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.