December 30, 2013

Fitness Communities: Whaddya Think?

By Crabby McSlacker

Photo: German Federal Archives via wikimedia commons.
So, yeah--these may well be fit and happy Nazis.

In case you were hoping this a post might be a thorough round-up of all the new interactive apps and websites that encourage people to become part of a healthy community:  um, sorry, no.  At least not yet. That would take a lot of work, and the brand new Cranky Fitness Research department is not quite open for business yet.

This post, when I eventually get to the point, is mostly a follow up to the "help wanted" plea of a couple weeks ago, and an update on some forthcoming blog changes! For all (none) of you out there who are dying of curiosity.

Because one of my sneaky schemes for 2014 is to try to make this blog more of a "community" site and not just one middle-aged grouchy blogger prattling on to herself about health and fitness annoyances. (Not that I plan to stop that any time soon.)

But meanwhile...

Why Grouchy Loners Like Me Tend to Hate "Communities"

December 23, 2013

Trick for Nearly Instant Flat Abs: Balloons?

Don't worry, that's not a "before" and "after" pic.
image: wikipedia

So when I was online digging up various sorts of strangeness for the Weirdest Weight Loss post, I came across a "Daftest Diet" article from the Daily Mail. It included a tip from the book "Six Weeks to OMG: Get Skinnier than All Your Friends," which sounds, overall, highly annoying.

But a tip it offered seemed intriguing: it's a simple way to engage and strengthen the transversus abdominis muscles.

As you are probably aware, your transverse abs are the handy muscles deep inside that pull your belly in, and probably do other important things too but whatever. The TVA's often get overlooked in favor of the better known rectus abdominis, which people work to death in search of those elusive six packs (that would be more easily obtained by abstaining from a few more six packs, but that's a whole 'nother topic).

Have you ever looked in a mirror, sucked in your stomach, and instantly felt like you dropped 5 lbs around your midsection? That's the effect I wouldn't mind 24/7, or at least during waking hours.  Is that too much to ask?

The simple trick? Blow up a balloon! Over and over and over!

An interesting experiment--wanna hear how it went?

December 16, 2013

Help Wanted: Join Team Cranky!

Would any sane person want to join a health blog known for its crappy attitude, half-assed research, endless digressions, and gratuitous cursing?

Let's find out!

Here's the thing: I'm planning to put a little more energy into the blog in 2014, and it would be awesome to have a Cranky-Compatible co-conspirator or two.

This is a total long shot, I realize, but what the hell.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? I have promised myself I will NOT let myself feel like a total ass if I put this out there and nothing comes of it and I continue to soldier on solo.

More on what I'm looking for below, but a quick note: writing conventional blog posts is not necessarily required!

Though of course finding a writer with a compatible voice and outlook who wanted to contribute blog posts, or heck, videos or cartoons or whatever... that would be lovely. But I'd be especially excited to find someone willing to provide ongoing help with social media, networking and community-building, stealth-marketing, and possibly even graphic design and website tweaks.


Um... er...

Let's just say the financial compensation is of a hypothetical and somewhat speculative nature. But there is some modest potential revenue if all goes well, plus intriguing benefits! More on that below.

I'm hoping a Cranky Fitness reader might either be interested, or know someone who might be interested, or have a friend of a friend who might be intrigued even if they are not already familiar with the blog.

That's right, "Cranky Fitness."  Let's just say it could really use some help.

December 09, 2013

5 Weirdest Ways to Lose Weight

Losing weight is tough, and conventional methods don't always work quickly or easily.  So it's not surprising that people will try tricks and tips that promise shortcuts to shedding pounds, even if they sound kinda offbeat.

Me included!

But what constitutes a truly "weird" weight loss approach?

Well, when I googled, many of the "weird but helpful weight loss" tips were ideas that weren't all that strange.

According to Allure Magazine, snacking on whole foods instead of refined junk, and watching less TV are a couple of "weird weight loss tricks."  While eating at home and riding a bike were some of the  "unusual" ways to lose weight  featured by Best Health.

Oooh, what bizarre and strange ideas!!

Nah, today I'm talking about the truly weird weird, the stupid weird, holy crap people really do that? weird.

Here are five of my faves.

December 02, 2013

Sneak Attack--Monthly Goals

Photo: byron chin

So, we're a month away from that most amusing time of year, New Years Resolution Season!

Hope springs eternal, eh?

I know not everyone is a fan of the annual Resolution Ritual.  Each year, millions of earnest folks set lofty goals and then, for the most part, totally blow 'em off a few weeks or days or even hours later.

Getting healthier and/or more productive generally involves willpower, self-discipline, and deprivation--and dressing it up in a party hat, alas, doesn't make it suck any less.

Portion control? Nooooooo!!!
photo: tambako

But, if you, like me, can't help but join in the annual Failure Festivities... what if we give ourselves a fighting chance this year?

Here's my sneaky plan, if anyone else wants to play along.

November 25, 2013

Brainwave Biofeedback at Home? ReLax, it's Cheap and Cool!

photo: glogger

So this is a review of the ReLax Kit by OP Innovations, which (fear not), looks nothing like the photo above. It's quite a bit less scary.

The ReLax Kit costs less than $50, and promises to monitor your brainwaves, posture, and muscle tension using advanced bio-signal tracking.

It comes with a smallish TrueSense biosensor you wear on your forehead, no gel or anything required.  And it has a little controller thing that flashes colored lights based on how stressed you are.

Or, if you want to get fancier, the controller plugs into a PC to show you your actual brainwaves and muscle tension in real time on your screen.

Pretty amazing for less than $50, right?

I've actually checked out brainwave biofeedback before, because I've always been kind of a nutball curious, but home kits are insanely expensive and look terribly cumbersome and complicated to use.  So, when I got an offer to get the ReLax Science Kit for free to review, I was psyched!

Wanna hear how it went?

November 18, 2013

Change Your Life in 10 Minutes

Are there things in your life that could stand improvement but you just don't seem to be getting around to them?
Lego mess

Whether it's one room of your house or your whole life that's a mess, you may have noticed that logic and emotions sometimes disagree on the best approach.

Logic:  "Just get off your ass and DEAL WITH IT and you will feel so much better!"

Emotion: "You're right, logic, that's exactly what I should do! But f--k off willya, I just don't want to!"

There is a a simple trick, that you already know, that is incredibly helpful in fixing this problem.

However... there are tricks to the trick! Which is probably why you are not using it nearly as often as you should.

Note: this post is mainly a reminder to myself, because I forget all the time. Or I remember in some areas of life and blow it off in others.  But feel free to eavesdrop if you could use reminding as well.

The simple trick:  Set aside TEN MINUTES to deal with an unwanted task or activity even if ten minutes isn't enough time to do anything remotely useful. Getting started is 98% of the battle.

The Tricks to the Trick:

November 11, 2013

Have Phone, Will Travel

Happy Veterans' Day! We are all totally grateful and everything to any of you out there who have served, even though this post is not really about that.

Instead it's time for one of those "I've been on the road" camera-phone dumps, yay! (With perhaps a token nod towards health and fitness along the way).

But how about I skip the usual apology paragraph? We've already established I'm an unskilled photographer using sub-par equipment and this is just a meandering blog, not a slick fitness magazine.  Let's pretend it's all on purpose and it's "gritty" or "authentic" or something. Like back when they first started using weird angles and shaky handheld cameras in art films. The fact you couldn't make out what was happening very well was part of the atmosphere, right?

And speaking of gratuitous weird angles...  how about an awkward segue to the first part of our journey?

November 04, 2013

Comfort Zones, November Goals, and "My Yoga Online" Review

(Logo by Crispin Lefay)

We all know, because it's gospel in the self improvement world, that we're supposed to keep pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones as often as we possibly can.  Right?

Well, I have some thoughts about that. Shocking thoughts! Be forewarned.

Plus we've got a review of the My Yoga Online subscription I've been enjoying, and a giveaway winner to announce from last month.  And I can't wait to read what everyone is up to as the holiday season looms menacingly approaches!

October 28, 2013

Bright Lights, Big City

[Times Square Photo: Francisco Diez]

It's funny, Times Square has to be one of my least favorite New York 'hoods, but I love the way this photo captures the sense of being in certain parts of New York City.

The energy! The ambition! The excitement! The cheerfully wasteful excess as bazillions of kilowatts are unleashed solely to promote mindless consumerism!

Though I'm sorry, if you are a certain age, this location may have tripped a few rusty switches in the memory banks. Massive apologies if I have subjected you to Eva Gabor and Eddie Albert debating country versus city living in one of the most annoying tv theme songs earworms ever. Or is it just me who can't see "Times Square" without hearing:

 "The Chores!"
 "The Stores!"
 "Fresh Air!"
 "Times Square!" ?

(Which then leads to the worst couplet of all:

 "You are my wife..."
   "Goodbye, city life!" 

...but we'll save that rant for another time).

Eva Gabor: Not Exactly a Feminist Icon

Anyway, so what does New York City have to do with health and fitness?

October 22, 2013

Crabby Gets Schooled

As regular readers may recall, I am now in the process of studying for the ACE Health Coach Certification which I will take in about week's time.  According to the Trans-Theoretical Model of Change (which they are very big on at ACE), I seem to be moving from Stage II: Slothful Procrastination, to Stage III, Freak Out and Realize it's Time to Get Your Ass in Gear.

So, rather than attempt to scrounge up breaking news about an important health and fitness topic, I decided it might be a good time to put the "Cranky" back into Cranky Fitness! So how 'bout I slop together a quick post bitching about test-related matters? Gosh, doesn't that sound fun!

Yeah, ok, may it doesn't.  But here we go anyway. Perhaps you guys have something to complain about too and we can all grumble and commiserate for a bit.

Because while I may be a firm believer in taking control of your mindset and adopting helpful thoughts and all... well sometimes you gotta get the tantrums out of the way first.

October 14, 2013

10-20-30 (Or 30-20-10) Interval Training

Three out of three formidable German women suggest you do 10-20-30's

So, what starts off slowly, then gets more uncomfortable, then downright painful, then proceeds to repeat itself over and over and over 'til you want to puke?

Why yes, it's a Cranky Fitness blog post!

But this also describes the exercise I love to hate, high intensity interval training, or HIIT. And there's a newish variation, getting all kinds of rave reviews of late, called the "10-20-30."

Curious about the why's, how's, when's, whether's, and whatevers? Let's check out this puppy out.

October 07, 2013

Time Travel For Fun and Profit

Sorry, this is not about "time travel" in the technologically sexy sense, telling you how to dial up a year and be physically transported there right this minute.

Nah, this is the more boring kind: psychological time travel.  This just allows you to use your imagination to communicate with your future self, potentially allowing you to optimize, or at least not totally screw up, your coming years.

However, there are, even now, some virtual "time machines" out there that actually facilitate this process, if you care to go all Marty McFly and try to tinker with the fourth dimension.

Wait, this movie came out nearly 30 years ago?
Clearly someone must have messed with the space/time continuum. 

September 30, 2013

October Goals and Yoga Giveaway: Flexibility and Stability

So we have a great giveaway for our goal check-in this month: it's a year's subscription to My Yoga Online. This normally costs $89.95 and it's pretty cool: they have vast numbers of streaming videos featuring yoga classes, pilates, meditation and other related om-o-licious things. Plus anyone who has an internet connection anywhere in the world can win, not just U.S. folks for once.

Another aspect of the giveaway I'm psyched about?  The prize also fits quite nicely into a fitness and self-improvement theme, as yoga is known for developing flexibility, and well as its opposite/complement, stability. Hooray for abundant metaphorical opportunities, the lazy blogger's best friend!

September 23, 2013

Menopause and Memory Loss

Recent studies seem to suggest that some women may suffer memory problems as they go through menopause.  If you or a friend or family member has a menopausal brain, you may not be shocked by this finding.

However, this was apparently big news to the countless medical professionals who weren't taking menopausal women seriously when they were telling them "OMG I can't remember a goddamned f--cking thing anymore!" that they were experiencing memory difficulties.

As it happens, I'm 53 years old, and there is some possible evidence that my memory is less than optimal.

In fact, at the risk of putting one of the world's most annoying songs in your head, I almost entitled this post:

"Some Call Me the Space Cowgirl."

But alas, since no one has ever called me "the gangster of love," or even "Maurice," the whole Steve Miller song lyric thing broke down pretty quickly.  Which is probably good because then I'd have to speak to the whole pompitous of love issue, and I'm not entirely clear where I stand on that.

Anyway, what was it I was talking about?

September 16, 2013

23andMe Genetic Testing: What's the Deal?

Curious about what the future might hold for your health?

After reading a great post on DNA testing by Charlotte at The Great Fitness Experiment, I became curious about 23andMe, a direct-to-consumer genetic testing outfit that's been getting quite a bit of buzz.

As a former hypochondriac, and as someone with a family medical history that doesn't inspire much optimism for a long and healthy life, I knew this was a bit of a psychological gamble. Did I really want to know how screwed I might be genetically? Mightn't I be better off thinking happy thoughts, trying to be reasonably conscientious about diet and exercise, and hoping for the best?

After about half a second of deliberation, I decided to go for it. I've always thought if I'm going to be a bit obsessive about health risks, I might as well be strategically obsessive. Why waste time worrying about some hideous disease that someone else is going to croak from, rather than spending quality panic time with my own future health horrors? I'd been aware of this service before but it used to be more expensive.

But after the price recently dropped, and inspired by Charlotte's Great Genomics Experiment, I decided to pony up $99 bucks and a big slobbery vial full of spit. I paid my own way and did not go to the company begging for a freebie, so this review of 23andMe is entirely unsponsored. Though it does mean, sorry, no giveaway opportunities either.

Are you tempted to know what genetic testing might reveal? Here's what I thought of the experience and some of the stuff I found out.

September 09, 2013

Vinegar Before High Carb Meals?

This is actually a follow-up to the last Sin and Redemption post, but why not pass on a not-yet-thoroughly-proven but intriguing tip for blunting glycemic impact, blocking starch absorption, decreasing appetite and possibly losing weight for those who are interested in that sort of thing?

Also, we shall answer the question: did Crabby indeed go out and have a hot fudge sundae the way she said she was going to as a reward for good behavior, or did she wuss out and settle for some faux nondairy low carb nonsugar substitute?

And in a totally unrelated side note, the awesome Jenn over at Fit Bottom Girls was nice enough to interview me over at the FBG site, do check out the Crabby McSlacker interview if you have a second, there were some great questions!

September 03, 2013

Kelp Noodles, Beer, Sin, and Goals

Yep, it's time for this months' goal support post!

For those who are not regulars here, the post is mainly a chance for people to check in and leave comments about what challenges they might be tackling, or how things are going generally, as well as to offer support to others who are doing the same.  Comments and comment replies are thus highly encouraged.

And, as is traditional, I will also cram a bunch of seemingly unrelated things together and force them into a theme involving goals.   In fact I probably should have used a catchier title, one like:

"Surprising Motivational Secret You Won't Believe!"  Or:
"For Every Thing, Turn Turn Turn, There is a Season," Or:
"Gluttony and Sloth, Your New BFFs!" Or:
"Guess What, Kelp Noodles Don't Suck, But You're Not Getting Any For Free!"

OK, maybe that last one could use a bit of work.

(But since I am gonna slip in a mini Kelp Noodle Review I wanted to warn you there is no giveaway because I was too lazy to track down the appropriate PR person and beg. Sorry).

August 27, 2013

Pork Butts and Wise Brains: Healthy Eating on the Road!

Blog regulars (hi, all 3 of you!) are aware that I am just now getting back from a house swap adventure in Toronto. And I've been threatening to do a post this week with a Healthy Eating on the Road theme, featuring a bunch of murky camera-phone pictures from our trip.

Gosh, can you contain your excitement? But then, just when I was hunkering down to slop together a bunch of trip pictures and contemplate the horror that is my email inbox, suddenly a new twist!

(Gratuitous Toronto museum photo.)

Yep, Rick Hanson's Wise Brain Bulletin just came out yesterday!

This is always cause for celebration, because it's a great read, and it's free, and if you haven't done so already you should definitely follow the link and sign up. But it just happens that this WBB is special... because it starts off with an ebook excerpt written by a foul-mouthed Wellness Coach and Health Blogger we happen to know.

So, I'd like to say a special hello to any Wise Brains who recklessly clicked on a link and found themselves at the weirdness that is Cranky Fitness! Where exclamation points are apparently on sale or something!

(And hey, speaking of Rick Hanson and wise things generally: Rick's new book, Hardwiring Happiness, is coming out soon and it looks like it's going to be great.  Plus he's got another free online interview series with even more experts talking about this stuff. More on that below).

Anyway, on realizing there could be a curious new visitor or two to the blog, my first instinct was to scuttle the lazy vacation post and put up something clever and practical and scholarly instead.

But then it occurred to me I'd have to write something clever and practical and scholarly.


So, welcome, wise-brained people, to the Healthy Eating Post-Toronto Cameraphone Photo Dump!

August 19, 2013

World Class Fitness Destination: Toronto!

So sure, this is not a comprehensive list of all the exercise and activity options while visiting Toronto. For example: the whole question of winter. I have no idea what the hell Canadians do about that. Does shivering count as cardio?

In fact, this is just a crapload of inexpertly taken camera-phone photos as we continued to enjoy our Toronto house-swap adventure. But I did at least have fitness in mind as I snapped a few of them. And I've organized them by Healthy Activity Theme. So potential Toronto visitors who are concerned about over-consumption of tempting treats like poutine and canine testicles may find some reassurance that you can make up for dietary sins with lots of exercise.

So, ready for our Toronto tour?

August 12, 2013

Death Ride

Note: Crabby is futzing around in Toronto this week and may or may not be back later on with a post of her own. She may also be tossing a few random trip photos up on the sad little Cranky Fitness Facebook page if you're really bored.

However, Crabby has left the blog in excellent hands today with an exciting account of, you guessed it, the Death Ride! The cool thing is that this way, you can go along for the ride yourself without experiencing sunburn or a sore ass or an untimely death.

So please welcome one of our favorite Cranketeers...

Death Ride Grandma! Take it away, DRG!!

Death Ride? Death Ride???

Why would anyone sign up for a ride with that name?

It’s a very popular ride. It accepts 3500 registrations, and around 3000 actually show up and try to ride it. It sells out within hours of opening the registration process. Yes, there are that many crazy people out there.

It says on the website that it involves 129 miles of riding with a total accumulated elevation gain of 15,000’. These exaggerations! From all I have seen and heard, it is only about 123 miles, and the climbing may be closer to 14,000’. It starts in Markleeville, California. It involves riding up and down both sides of Monitor Pass, both sides of Ebbetts Pass, and the east side of Carson Pass, plus any local roads required to get from one pass to the next. Plus returning to the start just when you think you’re through.

Spoiler alert: I didn’t finish.

August 09, 2013

Keeping Fit On the Road (Or Not): Crappy Travel Pictures Part I

Gosh, isn't it wonderful when a health blogger hits the road, and instead of sharing useful information they just slop a bunch of cameraphone pics into a blog post?

Um, well, ok, it's not wonderful, but that's what we got today. No one visits the blog over the weekend anyway, and there's a great guest post coming up next week.

Some of the photos do actually have something to do with health and fitness. But many are just gratuitous selfies and wifeys or are fascinating-to-no-one-but-me aspects of our campervan travel routine. Pretty much all of them highlight the fact I can't focus (literally or figuratively) to save my life.

So, care to join Crabby and The Lobster on Week One of our August Adventure?

Just beefin' up our Vitamin B consumption!

August 02, 2013

Train Your Brain, Cranky Style: Monthly Goal Support Post

Yep it's time to check in and see what everyone's been up to, as well as to find out who won the Airbac Backpack and the Extreme Makeover DVD's.

I also have a few thoughts on strengthening the most important body part you own to ensure maximum healthiness and happiness: your brain.

But this being Cranky Fitness, you can be sure my training suggestions are not going to include the typical crossword puzzles,  foreign language lessons, socializing when you'd rather stay home and sulk, or focusing on your freakin' breath for endless, endless, endless, endless, endless, endless minutes until your ass goes numb and you want to shoot yourself. (Um... speaking of which, anyone wanna know how that whole mediation thing is going? Drop down in the comments).

There are tons of ordinary practical lists on brain strengthening out there already.  This is more a Cranky Fitness style list that is so "meta" as to be virtually useless.

Sound like fun?

July 30, 2013

Crabby's Epic Adventure!

Yeah, this was supposed to be a post for Monday, and it was also supposed to be about health and fitness. Specifically, it was about consumer online genetic testing services. Then it was going to be about bicycling.

But instead, how about a tale of adventure, wanderlust and shocking surprises? There are lots and lots and lots of pictures (let's pretend that's a good thing), and even kinda a fitness angle!

Ok, so maybe not. But I rode my bike around while researching portions of this post.  Does that count?

Work with me here, people.

July 22, 2013

Intermittent Fasting: Shortcut to Longevity and Weight Loss?

 Photo: Martin Sharman

Years ago I wrote a post about intermittent fasting.  It sounded like an intriguing but no-way-in-hell-am-I-ever-gonna try it approach to tweaking one's calorie consumption, improving health, and perhaps even increasing longevity.

Sort of like the idea of trying to turn myself into a brown-fat packin', calorie-incinerating superhuman by bathing in ice water: The results sound fun, but: Ain't gonna happen!

I like to eat every day! And I complain about how cold the water is in freakin' Hawaii, of all places. No matter how miraculous some body-hacking shortcuts claim to be, they have little appeal to me if they involve more than a trivial amount of discomfort.

But then I kept reading more about the shorter, easier versions of Intermittent Fasting.  The notion that if one restricts daily eating to a shorter window, say of 8 hours, that it could lead to beneficial changes like weight loss, "fat-adaptation," and even lower the risk of Alzheimers.

The "16-8" program worked for Hugh Jackman apparently:

(Please don't sue me, 20th Century Fox!
CC search said "labelled for reuse" but I'm skeptical).

Could it also work for Crabby McSlacker?

Well, I did some experimenting for a number of weeks and thought it might be time to share the shocking results!

July 15, 2013

Ask the Nutritionist: Bloating Blues and Other Digestive Dilemmas

Today's question involves bloat and other sorts of stomach and intestinal distress.

Why?  Well, for one, Crabby is one of those people who frequently bloats up like a Thanksgiving Day Parade float. She was eager to hear some expert advice: preferably the sort that doesn't require her to give up any favorite foods or seek out professional help or do anything differently than she's already doing.   A handy capsule, she was hoping, featuring some obscure combination of phytonutrients that would not only to solve the bloating problem, but also melt belly fat, increase energy, build better biceps, and whiten her teeth!

Alas, no such luck. Instead all she got was incredibly informative answer exploring all sorts of possibilities and solutions complete with great resources and a fresh perspective that one rarely hears when discussing tummy trouble.  Damn that Marsha Hudnall.

In addition, I've got a brief digression regarding my last mea culpa blog post, but I won't hold up the proceedings too long before we get to the good stuff.

July 11, 2013

July 08, 2013

Safe and Sound

How much attention do you pay to safety while exercising?

Mostly I am a super-cautious neurotic freak.  I have an exaggerated and narcissistic sense of personal risk based on the idea that "if bad things can happen to anyone, why wouldn't they happen to ME?" I avoid doing things many people find fun because I fear the worst.

Though of course at times I can also be a total dumb-ass and do unsafe things. I have been known to speed around blind corners on the bike trail or skip putting sunscreen on my arms and legs, courting skin cancer just because I think sunscreen sucks.

Over the years I've have written about many scary hazards, such lightning strikes, bike safety, or avoiding brain-eating amoebas.  (And they ain't bad posts, actually, if you want some tips on how not to get killed this summer.)

And for even more safety information, Happiness Savored Hot has a great post on water safety and she worked many years as a lifeguard and knows her stuff.  (From what I gathered, the safest plan is:  don't allow your kids anywhere near bodies of water, ever. Because they will drown if they even smell a pool or an ocean. Don't even have kids, that's the best plan. And if you're a grown-up, be careful too, especially if you are young, male, stupid, and drunk off your ass. But, um, her post is a lot more pragmatic and helpful).

But today we have a more specific safety tip... as well as a heads-up about a free lecture series that looks very cool that I wanted to alert you to. Which has nothing to do with safety, but whatever.

July 01, 2013

Goal Support and Giveaway: Makeover Edition!

Do you sometimes wonder if it might be time for a makeover?

 (And hate to break it to you honey, but...)

Whether it's your house, physique, attitude, career, or eating habits... wouldn't it be cool to just to whisk off everything that's not working for you anymore and put on a new ensemble of awesomeness as if it were a new set of clothes?

Sounds great to me!

But as you might guess, I've got a few thoughts about "makeovers" below.

There will also some info on our giveaway prizes for July's goal post commenters: 2 appropriately-themed Extreme Makeover Weight Loss Edition BootCamp DVD's, and a high-tech, cleverly designed Airbac backpack.  Plus the identity last months winners of the NOW $50 custom sample pack and the leftover headphones will be revealed.

And best of all... it's time to hear how all you amazing Cranketeers are doing!  Have you been kicking ass, or slackin', or pondering, or rabble rousing or napping? Let's all pop down in the comments and give each other some encouragement, shall we?

June 27, 2013

Gay Marriage... And Your Health?

 And She Loves You Right Back!

You may have thought that the Supreme Court decisions yesterday ending discrimination against gay marriages were nice, but not really relevant to your quest for better health and fitness.

But hey, would you like to lower your blood pressure, shed excess belly fat, be happier, lift stronger and live longer?

Bear with me as Cranky Fitness yet again manages to take a topic that might seem to have nothing to do with health and fitness, and attempts to uncover the amazing secret health benefits hidden within!

June 24, 2013

No Parking on the Dance Floor

OK, perhaps some parking is allowed. I can be reasonable.

And yeah, this post was inspired by recent events that transpired on a literal dance floor. But as usual when I have a grievance, I don't just need to bitch about it: I also gotta analyze and generalize and get all metaphorical! Plus I try to find some kind of  "life lesson" and share it.

Annoying and pedantic? Of course! But it's how my brain likes to process stuff. Some people meditate or take Prozac or go pummel a punching bag; I over-think and blog.

I am sometimes amazed there are any Cranky Fitness readers left.

Wait, are there any Cranky Fitness readers left?

(Always good to keep checkin'! It sure would be lonely on planet Cranky if y'all got fed up and wandered away).

So anyway, who tried to harsh Crabby's mellow over the weekend and what thoughts did this lead to?

June 19, 2013

Get With the Program!

So this post started off being about the fact that I signed up for a new training program.

Yep, I'm currently I'm up to my eyeballs in oligosaccharides and polypeptides and phospholipids, trying not to freak out about making my way towards the ACE Health Coach Certification. Which I'm psyched about! It seems to offer a solid foundation for exercise/nutrition assessment, planning, and programming, for any life and wellness coaching clients who should want that.

But for clients who like to do their own thing, they still can. I promise it won't make me all bossy all of a sudden.   I'm still a wishy-washy psychotherapist at heart and am much more likely to ask annoying questions than provide concrete advice.

So will you be hearing more about this shiny new program at some point?  You betcha! Lucky readers! All the details and implications of my educational endeavors will no doubt make for fascinating reading. Blame Malevolent Andrea who alerted me to this thing.
However, my signing up for an official, structured program does bring up a more general question that comes up all the time in a health and fitness context:

Do you get the best results by picking a good program and following it by the book?  Or is it better to navigate your own best path through a field of intriguing but possibly conflicting alternatives?

June 12, 2013

Ask The Personal Trainer: Hotel Room Workout

So in this next installment of "Ask the Personal Trainer," we take on the following question:

Do you have any recommendations for a portable 10-30 minute workout that could be done in a hotel room or other not-well-equipped space? Something that either just uses body weight or something that might be handy or wouldn't be too difficult or expensive to bring along?

So let's see what we got!