April 15, 2017

Forest Bathing and Awkward Anniversarys


photopixabay
By Crabby McSlacker

Yep, Today Cranky Fitness is 10 years old.

Holy crap, right? It's hard to believe. How could such a half-assed enterprise have endured an entire decade?

The quick answer is of course: it hasn't. Not really. That's why it's an awkward anniversary. I've taken huge breaks, wandered away, reappeared, disappeared again, and generally gotten shockingly irresponsible about  blogging

But hey... somehow the blog is still here!

So you may have questions: what does the blog anniversary have to do with Forest Bathing? What the hell is forest bathing? And will this post contain any gratuitous nudity?

April 03, 2017

On the Road Again...


 By Crabby McSlacker

Are you ready for a blog post chock full of healthy travel tips, amusing anecdotes, surprising discoveries, inspiring advice, and breathtaking photos of scenery and wildlife?

Oops, sorry! You probably want to type a different URL up there in your search bar. Did you not realize this was Cranky Fitness?

As it happens, I've done some decent "on the road" posts before, both of the "holy crap look how pretty this is" variety, as well as the "here's how to exercise at gas stations even if people think you're a psycho" kind. But we've only got a brief layover on this, our eleven thousandth cross-country schlep, and there's laundry to do and email to catch up on and other miscellaneous shit to take care of while we're not rolling down the road at 75 miles an hour.

But for today, I do have at least a few hiking pictures and one Important Cross Country Road Trip Lesson Learned.

March 28, 2017

Exercise Motivation, The Weird Way

image: flikr

Do you look forward to a strenuous workout?

If so, congratulations! But the rest of what follows may seem like incomprehensible gibberish to you. If you don't need to twist your brain into pretzel-like configurations in order to motivate yourself to exercise: you are free to resume websurfing. Enjoy a few more videos of rhinos cuddling with meekrats, or watch with terrified fascination as the next Trumpian plans for the apocalypse are announced. Google up a tasty gluten-free avocado brownie recipe! Or hell, go out and run a marathon and follow it up with a nice little nap.

There all sorts of healthy ways to motivate to exercise! I've talked a lot about exercise motivation and demotivation and remotivation over the years, and will doubtlessly yammer on for years to come. I have all kinds of healthy motivational tricks that I'm not embarrassed to share, and these are a large part of my aresenal.

But there is also a seamy back-alley of exercise will-power, and I have some other secrets you don't see mentioned in respectable publications. Yet for some of us, these are a real help in keeping us consistent throughout the years, yielding the numerous physical and emotional benefits that sedentary people do not get to enjoy.

Just what the heck am I talking about?

March 20, 2017

High Heels: WTF, Ladies?

image: maxpixel

By Crabby McSlacker

There are some ways in which I definitely have a girl brain, not a boy brain. But in other ways, I am a dude. I sometimes find my own gender to be an alien species, incomprehensible in its motivations and reasoning and habits. 

(For a more complete elucidation of my cluelessness about female behavior, I wrote a much longer post years ago about Women and the Quest for Beauty. Like so many ancient Cranky Fitness posts, it lingers undisturbed in the archives, gathering dust and long forgotten, yet it's better than the stuff I write now. Which makes me a little sad. Though not sad enough, apparently, to devote more time to current blog efforts). 

Anyway, this is just a brief and pissy rant on a small subject of the topic: high heeled shoes. And since so many of you wear them, either grudgingly or enthusiastically, I'd love to hear your vocal defense of your choices in the comments. 

But let me get you good and riled first!

March 13, 2017

Your First Colonoscopy! What to Expect

Whee! Time for a Tube Up Your Tuchus!

By Crabby McSlacker

So, some perspective here: for people with serious illnesses who've been through hardcore, painful, debilitating, invasive medical procedures? A colonoscopy is probably child's play. (Although let's be clear, that's just an expression. If your child actually plays this way? We need to talk).

But for most people, there's at least a little trepidation. And for many, if statistics are to be believed, that fear is significant enough to skip the procedure entirely! Well sure, it could save your life and all, but really? Do you have to?

There are actually some alternative colon cancer screening methods. But since I didn't get to use one of them myself, discussion of these will be brief, and possibly a little bitter.

I've had a couple of  colonoscopies now. (And an additional bowel prep due to my hysterectomy.) My second colonoscopy was just a few days ago and the memories are still fresh. So I'm thinking it's time to share some info and observations and tips?  This is after all, a health blog, although with recent posts on tattoos and winter travel, it's easy to miss that part.

Here's the thing: for some people the whole colonoscopy thing is a breeze. For a very few unlucky folks: it's horrible. For most people I know, myself included: the procedure and the prep are somewhere in the middle. Decidedly unpleasant but not intolerable.

But being a whiner myself, I get tired of all those public-spirited accounts of the colonoscopy process that make it sound entirely innocuous in order to get you to go ahead and get yours. I'm not going to lie to you just to make sure you go do it. You need to and you will be really glad you did it! But it's not exactly fun. Here's at least one chronic complainer's take on what's involved.

And for those of you who have already joined this exclusive club? I'll be curious if your experience was similar or if there are all kinds of different colonoscopy experiences.

Warning: due to mature and disgusting subject matter, reader discretion is advised.

March 06, 2017

Should You Get a Tattoo? The Great Tattoo Experiment


By Crabby McSlacker

You don't generally "experiment" with getting a tattoo. That's what makes getting one such a badass thing to do. Whether you're rational and level-headed when that needle hits your arm, or whether you're insensibly infatuated with a new romantic partner, drunk off your ass, bitter about some undeserved setback, or just feeling full of life and tired of being so "sensible" all the time, it doesn't matter: you just signed up for a lifelong commitment. (Or an expensive and painful removal process).

Holy crap, right? That's why I've always admired the courage of people with tattoos. Like the fabulously unapologetic Mizfit Carla!

Is it true that I also sometimes feel a little worried for some of those tattooed folks, depending on their particular choices and my level of optimism that day?

You betcha.

I consider myself a rational, even cautious sort of person, yet I've been tempted to get a tattoo for quite a while now. The urge has been growing even stronger in these fraught times, when self-expression feels so vital.

So, what did I recently run out and do?

February 27, 2017

Is Winter Actually the BEST Time to Train Outdoors?


Guest Post by Lisa Green with Intro by Crabby McSlacker

You see the happy face of the winter exerciser pictured above? That's your first clue Crabby McSlacker didn't write this post.  She is a cowardly snowbird who flees to warmer climates when it gets cold. And she figured a winter picture of her exercising while holding a pina colada on a beach lined with palm trees might not be all that motivating to people in more northerly climates. (Though hell, with this winter's weird weather, you too may be donning your swimsuits and reaching for tropical cocktails).

But guess what? It turns out outdoor cold-weather exercising comes with some side benefits you may not know about. This might be way more helpful to your motivation during sucky winter weather than anything Crabby might suggest.

Lisa Green writes for Gym Person where you can find useful training tips and resources. But never fear, Crabby will be back either later this week or early next week, you never know with her. See you soon! --Crabby

You can’t be blamed for wanting to ride out the winter season and get back in shape come spring. Or maybe you are even that kind of person that regardless of season prefers to workout at home rather than outdoors.

Regardless of how or where you like to train, you would be wasting an incredible opportunity if you let the winter slip away.

For people willing to brave the elements during the winter months; the cold temperatures and low humidity can turbo-charge your training and torch body fat to give you a beach-ready body in time for summer.

Keep reading to learn all the benefits of cold weather workouts!

February 21, 2017

The Snowbird Lifestyle: Healthy Anti-Aging Solution or Horrifying Misadventure?

photo: wikimedia

By Crabby McSlacker

So what's a snowbird? (Besides, apparently, a ski resort in Utah?)

I'll offer one definition of a snowbird: a species of silver-crested North American, usually of advancing years, that migrates annually for the winter from colder northern climates to warmer southern ones. Best known for upsetting local ecosystems and annoying year-round inhabitants.

Regular readers may be aware that my wife (aka "The Lobster") and I are a couple of those dreaded snowbirds. Yet: we are not all that old. Nor, we hope, are we all that annoying.

And it's not just us: Snowbirds seem to be getting younger. Maybe it's because more jobs are going virtual and it's not just for retirement anymore? Or it might be because new options that didn't exist 10 or 20 years ago can make it way more affordable and practical than it used to be.

(Note: I'm talking about "snowbirding" because that's what people google the most common sort of seasonal migration. But this applies to other extended getaways too, like fleeing a torrid climate during summers, or spending months abroad every year in a country that's cheap and culturally enriching, or whatever.)

So if you're curious about the Snowbird lifestyle, either because it sounds vaguely appealing, or alternatively, because it sounds so hideously disruptive that reveling in the details will make you smugly grateful that you live only in one place like a normal person--some thoughts below.

February 13, 2017

Pono Board Review (and Discount)


By Crabby McSlacker

What exactly is a Pono Board? Do you surf on it? Fling it? Predict the future by letting ancient Hawaiian spirits telepathically move aqua-colored balls around on its sleek wooden surface until your destiny is revealed?

Nope, it's none of these things. A Pono Board is a kinder, gentler balance board that can be used to add a bit of instability to various exercises in a way that is mercifully unlikely to send you sprawling on your face in an ignominious heap of kluzitude.

Ta da!

According to The Pono People, it was designed to feel like a beach workout, actively engaging the core, but not too difficult.

But that's not why I eagerly agreed to acquire and review a springy thingy of my very own. (Disclaimer: I didn't pay for it). What was the reason?

The Pono Board is also designed to function as a stand-up desk accessory, yay!

Here's some more info and a verdict on how I like my Pono Board.

February 06, 2017

Can Recreational Marijuana Be Part of a Healthy Lifestyle?

image: vintagestock
By Crabby McSlacker

More states may be legalizing cannabis, but recreational use is still considered pretty controversial.

Getting "high" on purpose, not as a side effect of medicinal use? Many people see that as wicked or sinful. And even more folks dismiss it as silly, weak, reckless, or immature. We're all well-acquainted with the stereotype, right? The lazy, bumbling, airheaded stoner, escaping real life in a cloud of smelly smoke, becoming more moronic and demotivated with every hit.

So how could something that can make a person appear so dimwitted and dysfunctional possibly be considered perfectly acceptable, let alone healthy?

And yet I'm taking a mostly enthusiastic pro-marijuana stance! With of course a bunch of caveats and qualifications.

Street light vandalism in Bogotá, Colombia


Because yeah, I know how seriously people are going to take opinions about reefer from someone who blogs as "Crabby McSlacker."

January 30, 2017

Flotation Tanks: Should You Give One a Try?

photo: wikipedia

By Crabby McSlacker

So recently I spent an hour in a flotation tank. Or, as they're also known, an isolation tank, or sensory deprivation tank. Given the current state of the world, we could all use some sort of complete break from reality, right?

Or hell, if I wanted to be even more cumbersome about it (and not leave any potential googlers out), I could also say: I undertook some "restricted environmental stimulation therapy," or a "flotation REST."

Yep: I lay there naked in the dark, closed off in a little heated box, suspended in a solution of epsom salts designed induce an extreme state of relaxation and make my arms and legs and everything else melt away, leaving nothing but a state of pure Crabby consciousness.

Why would I do such a thing? What was it like? Did I freak out? Did I see God? Would I do it again? Do I have any advice for how to prepare?

Answers to these and other questions no one has cared to ask me below!

January 26, 2017

Extremely Brief Q & A

image: flickr

By Crabby McSlacker

Q:  There has been no blog post at Cranky Fitness this week, does this mean Crabby has wandered away again? 

A: No! There will be a new post on Monday. Crabby is just slow that way.

Q: Why is this even a post? Does Crabby think anyone gives a crap if she posts on her silly little blog every week?

A: Intellectually she understands that no one does. But her brain works strangely. By posting something saying she is not posting, she feels way better about it.

(Thanks all, see ya Monday! --Crabby). 

January 16, 2017

Resistance Training: Some Helpful Resources

image: pixabay

By Crabby McSlacker

So yeah, wary Cranky Fitness readers may be wondering, which kind of "resistance" are we talking about here?

The kind that has you flexing your quads and glutes and lats and pecs? Or the kind that has you gathering in the streets and haranguing politicians and otherwise causing a ruckus?

The answer is: both!

January 10, 2017

What's the Catch? Barramundi: Go Buy Some Damnit

By Crabby McSlacker

Tired of long-ass blog posts that take forever to get to the point?  Well hey, it's a new year, and mixing things up is good, so I thought I'd try something different for a change: succinctness!

So here are your five most important takeaways about barramundi, I fish I have come to love, brought to you with 95% less meandering.

1. Barramundi is a safe and extremely nutritious protein source, with a hefty dose of the good kind of fat, omega 3. (Unlike Tilapia which is annoyingly popular despite being a really crappy choice nutritionally). It also has other good fish nutrients like vitamin D and potassium. Unlike some farmed fishies, the barramudi (barramundies?) don't get pumped up with hormones, colorants, or antibiotics, plus they have no detectable mercury, PCBs, or other contaminants. Yay!

January 01, 2017

Keeping Healthy New Year's Resolutions: Five Tips!


image found here, where you can actually purchase them.

By Crabby McSlacker

Okay, first some reassurance: that's a visual pun up there, not a how-to photo. I'm not suggesting you sever any fingertips in order to make your New Year's resolutions easier to keep. Although come to think of it, I'd reach for far fewer Sees candies if I...

No. I'm kidding. Let me go on record as Not in Favor of Digital Amputation as a Weight Loss Aid. In these increasingly imbecilic times, one can't take anything for granted.

Anyway, the usual caveats:




So, are we ready?