXTREME Puzzle."
Extreme puzzle involves doing a jigsaw puzzle and running. I do the puzzle on my kitchen counter and, for every piece I place in the puzzle, I sprint up a nearby staircase. I have to hit both feet on the top of the stairs, it does not count. Typically, the sprint up the stairs occurs immediately after the piece has been placed in the puzzle. However, if I get on a roll, I allow myself to connect all of the pieces I can and then do however many sprints I owe in a row. For example, if I saw three pieces that I could immediately connect to the puzzle, I would place those three in the puzzle, and then I would do three sprints up the stairs in a row.
To challenge myself, I set a timer for 60 minutes or so and see how many sprints up the stairs I can do in the allotted time. I keep a pad of paper nearby, and after each sprint, I make a tally. Then, I keep track of my progress and compare it to previous results. My goal is to set a new high score every time I do extreme puzzle. However, I’m currently working on a rather difficult puzzle (it is a custom puzzle my mom got me for Christmas (THANKS, MOM! You win at Christmas!)), and I set a career low the last time I did extreme puzzle.
Moreover, instead of competing against yourself, you could compete against another person. The two (or more) of you could work on the same puzzle, and anytime one of you puts in a piece, you could run up the stairs. Whoever gets the most sprints up the stairs in the allotted time is the winner!
You might want to have a puzzle session before you start your extreme puzzle session. This way you can get all of the pieces organized and have a little bit of a start before you hit it hard. There may also come a time where the puzzle is mostly done, and it would behoove you to just finish it, instead of doing another session of extreme puzzle.
Another good idea if you want to try extreme puzzle is to invest in a puzzle mat. This allows you to roll up your puzzle and set it aside until your next extreme puzzle session.
It would also be beneficial to choose your puzzle wisely. If it is too easy, you’ll get tired quickly or will not have enough puzzle for your allotted exercise time. If it is too hard, you will not be getting in enough sprints up the stairs.