Jane Roper

Writer. Blogger. Hater of Olives.

The Long-Term Hospital Stay Workout

Fig. 1

Is your child in the hospital for a prolonged period, and are you staying with him/her most days and nights? Do people keep bringing you calorie-rich “comfort foods” like mac and cheese, lasagna, and homemade muffins and cookies? Is your child taking corticosteroids that make him or her crave Cape Cod potato chips, pizza and other crap that you are powerless to resist sampling yourself?

And — as if all that isn’t bad enough — have you not been to the gym or taken so much as a brisk ten-minute walk in weeks?

Here are three easy ways to attempt, futilely, to make up for all of the above!

1. Hospital room floor (on a towel, if it’s before the cleaning guy comes) pushups. Do 15 or so pushups every 2-3 days, each time telling yourself you’re going to do them every day from now on.

2. Coffee run stair climbing. Whenever you go downstairs to Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee, or to any other destination beneath your floor, eschew the elevator. Take the stairs down and up. Ignore the annoyingly fit 20-something medical students running past you taking two steps at a time as you trudge wearily but doggedly upward, panting.

3. Microwave/Toaster Lunges. (fig 1.) While you’re in the kitchenette waiting for your coffee to re-heat in the microwave or a Mama Celeste frozen pizza for your steroid-crazed child to cook, do lunges. For added challenge, hold a tiny can of Shasta ginger ale in each hand. (not pictured in fig. 1)

But remember: flabby arms and a muffin top are signs of your devotion to your loved one. And that’s almost as important as looking fabulous and fit!

Good luck!




  1. haha thanks for the laugh!

  2. What about the illegal wine bottle “hammer curl?” That must burn a calorie or two!

  3. Ha!

    Yet another reason to hope you get out of there soon. (I hope you get out of there soon.)

  4. Lindsey Williams

    July 22, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    Thank God for your sense of humor! Be kind to yourself in there. Hope you get out soon 🙂

  5. What is it with hospitals and Shasta anyway? Is there a national soda contract between them and *every* hospital?

  6. Surely the anxiety takes like 1000 calories a day from you, right?

  7. eating is good for you, push ups on hosptial floor, not so much, dirty and all. sorry about the dunkin’s, no snotty starbucks nearby? thinking of you all often and eating cookies in solidarity. xo miri and co

  8. I appreciate your hospital humor. And here’s to hoping someone makes you a healthy meal sometime soon. Veggie wraps anyone?

  9. Hi Jane,
    I’ve been a long-time reader over at Babble. I have a five-year-old boy, and I’ve enjoyed following your ups and downs over the years that often have echoed my own. I haven’t been checking in lately because I have found Babble so unpleasant lately. (I don’t mean to be mean, but it is true).

    So I was really shocked and sad when I did just check in to see what’s going on with your life these days. I just wanted to wish you and your family all of the best as you deal with this. I’m glad (and not at all surprised) to see you using humor to cope with such an unfair situation. I have other, harsher words for this situation, but I am keeping it clean.

    I’m not a prayer-person myself, but I will keep my fingers crossed (That’s like praying, right?) that you’ll -all- be able to get through this and continue to thrive.


  10. Figure 1 would be way more awesome if it had Shasta.

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