May 20, 2008

The Annual Cranky Fitness Exercise Review

[By Merry]

It's spring, people are starting to think less about shoveling snow and more about exercising for fun. It's time for the first annual exercise review.

Not sure which exercise is for you? The experts at Cranky Fitness have reviewed some of the most popular forms of exercise. But their answers were boring and informative, so I gave them the boot and did the review myself.

Pro: Good for people who have joint problems.
Con: People will see you wearing a bathing suit.
Tip: When purchasing swim goggles, find a pair that comes with thick black frames and a false nose, so no one will recognize you.

Did you spot the one person in this flickr photo NOT wearing the glasses?

Kick boxing
Pro: Supposed to get you into shape quickly.
Con: Requires good shoes and a box.
Tip: Before you kick the box, make sure it has not been filled with books, big heavy rocks, or nitroglycerin.

Outdoor bicycling
Pro: Good for people who have weight-bearing issues.
Con: Lack of front and side airbags is a real drawback.
Tip: Wearing a helmet is very, very smart.
See? Wearing a helmet makes people happy.

Indoor (stationary) bicycling
Pro: You don’t have to worry about cars.
Con: You do have to worry about going insane from boredom, plus the stationary bicycle design was lifted from an old idea first developed by the Spanish Inquisition.
Tip: Wearing a helmet will scare people off, so you won’t have to bother with making conversation.

Pro: So easy, even a toddler can do it!
Con: There are a lot of toddlers out there; you might trip over one. Watch out.
Tip: If walking is too non-strenuous, try race-walking. You get more exercise, plus you will provide innocent merriment for passersby.


Pro: Great aerobic conditioning.
Con: Who cares? You’re puffing like a steam engine and some little old lady in a walker is passing you!
Tip: If new to running, make sure to avoid running near nursing homes, day care centers, and other places where being passed would prove especially humiliating.

They both look ready to kick my butt...

It doesn’t matter which form of exercise you choose so long as you keep moving. You know that. I know that. I know you know that… I’d better stop before I get even more confused. All this terrific* advice notwithstanding**, what is your favorite form of exercise?

(Um... that you can talk about in public.)

* Oh, humor me, would ya?

** I try to throw in the occasional polysyllabic word in a post; I like to think it adds a bit of class and culture to the blog, and maybe even impresses Crabby.


  1. "I try to throw in the occasional polysyllabic word in a post; I like to think it adds a bit of class and culture to the blog, and maybe even impresses Crabby."


    How cool is this? A cooler-than-cool blog with something as official as an Annual Exercise Review?

    Please add "hair can turn green, skin can turn scaly, even with the best of organic lotions and treatments" to Swimming's Cons.

    Cheesy techno can ameliorate some of the boredom for those of us chained to the recumbent because of injuries or whatever. Extra points for a custom remix of the Brothers Johnson's "Stomp" (not cheesy).

    I suspect that the lead partners in 2 of my favorite fitness forms - salsa and swing - have been taken over in large part by vicious bots who stomp your feet, cannot count, and insist UR doin it rong.

    My absolute favorite, which requires getting in shape in order to attend?

    *gasp* *pant*

    Power Yoga retreats with Bryan Kest. (When I can do it.)

    Power Incentive to Get to Class Yummy McYummerson. I know some people think it's tacky to wear jeans to teach, but since he seems to have the fit custom-attended to I personally don't see it as a problem.


  2. P.S. Merry, who - or what - have you been kick boxing with??

  3. P.P.S. Is it the little tow-headed kid up at the top in the grey sweatshirt shouting with glee who is Not Waldo?

    *runs away now for real*

  4. So that's where I went wrong with the running thing! (post is too funny, Merry!)


    Im up working at 430 (and also already procrastinating a tad--good times) and needed it.


  6. Great review Merry!

    And littlem, if you can stand a recumbent bike, even with cheesy techno, you're a braver soul than I. I think exercise bikes, recumbent or otherwise, were invented by the devil.

    My favorite exercise would probably be hiking somewhere stunningly beautiful, with hills that are not too excruciating but still sufficient to take the hike out of the ambling territory and into the "I get to count this" category. Alas, such hikes are hard to come by.

  7. You forgot to add that kickboxing requires the ability to stay on your feet when you're in motion. I barely manage that with walking.

  8. I agree, kickboxing requires WAY too much coordination. I enjoy walking and running (though I am embarassed when the three year olds pass me. *sigh*)

  9. I laughed so hard reading this that my children are now clustered around me yelling "Wha funneeee?" Of course I had to tell them to never kickbox with nitroglycerin. Or wear a pointy bra when bullfighting. Or race Lenin. Do you see what you've done? You've warped my children. I'm sure I'll be hearing from the Kindy teacher about this one.

  10. Great post! I choose swimming. In London, you'd have to go out of your way to look bad in a bathing suit. There are so many hairy-scary European bears around in their speedos, always guaranteed to make anyone feel better about their body. The only exception I could fathom would be an unsightly overgrown boosh peaking out of the leg holes. But even that's not as bad as back hair... or is it?

  11. hilarious! I needed this laugh today! running was my favorite before my old bones decided to turn on me. Now it is indoor biking, which at times is definitely mind-numbing!

  12. "invented by the devil" oh, yes. (Whee! I can whine about my exercise bike and be On Topic!)
    Walking will always be my favorite exercise, but since I don't want to be squashed by a concrete mixer, I have to DRIVE somewhere to walk, and since I quit work to stay home with my 95 year old father I don't get to do it much. Also, during the pollen season breathing outdoors is not a good idea.
    So, after one walk at the beginning of maple bloom I spent money I couldn't afford on the bike. And I'm using it. Reluctantly. Podcasts get me through it. I had imagined I would be able to read email or watch movies while exercising, but in reality I have to keep my eyes on the MPH or I don't keep the pace up, and music is out of the question because its rhythm interferes with MY rhythm, so podcasts are saving me. Even with them, it is so boring I can hardly stand it.
    The good news is: my knees are still perfectly happy about this.

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  13. The Bag Lady's favourite form of exercise is........... ranching! Which involves a lot of walking, running, wrangling calves, gardening, etc. (Did she mention fencing, throwing hay bales around, carrying pails of oats or water...?)

  14. I LOVE outdoor biking on my recumbent bike. Who wouldn't love riding along on the flying lawn chair? Hiking is a close second for favorite exercise.

  15. L.B.Biker, the problem with 'bent bikes is that you have to go through life listening to other bikers say the same thing over and over 'How do you climb hills with that? Can cars see you?' That must get old after awhile.

    Bag Lady, what exactly does 'wrangling' entail? I'm picturing you grabbing a bull by the horns and wrestling (though not like the lady in the picture, because her hair would surely get mussed by such exercise)

    Mary Anne in K, did I mention how delighted I am that you're using your exercise bike! You're putting me to shame, but I deserve it. At least a stationary bike isn't going to need lubricant, like my treadmill. (I hope.)

    Workout Mommy, I find exercise bikes mind numbing and bum numbing (say that one quickly). They get you at both ends :(

    Okay, Monica, I'll go swim in London. But I'll still want some groucho goggles :)

    (Yes, littleM, it is the little child at the top of the photo. I think he's holding the glasses rather than wearing them.)

    But Charlotte, your children need to know not to kick nitro. This blog is educational... sometimes... ;)

    Missicat, Marijke, I agree! I'm not coordinated enough to kick the box and remember to check it first for big heavy rocks. Takes mental coordination; not my forte.

    Crabby, no hills in P-town? How about some really big rocks?

    Mizfit, what are you doing up so early? One trusts you were out dancing till all hours with some decadent stranger?

    Theresa, you're kicking my ass with all that running. Go Dr. T!

  16. Bahahaha - the next time my roommate asks if she can go running in a bra, I'm showing her that maidenform ad!!

  17. Wait, is kickboxing about putting a kick in a box? Or should it boxkicking, where you take your aggression out on cardborad boxes? What are talking about?

  18. I always thought kick boxing should refer to kicking boxes, but that's just one deranged woman's viewpoint. How do you put a kick in a box? Do you get a kick out of boxes? ;)

    Scrumpy, if you click on the link below the ad, it takes you to the original URL on Flickr where I found it. I think it's a real ad, but Lord knows there are enough photoshopped photos out there.

  19. Marie, DietGirl's blog talks about training for the Moonwalk, where everyone is supposed to wear a pink bra. Sounds ideal for your roommate! :)

  20. Always wanted to try kickboxing...but don't know where to hang one of those giant boxing bags from...I think it'd be a great way to get out long as I can keep from falling over.

  21. Merry: the dictionary defines wrangling as "herding livestock"....

    The Bag Lady is definitely not about to muss HER hair by tangling with a bull (especially not if said bull has horns!) - she's nowhere close enough to that stupid (bulls usually weigh in the neighbourhood of 3,000 lbs, which means they are one of the few creatures on earth that actually out-weigh the Bag Lady!!!)
    There's no grabbing the bull by the horns on this-here ranch!

  22. Thanks for the smile this morning. Merry, you have quite an imagination...........:)

    Me, I'm a walker and love it.

  23. running for way to get rid of gas.

  24. Can I tell you that I am madly in love with the Precor Adaptive Movement Trainer (AMT)! That thing rocks because it let's you simulate sprinting, walking, running, and stair climbing all in one machine. Plus you can vary the resistance. Oh I get tingles when I think of that machine...hehehe

  25. I know this: My right finger is extremely strong and flexible what with all the blog scrolling I do. My other 9 fingers have no workout routine whatsoever.

  26. Merry: there was a whole campaign at one time "I dreamed I was [whatever] in my maidenform bra". Yes, for real. You should try to find the others for a kick.

    Stephanie Q: I agree about the AMT, though I refer to it as "the machine of death". The first time I tried it I could barely do 5 minutes, was gasping for air, and dripping wet. Now I do fifteen minutes, ditto. At least I'm improving.

    Favorite exercise: ROCK CLIMBING! Woohoo!!!!

    glamour-geek who can't remember her password

  27. I love a beautiful, sunny day when I can literally just throw on a tank and shorts, grab my iPod and fo for a 30 minute run. Today I'm taking a 90-min eclectic flow yoga class...indoors, but it would be sweet if he moved it to the rooftop! I feel so like a Lululemon ad when we do yoga outdoors!

  28. I laughed out loud. Thank you so much for this fun review! :)
    I loved all the pictures. (Hope that lady didn't get gorged by the bulls when she was running with them in her Maidenform! Sheesh!!!!)

  29. So if I wear my maidenform on the outside, bulls will come my way. hmmmm...That's a great idea. Honestly, great review.

  30. Merry, great review! Love the Maidenform ad too. My prefered exercise is outdoor biking, or a good hike somewhere pretty.

  31. Great review! Made my day, that's for sure.

    I must add that when bicycling outdoors, try to avoid large hills. That way you won't look sad and pathetic when you are forced to get off and push your bike to the top of the hill.

    I prefer running. If I'm really slow and being passed, I just breath really hard like I've been running for hours! Maybe that way I won't look as slow as I am!

  32. Wow, great comments!
    I'm still trying to work out what 'eclectic flow yoga' is exactly, but it sounds intriguing.

    G-G! Welcome! So glad you could stop by. I remember the Maidenform ads, but doesn't the text on this one look photoshopped?

    Gena, I like low hills, where I can feel virtuous pedaling up and enjoy the breeze riding down. The steep mountainous ones are a pain coming and going.

    Geez, Stephanie, I'd never heard of AMT. I need to get out more.

    Nitmos -- what, you never drum your fingers at work while waiting for the five o'clock whistle to blow? You must love your job :)

    Crystal, if you're going to run with the bulls and a bra, please let me and Susan know so we can take pictures!

    Reb, I vote for a bike and hike to somewhere pretty where I can pretend to admire the view while I catch my breath.

    Note to self: do not run behind Fitarella.

    Damn, I'm going to be late for work. Thanks for the great comments everyone!

  33. But I just wanted to say thanks to LisaN -- I liked your post on Iowa Ave.

    And thanks Bag Lady for explaining the wrangling. For some reason I thought it meant something like wrestling, which sounds painful if bulls are involved.

    Geosomin, you can also work out aggression by writing it out on a blog, if you don't have any boxes to kick ;)

  34. This is an excellent review! I agree completely with all of your assessments, and according to my heart rate monitor, I burned an additional 46 calories laughing.

    As for me, I'll go wtih walking as a favorite. I turn up the Shuffle, focus on the (usually uneven) pavement, and the world goes away. For 3-5 miles, anyway. :)

  35. The party's over, but I just wanted to mention that I got a slight concussion from my exercise bike. This was cause for much pointing and whispering at the hospital. Actually, they didn't whisper but came right out and asked me if it was true, one nurse-type person even recommended a gym to me. A bolt broke on the bottom of the bike and I flew against the wall. So I am known as the person who should wear a helmet on an exercise bike. Said bike was replaced with an elliptical trainer, less chance of falling over.


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