CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Devon Life today CLICK HERE

Maid in Devon: Pat Keenor talks about ways to keep fit

PUBLISHED: 14:10 14 April 2015 | UPDATED: 14:10 14 April 2015

Pat Keenor

Pat Keenor


This month our columnist Pat Keenor is researching methods for keeping fit…and the results don’t feel too appealing

In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love - or so Lord Tennyson would have us believe - but mine have lightly turned to thoughts of getting fit.

Here in Devon there’s really no excuse not to be as fit as a butcher’s dog. We’re surrounded by beautiful walks among stunning scenery. I live near Eggesford Forest and in North Devon the Tarka Trail stretches for 30 miles, ideal for walking and cycling with no fear that an oik in a white van will mow you down. Top quality vegetables, lean meat and fish abound. It’s just a question of eating fewer calories than you burn - or so everyone keeps telling me. I don’t know why it’s so blooming hard.

In my quest for bodily perfection - or at least the desire not to be winched out of a bedroom window by a crane when I die - I trawled the internet for hints and inspiration and came across a website called 24 Fun And Exciting Ways To Lose Weight!. The exclamation mark is theirs, not mine. My 30-plus years working as a journalist on newspapers gave me a horror of exclamation marks - unless they actually do punctuate an exclamation. Various editors have referred to them as screamers, gaspers and shriekers and the most common term refers to a rude part of a dog’s anatomy. I digress - anything rather than address the issue at hand…which is losing weight and getting fit.

I think the target audience of this website is people considerably younger than I. For the 25 tips included hula hooping and playing with a Frisbee. You won’t catch me out in the park flinging a Frisbee about. The young people in my family find me embarrassing enough without throwing a plastic disc at me and watching it fly past my head as I flap my hands and try to catch it. I briefly considered hula hooping but was afraid I wouldn’t be able to find one big enough to fit round me. Difficult to hula-hoop with something resembling a snug belt.

Some of the suggestions sounded quite racy to an old Devon maid like me. “Try twerking,” I was advised. These thrusting, suggestive moves were made popular by a young songstress called Miley Cyrus. Well, Miley, they may look sexy when you do them. When I try I look like I’m at Bampton Fair with a ferret down my trousers.

Strip aerobics was another one. The idea is to learn moves similar to a striptease and get fit while doing it but not, praise be, strip completely in class. Well, that’s a relief - and a bigger relief, I’m sure, to my potential classmates.

There was one suggestion that proudly proclaimed “age no bar!” (again, their exclamation mark, not mine). It’s something called Bokwa which, I was told, is popular with Robbie Williams, another popular singer, I believe. It requires using your feet to draw letters or numbers while doing “cardio to music”. I can think of a few words I could draw but probably not suitable to repeat them in a family magazine…

There were some sensible suggestions like swimming, trekking, using fitness videos and yoga. I would certainly give these a try. But I’m in two minds about whether to “say hello to cycle karaoke!” (again, their exclamation mark).

The concept is that singing is an indicator of your heart rate and the aim, as far as I could ascertain, is to sound like you’re on 60-a-day and have just run a marathon. If you don’t, you are not working hard enough.

Bizarrely, it suggests you do this in the gym so if next time you are sitting next to a seemingly mad woman on a static bike belting out hits from the musicals, she’s just keeping fit. No need to call the authorities.

On second thoughts, I think I might revert to my original idea and just try to eat less and move more. I have bought a wonderful extractor/blender that makes lovely smoothies, soups and dips so I can get lots of fruit and vegetables down me and I have started walking more. I have already lost weight without hardly trying.

The better half told the pub the other night: “Pat’s on a diet and she’s lost 100 pounds.” Everyone looked really impressed until he added: “That’s what she spent on some kitchen gadget for her vegetables.”

He’d better watch out or bits of him will be in it.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & About

Yesterday, 11:06

Wild camping can be one of the best ways to escape the crowds for a night or two and lose yourself in the landscape - SOPHIE PAVELLE chooses her five favourite places to ‘wild-life’ camp in Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 9, 2018

From sandy beaches and lighthouse-topped cliffs to views of the Jurassic Coast, the Devon coastline offers many perfect locations for a seaside walk. We pick 10 of the prettiest routes to take

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Take our quiz to find out how well you really know Devon

Read more
Tuesday, October 2, 2018

As the weather starts to warm up and the Devon countryside beckons, LIZZIE JANE of the National Trust in the South West offers plenty of walk ideas for you to try. Whether you want a relaxed Sunday stroll or a more strenuous hike, here are 10 walks across Devon (and beyond) to help you escape the crowds and head off the beaten track

Read more
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

The South West Coast Path is celebrating 40 years by calling on people to help raise £40,000. To show their support, teams from Devon’s top tourist attractions are preparing to take to the trail. CHRISSY HARRIS finds out more

Read more
Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Away from the hustle of places like Woolacombe and Ilfracombe, North Devon is peppered with tiny coves, empty beaches and wooded walks leading to secluded bays that feel a million miles away from the tourist trail. BECKY DICKINSON reveals her pick of the best kept secrets on the North Devon coast

Read more
Friday, September 14, 2018

As part of her regular series where she visits Devon’s best places for 24 hours, Lydia Tewkesbury has this time been to Sidmouth

Read more
Thursday, September 13, 2018

Ranging from rocky and windy walkways along the South West Coast Path to the sandy beaches on the picturesque coastline, the district of North Devon is one of the prettiest coastal areas in the South West of England. In no particular order, here are 10 of the prettiest villages in the district of North Devon

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

In Devon’s towns and cities there’s an awful lot you can do in just 24 hours. For her regular feature, Lydia Tewkesbury travels to see what you can do in a day in Kingsbridge

Read more
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Villages in Devon are some of the prettiest in the South West. From beautiful little hamlets on the outskirts of the moors to seaside communities, we pick 10 villages in Devon you need to visit

Read more
Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Dust off your walking shoes and head to South Devon – here are 6 reasons why the area is so good for a stroll writes Victoria Rogers

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

There is something quite life-enriching about being by the water and in Devon there are plenty of ways to enjoy it, writes Fran McElhone. Including surfing, wild swimming, water skiing and more, here are 10 great ways to enjoy Devon’s water

Read more
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Encompassing large swathes of Dartmoor and plenty of the county’s most distinctive sections of coastline, it’s no wonder that the South Hams district is home to some of Devon’s prettiest places. We pick out 10 of the best towns and villages the area has to offer

Read more
Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Devon is as beautiful underwater as it is above. Chrissy Harris highlights the best places to discover our county’s hidden depths… Here are 6 great places for crabbing, rockpooling and diving

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search