May 30, 2017

Lifetrak Zoom HRV Review

By Crabby McSlacker

As a greedy, gadget-obsessed health blogger, I was pretty psyched to get the opportunity to review the Lifetrak Zoom HRV Zoom HRV activity tracker. (And, full disclosure: I got to keep it).

The Zoom measures a wide variety of activity metrics from your wrist (or ankle, or forearm). What you do not need to use the Zoom: a chest strap!

So I've been testing the Zoom out for a couple of weeks in true Crabby McSlacker style: misunderstanding instructions, forgetting to hit "record" to begin or end my workouts, failing to appreciate the nuances, and finding myself too lazy for a comprehensive data comparison with my other activity tracker, the Polar M400.

Yet my lack of reviewing diligence does not, of course, keep me from having opinions.

So what's good and bad about the the Lifetrak Zoom? And who should buy one and who should not?

May 22, 2017

Time to HIIT it?

By Crabby McSlacker

In the last few years, you've probably heard the same unwelcome advice quite a few times: for optimal health, you should be adding some High Intensity Interval Training to your weekly routine.

But all too often, nutrition and exercise research gets overhyped and exaggerated. Just let enough time pass, and other studies can come along to soften or even reverse recommendations that all the excited "experts" were so adamant about.

In the case of something as odious as High Intensity Interval Training? It makes a lot of sense if you've been waiting to be absolutely sure it has merit before jumping on the bandwagon. Especially since you're supposed to be jumping on that bandwagon with such speed and vigor that you may faint, vomit, or burst into tears before you're done.

And what if you're middle aged or older? You may be thinking: don't I get a pass? Hell, I should be getting extra credit for doing any sort of exercise at all, given how sedentary everyone else my age is. Surely I'm not expected to be sprinting up hills, busting out burpees, or pedaling all out on a spin bike until I'm struggling for breath so mightily I can't even toss out a few choice obscentities?

Well, a new study has a little more information to add to the discussion. And of course I have some thoughts to contribute too, since I always have thoughts about everything whether I know what I'm talking about or not.

May 15, 2017

Giveaway Winners and a Happy Belated Mother's Day!

By Crabby McSlacker

So first off, thanks to everyone who stopped by to comment on our book giveaway here at the blog, or on Facebook, or even via direct email, an option a few of you chose. I've assigned y'all numbers and am going to fire up the ol' random number generator in a minute. Isn't it exciting when I do this in Real Time?

Yeah, so ok, I guess if I don't hit "publish" until the whole post is written, you're not reading this yet, so it's more like Surreal Time, but work with me here.

But before I spin the Big Virtual Interweb Roulette Wheel, I just want to acknowledge all the awesome mothers out there, my own and everyone's everywhere including YOU if you fit that description!

I don't have kids myself. Having carefully considered the job responsibilities and remuneration and having concluded "no f#cking way," I have nothing but admiration for all you out there who took the job on, and perform all the daily heroics required to do it properly.

For the record, I think it's shitty you only get one day of recognition.

Hell, today is apparently National Nylon Stocking Day and National Chocolate Chip day. They get the same amount of time you Mom's do?

So let's pretend the fact I'm a day late is really because I'm giving you another additional Mother's day. Round those kids up and tell them to make you another burnt-toast breakfast, and tell Hubby you're eating out again tonight, damn it, because Crabby said it's the new Law.

Anyway, in honor of your extra day,  before we get to the giveaway winners, here are two belated Mother's day-related links:

Are you following Vita Train for Life yet?  She's always a fun and inspiring read, and you may want to check out the Eight Reasons She's Not a Real Parent.

And for the Other Mothers out there, whose children may not be human but are nearly as demanding? Here's a video that already been all over the Web because as usual I'm the last to see these things. But whatever.

Okay, so now let's get down to Giveaway Business.

Who won Elizabeth Babcock's most excellent book Why We Overeat and How to Stop?

May 08, 2017

Why We Overeat and How to Stop: Book Giveaway!

image: clipartfest

By Crabby McSlacker

Does anyone else out there struggle with eating too much, or eating the wrong things, or not feeling sufficiently motivated to exercise?

Even those of us with fancy degrees and initials after our names, who've studied this stuff extensively for decades and know exactly what we should be doing... we often screw it up just as badly as anyone else does.  We may even be in the "healthy weight" range, yet only manage it with much unnecessary angst, inconsistency, martyrdom, acting out, and ill-tempered griping.

So WTF is up with that? Why can't our highly evolved brains save us from self-defeating decisions? And how do we best deal with the seemingly ridiculous problem of not being able to control our own behavior?

Elizabeth Babcock's Why We Overeat and How to Stop isn't a magical solution to overeating. Alas, there is no magical solution. But I think it's as good a book as I've ever read on the subject, and I found myself with many new helpful insights into my cherished but often maladaptive ways. She provided a number of new strategies and practical tips , as well as the motivational boost that comes from taking a fresh look at old assumptions.

Bottom line: I'd highly recommend you buy the book. But heck, you might as well try to win it for free first, right? We've got a physical copy if you like (and are from the U.S.) but also have an (admittedly low-tech) electronic option, so as not to leave out folks who are not from the United States.

So, what's so great about it and why do I recommend it so highly? And how do you win a copy?

May 01, 2017

Mystery Trip!

By Crabby McSlacker

So one might wonder: where the hell did the Crab go? She barely got back to blogging before skipping town yet again, not managing even one meager blog post in the last two weeks. And sorry, this is one of those disjointed rambles accompanied by random photos. Longtime readers may recall this is customary after I come back from a trip having left half my brain cells behind.

Anyway, we actually went to a couple of different destinations...