October 31, 2017

Live Longer, Stay Sharper: Now, With Substance Abuse! Er. Use. I mean Use.

 image via artstack

By Crabby McSlacker

This post is a classic example of Selective Reporting: You see some headlines you like, so you skip merrily over the exhaustive research and analysis you should be doing in order to decide whether they're even valid. So much more fun to simply embrace the results!

Welcome to Cranky Fitness. Perhaps you mistook this for a scholarly health resource?

Anyway, in the spirit of "sounds good to me"... How about a couple of studies saying that (1) drinking impressively large amounts of coffee every day may increase longevity and (2) drinking alcohol moderately, or even heavily, as long as it's not "excessively," may boost your chances of living to a ripe old age without cognitive decline?

Again, we are just looking at a few studies and ignoring for now whatever research there may about the downsides of these practices. But it's only fair, right? People who don't want to booze it up, or consume bucketloads of coffee, can find plenty of ammunition, pretty much everywhere, to feel smug about their lifestyle choices.

But those of us who do like to alter our brains with various chemicals, whether because it makes us feel happier, or more alert, or more gregarious, or less likely to collapse into a paralyzing puddle of depression because somehow we've come to live in a country governed by a belligerent orangutan...  some of us might appreciate a little positive news for once.

October 18, 2017

Processed Snacks and Desserts: What the Hell, Let's Have Some!

 via flickr

By Crabby McSlacker

Are you one of those people who eats only healthy whole foods, having absolutely no desire to consume tasty and convenient items created in some huge factory somewhere, packaged up and shipped thousands of miles away to your very own neighborhood grocery store?

Well, congratulations!

Enjoy that little cute little plate of fresh cut veggies and hummus. Savor that teeny-tiny handful of raw nuts. Arrange those fresh apple slices into a Pinterest-ready photo broadcasting your virtue.

Me? Sometimes I buy processed stuff in boxes and bags and cartons and resealable pouches.

My meals are generally pretty damn healthy, and there are whole food snacks I'll eat too. (Hello, nuts and fruit and a few select veggies). But if I don't have a few good indulgence foods on hand, things I truly love... then I'll soon end up on the Dark Side of the Snacking Street, on the Wrong Side of the Right Track. You know that neighborhood, right? It's where the nachos and the bakery sheet cakes and pepperoni pizza and the Ben & Jerry's all live.

And try as I might, I just can't love a fucking carrot stick no matter what I dip it into.

Yet so many snacks and desserts that are advertised as "healthy" are no such thing. If I weren't an obsessive nutcase, I might not ever have found my current favorites among all the zillions of faux-healthy offerings crowding the grocery store shelves.

So what do I eat?

(Note: No one is paying me anything or offering me anything free for this post. I'm done with that, having discovered that $7 worth of free snack foods is not worth all the angst and procrastination and misery that comes with actually having to write a review on command. These are just things I like, many of which I've mentioned before).

October 10, 2017

Hate Strength Training?

By Crabby McSlacker

Strength training, alas, is still considered a crucial ingredient in the ever-changing recipe for a fit and healthy life.  Omitting this key ingredient is like trying to make meringue with no egg whites--the results may be disappointingly gloppier than you were intending.

But it's not just about looking more buffed or losing weight more easily. There are plenty of important health benefits from strength training that I'm too lazy to list. But trust me, strength training is good for you in ways that cardio is not! You need both.

Of course I realize that many people love weights and hate cardio. To me this is hilarious, like someone saying "no, I'll have to skip that cupcake-tasting party this evening, I've been really looking forward to cleaning up all the accumulated dog shit in our neighborhood."

There's no accounting for taste.

Me, I loathe strength training. Yet I've been doing it pretty damn regularly for over 25 years.

From this you may conclude:

(1) I've figured out a couple of tricks to make it less horrible. And,

(2) I obviously need a few more tricks, or "loathe" wouldn't be the first word to come to mind when I think about lifting weights.

So I'll share of a few of my sneaky motivational tips and maybe some of you have some better ideas?

October 02, 2017

WTF Is Your Problem?

Do you ever feel like the different parts of yourself aren't lining up properly?

In this case, I don't mean anatomically, I mean psychologically. As in: the "smart" part of you is going "I really need to do this Thing, I'll get right on that tomorrow! (ie., exercise/quit smoking/schedule a colonoscopy). And the other part of you, the part that is stupider but is actually in charge of what you end up doing is all "Ha! Like THAT's ever gonna happen!"

Of course, there's always the helpful motivational slogan popularized by Nike, "Just Do It, Asshole." Hmm. I may be remembering that slightly wrong.

But what if you'd really really really really really really rather Just Not Do It?

I've been struggling with a bad case of of the WTFIYP's myself. I asking myself what my problem is... but it's not the right question. It doesn't actually matter what the problem is. It matters what the solution is. What will get me moving again?

So I'm trying a new approach that's really an old approach that I've talked about a million times in different ways. But what the hell, I wasn't doing it, and maybe you're not either.

Since this is a blog called Cranky Fitness, you can probably guess what it is I've been avoiding.

That's right, blogging. (The Fitness thing is less of a problem).

But it occurs to me that the solution I wasn't using before and am now is equally applicable to exercise avoidance, and many other sorts of avoidances as well.