Friday, January 21, 2011

My eternal battle with "fitness" and health magazines

I admit it -sometimes exercise can be dull. I enjoy most of what I do in my morning workouts, but when my knee flares up and the pool (grrr) still isn't open after repairs, I'm often delegated to 30 minutes on the exercise bike for some cardio. Some days it's all good. Often the news will be on the gym TV. Maybe a cooking show, the Sopranos or even (squee!) the Golden Girls.
Occasionally, like this morning, I'll really be bored and want something to keep me occupied while I pedal that doesn't involve talking to the creepy guy on the bike next to me and the TV's have all been reset to (sigh) sports. Then I dive into the gym's drawer of free "fitness" and "health" magazines to read while pedalling away. I find it makes other people uncomfortable if I spend my time watching them workout, so I figured it would be a decent entertainment.
The more I read them, the more I realize - boy was I wrong. I think my brain actually shrinks ever so slightly as I read them...I'd have probably been better off reading regular crap publications like Vanity Fair. At least I'd know what I was in for...

Over the last few months I have read a variety of "health" and "fitness" magazines and have concluded that 95% of them all spout the same crap:

-Exercises that supposedly sculpt the perfect abs/ass performed by models with minimal muscles
-How high intensity interval training is an exciting new concept that wil lchange my life (yes it's good, but seriously...I know already)
-How diets and diet pills are bad - but oh hey what's advertised on the next page? Grrrr
-insipid articles about how some famous person with a decent body works out and eat's healthy - "they're just like us!" *sigh*
-How I need to lose 10 Lbs.
-How I can lose 10 lbs. In a week. By eating *insert new wonder food here*
-Healthified recipes that might taste good...but most of them are just basics that you'd already know how to make if you cooked anything at all from scratch. And some of them would not taste good. I don't care if it's healthy -if you can't really cook to start with, don't be mucking with recipes to make them bland.
-"sexy" bedroom tips. This also amuses and saddens me. A - how is this fitness related? and B -Maybe I've just got it going on at home but really - do you need to tell people obvious things to do in bed? Is it not fun for you already (you should try harder >;) )? Apparently I am a freak for getting it on a lot as it appears they think most magazine readers are grasping for any mojo action. I've gotta tell you - nothing makes you feel more sexy than being healthy and in shape. I'm not kidding....just work your own mojo people :)
-Inspiring weight loss stories. OK this part isn't so bad. I do like to read about other people getting healthy. It's part of what I like about the Internet - the instant online support in getting healthy and losing weight. What bugs me is the photos. The attitude in most of the articles that this person was less before they were thin. Come on people...shame is never the proper instructional tool.

OK soap box away.
I'm just a bit annoyed at the state of the health and fitness media.
I find it increasingly difficult in my quest to be healthy to get good, true and accurate information on healthy living, weightlifting and exercise that isn't filled with "we're all girls together gosh golly gee" crap or that I'm somehow invalid if I am not stick thin, or can run an Iron Man.
Maybe it's the scientist thing. I don't like being pandered to or treated like a fluffy headed bint.
Just give me facts.

I am hopeful - I have a book by Rachel Cosgrove about weightlifting and fitness training that I got as a Xmas gift, that should give me some ideas and tips about where to go next with this whole fitness thing. It's been recommended to me by healthy fit people that I would be very happy emulating. I'm hoping it will give me some useful information and keep me from injuring myself.
As for the magazines? Well...lets just say I'm not going to get a subscription to anything anytime soon.


Captain Chlorophyll said...

If it makes you feel any better, men's fitness magazines are the same way -- except for Men's Health, which spends 50% of its non-advertisement pages on how to get a woman to sleep with you.