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Wednesday, 06 February 2019


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Buy that bike and you might make oldest living male someday!

Mike, I also work on mostly cardio usually 3-4 times a week at our community fitness center. May I suggest the elliptical trainer for your workouts since I use all three that you mentioned. The treadmill is my least favorite, next comes the stationary bike, the elliptical would be my choice if I had to pick just one. The reasons being you are standing when working out, not sitting on the bike, you can get your arms involved if you choose to on the elliptical. The workouts can be varied from intense short workouts or long medium paced sessions. I also owned a treadmill for many years and it's gets old real quick, not so much on the elliptical, just my 2 cents worth.

I am much more familiar with lascivious than logorrheic, perhaps because while logorrheic is a bad personality trait, lasciviousness is a bad personality trait combined with sex. Anything that is combined with sex will always make the billboards of life.

Lascivious is one of my favourites, just the sound of the word itself, to me, gives context and meaning.

Also a word I use (relatively) frequently. Never heard "logorrheic" though. Had to google that one.

For the record, I am not logorrheic, but loquatious. This self-serving conclusion was based solely on my assessment that I do not possess the necessary manic . . . er . . . ness (yes, I know, "mania").

If you don't like exercise, an expensive machine will fall into disuse relatively quickly. Just get out and walk. Exercise does not have to be done 7 days a week to be helpful. A good walk 3 or 4 times a week is very good for you. On days when the weather makes it impossible, it's OK. When you do get out, you can carry a camera (or two for more exercise) and instead of enforced exercise, it becomes 'crusin' for snaps' which is much more enjoyable.

I did make an exception for long editing sessions, I bought one of the cheapest stair stepping machine on amazon (less than $100 bucks and doesn't even have a handle which requires you to keep your balance) and every 100 pictures, I get up and do 100 steps. It keeps my legs from cramping up, and blood circulating.

May I suggest a magnetic bike trainer like this:


Use that Rivendell in the winter months! Store the trainer under a bed or couch. Magnetic trainers are quieter than wind-resistance trainers and safer than the roller-bearing type. No experience with that particular brand, but I have one like it. You may want a smooth rear tire rather than a knobbly one on the bike . . .

Get the treadmill.
Get these so you can read while on the treadmill:

Then setup your standing desk next to the treadmill so you can rotate the screen and move the mouse and keyboard to work when on the treadmill while being able to swing it all back and work while off the treadmill.

Walking is sufficient exercise. Just make sure you have other activities you can do while walking.

Additionally, you can train the dogs to walk the treadmill so they can exercise during unpleasant outdoor days.

"L" words make such lovely, lively alliterations.

Hi Mike,
Elliptical owner reporting in. I bought a used elliptical on craigslist from a ballerina who was moving out of state. I stopped by to check it out, paid her a nominal sum ($150? Or less?) in cash, and her boyfriend delivered it the next day. She considered it ideal for maintaining leg strength on a day to day basis, and I took that as a great endorsement. It's a Eclipse 4100 HRA, I think. $550 new?

I've never used the special modes more than a few times,in fact, the batteries went dead years ago. I wedge the ipad on top of the display with a shameful array of cardboard and packing tape, and I watch one or two episodes on Netflix at a go. Headphones help, it makes a rhythmic grinding noise. I use it when I need stress relief and it's too cold to go out. The more I read news, the more I need to use it.

It's lasted years of use, and is mechanically simple. It does shed a little bit of lubricant and dirt directly underneath the footpedals. I've put it on top of a 18" wide by 4' long sheet of freezer paper to catch it.

People like them because they offer no opportunity for impact damage to the knees, unlike treadmills

Amazing Tweeter thread but... isn't that a full article cut into small bits? Is a syncopated array of single sentences the new way of writing prose if we want the young ones to read something of substance?

"Photojournalism is seldom art, but there's something muscular and plainspoken about it that keeps us connected to the medium's essential nature." Your statement really sums it up perfectly, and yes, this is one of the reasons why we, as photographers, need newspapers. We can (and should) philosophise about "straight photography", and how to defend it in the age of manipulation. But our conceptualising needs a material benchmark, and for that nothing beats the unfussy self-assurance of the printed newsphoto.

Schwinn Air Dyne Pro - absolutely the best stationary bike, IMHO. I ride one daily, even here in Florida, because I get a better full body workout, and because no one in their right mind would ride on roads or streets down here in season. Way too dangerous. Too many old people (I'm 71 so I can say this) who don't know what day it is, let alone where they are going or how to get there; too many young people texting and getting to the bar as fast as they can. It's kind of pricey at $1,000, but well worth it compared to other options.

Elizabeth Kolbert came to Santa Fe to give a lecture last year, and my wife and I and a couple other people had dinner with her afterwards. I got the distinct feeling from the dinner conversation that Kolbert thinks we're toast -- that we're done, all of us, and there's not much to be done about it. Nice thought on a pretty Wednesday morning.

Maybe not lascivious, but certainly pulchritudinous.

“...but now I have to buy myself a treadmill (or a stationary bicycle, or an elliptical trainer, something I can use every day in the house regardless of the weather), and I'm just not feeling up to any of it—the research, the hassle of getting it installed, the expense.”

Mike, I’m not feeling up to this either. I’m not sure I could take a series of posts where in excruciating detail you educate us on the best treadmill.

And please don’t fool yourself into thinking you’ll actually use one. Most people buy them as a new year’s resolution to become fit, and by June they’re gathering dust in the garage. Ever notice how many of them show up at yard sales?

Here’s a suggestion that won’t cost you a dime. You live in a lovely area perfect for walking. And don’t say the winters are too harsh. I have the opposite problem here in FL with our summer heat, so I just adjust my routine to go out very early or after sunset. You might find in winter, middays are fine for a shorter but brisk walk.

And, at least in my case, walking allows me to carry a small camera (GR or my iPhone) so I can take photos of whatever catches my eye. It’s a win win. I combine getting some exercise with my love of taking photographs every day. You could even start a series of posts called “photos from my walk”. I’m sure I’m not the only one who would enjoy seeing
more of your photos.

I used a treadmill, until it broke. It was almost fun to use, but they're big, often noisy, and frequently break unless you spend a lot of money.
I also used several stationary bikes until I broke them.
Currently I'm using a relatively indestructible Schwinn Aerdyne, which works your arms and legs. I previously used one for over 20 years before it finally broke. So this one will probably last me to my 80s. Dull, but very reliable.

About your exercise equipment choice... I recommend biking. You should look into some form of spin training for the cold months and get an actual bicycle for spring, summer, and fall.

I've Google mapped your house, you live in bike riding paradise. The main highway looks like it has a wide, paved shoulder, and then you have that grid of wonderful, quiet farm roads. It looks like you have some great hills too, enough climbing to be a challenge, but not an insurmountable challenge. Get a little handlebar bag and bring your camera along. People who haven't done much biking don't realize how easily you can build up the stamina for regular 15 and 20 mile outings. With a little effort I bet you could make it all the way around your lake by the end of summer.

In winter, use an indoor trainer. There are a wide verity of spin classes available online, for free. Or, you could go with the super popular Peloton system. Either way, you would have lots of guidance that's appropriate for your skill level. And, spin training is efficient. You can bang out a good workout in 30 to 60 minutes. Trade out the bike for a HIIT workout twice a week and you'll make huge fitness strides.

For me, the best part about biking is it's fun. It doesn't feel like work. I love getting on my bike and exploring. I look forward to it and get excited about upcoming adventures. I can't say I ever felt that way about other forms of excersice.

Treadmills are nice but weigh enough to tilt your house, plus you often end up having to call someone to service them when something goes wrong. A good quality stationary bike is your best bet. My wife bought a LeMond Revmaster Pro that is very solid. She uses it in front of the TV, watching group rides on Youtube.

Better still is using equipment in a gym, but you might not be close enough to one. Of course there is always the option to do some kind of aerobic activity in the house without equipment.

'...and sin is behovable' (plays a necessary part, to complete the quote). So a small electrical donkey engine on your stationary bike might be acceptable when you have an off day...

“(Any advice appreciated)” - You won’t be receiving any from me, but will get lots of sympathy! I, too, would dread the total efforts to find, buy, install, and then use an indoor exercise machine. You could preach to me ad nauseum the virtues of such devices — I just can’t go there.

I share a house with a lady who goes to a gym almost every day and pedals her guts out and returns soaking in sweat. Her efforts have clearly paid off, for she is in excellent shape at 68. Me, I do my part too at 76 — but it must be out there in the “real” world, on the forest trails all conveniently near by. A recent walk was 11.25 miles with 2,000 feet of climb. You could have given me a 100 bucks and I wouldn’t, or couldn’t, have duplicated that energy output indoors. Not on your (or my) life. So when its rainy and cold outside, I either “weather” it, or go “soft” and fail to get much needed exercise.

So good luck my friend, and I hope you get what you and your body needs from the venture. I wish I could discover the reasons I just can’t.

Regarding exercise equipment I decided to not keep any big machines at home and instead rent them in the form of a gym membership. This allows me to mix up which cardio machines I'm using and also have a full set of free weights to use. Along with this came the commitment to go every morning whether I want to or not. If I had to pick one machine to have at home I'd go for an elliptical, but most people seem to favor treadmills. I like the elliptical because sometimes my knees are sore and it generally doesn't aggravate them. It also gives a decent arm workout, at least compared the treadmill or stair climber. If you have a gym nearby consider joining, even if only for a trial so you can see which equipment works best for you.

Unless nixed by some other physical condition, go with the treadmill or elliptical. Reason: you want your exercise to be weight-bearing as you head into older age.

The one exercise machine I've ever used was a rowing simulator. What it seems to have in its favor is that it uses more of the main muscle groups in your body all at once.

Re eloquent English.....
In England I used to watch a TV show called "The Good Old Days"
It was based on music hall entertainment.
The MC was a great wordsmith. I think you could do just as good a job.
There is an episode or two on You Tube.

RE: Exercise Equipment—

Don't do it! Unless you want a dusty piece of metal and plastic perched in clear view to remind you of your lack of persistence and general failure as an adult.

Instead, look for a Gym within 25 miles of home. Join in the Spring when the roads will be relatively weather-free. Go 3 times a week and use the treadmill, bike, or rowing machine. Promise yourself 3 months of no excuses and once you've done that, reassess.

If you see results and start to reveal your inner superhero, the momentum will drive you through the next 3 months.

Whatever you do, don't lie to yourself. Good luck!

So far as exercise equipment goes find a retailer of such machines and try them out. If possible. You might feel better, more attuned to one or another. I find an elliptical best suited to myself. Upper and lower body combined with serious aerobic workout which is what you want.

Start out slowly whichever you decide on. This is not a sprint this fitness thing. Its a marathon. Do not become injured by forcing too much too soon. You don't want the equipment to become a clothes hanging dust collector!

Right now it is 22 below zero(f) at Amundsen–Scott Station in Antarctica. Remember, it is Summer there. Wind chill makes it seem colder and there is a lot of wind there.
Maybe this will help you feel warmer?

Mike, get the elliptical if you don't have any joint problems. You get a lot more cardio work from just 15 min than from a stationary bike. I am 82 and still use an elliptical at the gym.

Mike, my preference is the treadmill. It would be
nice if you had a way to try all three before buying
one. I think what you should do is look into
Heart Rated Exercise. For any given age there is
a heart rate range you should stay in to be safe.
As you probably know you need to get into the
Aerobic range but don’t get into the anaerobic
area. A Fitbit or Apple Watch will let you monitor
your heart rate . You can sync it to a smart phone.
The biggest challenge with any exercise program
Is sticking to it.
If you were near a shopping mall you could walk
there. Malls open before the stores open and they
are climate controlled.

One of the first assignments i did in Florida for TIME Magazine in 1969 was to go to central FL, to photograph Charlie Smith . We'd been told he was 126years old, and when the reporter inquired "Charlie, they tell me you're 126 years old.... " he answered "No!" And I thought this story seemed like a non starter from the beginning. And another pause, and Charlie said "I'm 127!!" I wish I'd been a better photographer then (as I often do) Esquire did a story about him a year or so later. He did talk about once seeing Abe Lincoln. ( i have a frame but can't figure out how to upload it)

Not necessarily for publication.

My personal prejudice is to cycle rather than walk/run, although I'm ok with walking, really, it's running I don't like. You could get a bike and something like this (https://www.amazon.ca/AccelaVelo-Fluid-X-Indoor-Magnetic-Trainer/dp/B011AD2FIU/ref=sr_1_1_sspa/130-8764804-5477238?ie=UTF8&qid=1549476569&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=bicycle+trainer&psc=1) so that you could ride outside when it's nice, but then mount the bike on the contraption inside when the weather is bad.

Regarding indoor exercise equipment: it is easier to read while on a stationary bicycle than on either of the other two devices you list.

Good luck with this.

~ David, retired physiotherapist

I have one thing to say about indoor exercise equipment (in particular, treadmills): an absolutely critical accessory to the machine is some kind of television (or computer) that can run episodes of your preferred TV shows on-demand.

Mike, I know you're not a TV fan, but I think you've acknowledged that it's not all a waste, that some good shows exist. Find those shows (the ones you will like) and find a way to plunk a monitor in front of your exercise machine. Otherwise that 45-60 minutes you spend there will be sheer mind-bending torture from boredom.

I speak from first-hand experience, and I think this applies to most middle-aged plugs like me who do not enjoy exercise for its own sake. I (you, we, one) must have something to occupy the mind while tediously walking/running/pedaling on a stationary machine. Committing to staying on the machine until the episode is over (or it reaches some milestone like the one hour mark) is the only way to stay on board and keep on moving.

Jeremy Littau does an excellent job of describing the decline of print media. However, I don't think the situation describes a decline in availability of news and data. What we are seeing is a technological shift in communications, not a loss of information. In fact, more news from more sources is now available via internet and TV. Literally from Japan to Jerusalem, from Albania to Zanzibar, we can access news sources - often in English - here in the United States. I would compare this to the situation of the monastic scribes after the invention of the printing press.
What is an issue is the accuracy and reliability of the news reports from different sources. We tend to think of newspapers as accurate sources of data, but this has never been universally so. Fact checking for most is relatively recent, and some sources have always been blatantly biased. The ability to analyze and evaluate the validity of news reports is a skill which should be taught in schools, but apparently isn't until college - if then.
I am reminded of the comments by Charles Dickens in his 1842 book "American Notes" on his visit to the U.S. Specifically, in Chapter 8, on his visit to Washington D.C. to see our government in action, he has some trenchant comments on the press and politics. Its worth reading, especially in our current political environnment.


Right about now the market should start being flooded with exercise apparatus that people got to go with their new year's resolutions (which are also being abandoned about now). Check your local Craigslist. It's a buyer's market.

Seated stepper https://www.nustep.com/ It is the only machine that doesn't trigger my multiple and various aches and pains. Plus it is quiet enough I can watch movies while I exercise, increasing my motivation.

Stationary bike. My sons gave me this bike for Xmas, https://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Health-Fitness-Evolution-Magnetic/dp/B078F12DPL?ref_=bl_dp_s_web_2601550011

They got it a local fitness store and were assured that it was the retailer's most popular model. So far I'm very pleased with it. Solid, quiet and comfortable. There were other pricier bikes, but I think they were more suited for a commercial gym.

A bike is a good low impact way to get a vigorous cardio workout, but take your time trying to get to Tour De France levels.

If you can put an Ikea bookshelf together, then you won't have a problem with this. Plus you can use the links to the right and help TOP.

Because I'm looking at Amazon US from Canada, I'm getting incomplete price and delivery info. The Sunny Health site says $583.18 and eligible for Prime, so the poor UPS guy will have to lug it up to your door.

Ahh, the things that amuse - in the same vein as the puerile Funniest Home Videos show.

The showerhead knew it was dealing with an idiot: who else stands in the shower wearing clothes?


[Don't all people using outdoor showers wear bathing suits? They're for getting salt water off your skin and bathing suit after ocean swimming, aren't they? --Mike who is not a swimmer]

Or NSFtheW.

As far as the treadmill,bike, whatever...yard sale. Or, if you can't wait for the weather, on-line classified ads. Or junk shops. So many of these are used as clothes racks that there are always cheap ones available if you look.

I use a rowing machine for indoor fitness. From my research these machines are not only good for cardio but at the same time they exercise all the major muscle groups. Most exercise machines are large and unattractive. Rowing machines are slightly more elegant. There are two brands which stand out. Concept 2 rowers (https://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/model-d) separate into two smaller sections (quick and easy) and the larger section is on wheels to move out of the way. Several ways to store them to save space. The other major brand is Water Rower (https://www.waterrower.com). These machines are made of wood, look elegant and make a gentle swishing noise when you row. They are on wheels and can be stood up when not in use and be very economical with space. They require a bit more maintenance than Concept2 rowers.
I’ve owned both and recommend either for exercise beginners or true athletes.

[A beguiling option, but I have impingement in both shoulders, which might limit what I can do. I'm sort of hoping never to need surgery on my shoulders, so I try to be as careful as I can.

Aging is interesting, but simultaneously annoying. --Mike]

Be careful with that treadmill - remember Douglas Adams!

A lovely little piece of video, but the most interesting part for me was the seemingly musical flow of water followed but a bah-dum-dum of the shower head falling. I let it repeat several times and it flowed magically one into the other... The girl is cute too...

Hi Mike,

Glad to hear the ticker is John Cameron Swayze-approved and that you get to use it even more.

If I may add to your list of exercise gizmos, consider a rowing machine for a comprehensive all-body, low-impact workout. The Concept 2 line are very well made and they service them for a long time after sale. No motors used.

Climate news has become 100% appalling (there are no "winners" only different degrees of losing) and we're just now living in the welcoming room of the new house of normal. I have no idea how it will play out but our kids will be wrestling with it as the #1 priority of the balance of their lives.

On that cheery note, enjoy the sun!

Is it just me, or does pulchritude sound like the opposite of what it means?

Hey Mike,

Since you've asked for advice on fitness equipment, here's mine, FWIW:

I'm 84, live on a gravel road in Montana, have a balance problem, am recovering from a concussion and "don't get around much anymore."

I've been aware of the (in my case, theoretical) value of exercise for years and have tried bikes (no longer feasible,) a treadmill (quietly despised and given away) and a Concept 2 rowing machine. That rower was a great design and my son loves it, but the big fan it used for resistance messed with my inner ear and I never bonded with it.

Since rowing provides such a good full-body workout that can be done indoors, though, I kept on looking. Eventually, I found the Water Rower.

Designed by a US national team oarsman, it’s effective, quiet, good looking, unobtrusive, easy to store and a wonderful way to get and to keep in shape. A quarter of a tank of water provides enough resistance to gently start off with and the sound of the water at that speed is delicious!

A bit more expensive than I'd hoped, but, in retrospect, unquestionably worth it! I can't imagine anything that would suit me better...

Good health and all the best,


Congratulations on the good test results!

Maybe just run outdoors? Where I grew up in southern Sweden, our sports teacher used to say that we could go for a run outdoors in shorts and t-shirt if it was 4C degrees or warmer. I thought that was a bit chilly, but with 16C you don't need to worry, even if it's raining. Good luck with running!

Hi Mike,

Skip the gadgets. You WILL get bored an wind up using whatever you get to hang your clothes on. Load up some podcasts or audio books on your mobile device and walk outside. Join a gym if you need an indoor fallback in bad weather. It will definitely save you room in your house! I speak form sad experience and now just walk everywhere.

Any kind of machine that you can attach to a generator, and then use said generator as the only source of power for your T.V. (if you watch one). Don't make it the only source of power for the computer you use to do your TOP work though; we don't want you dying in the saddle, so to speak!

As far as cardiovascular exercise goes, my physical therapist says that a hand bike is best. Rests on a table, you do the peddling with your hands. You’re upper body is doing the work, which is closer to your heart, so it’s better. (Or something like that.) Thirty bucks on Amazon.

If you have a bike, you can get a stand for that. Smaller and cheaper than buying a stand alone exercise bike.

Whatever you do, use this opportunity to turn over a new leaf. No reviews, no research. Just get the Amazon bestseller or something similar. OMG, what if you don’t get the best one? What if you pay $10 too much? You’ll be paid back 10 times over in peace of mind.

I found riding a stationary bikes one of the most boring ways to do exercise.

I've ridden bicycles most of my life, but never as a sport. Riding more than 20-30km was just too uncomfortable.

That changed rather rapidly when I needed a new bike 8 years ago and tried a recumbent trike. It was twice as much fun as imagined, very comfortable, no pain no matter the distance.

Last year, I cycled more than 11,000km (mostly on my commute). Now at 52, I'm fitter than I ever was in my life and weight about the same as 25 years ago.

My advice:
Get a real bike! You can put it on rollers to exercise indoors, but its much more fun to experience cycling outdoors.

Also, find a recumbent dealer and try a recumbent trike at least once!

My only regret: I should have bought my first ICE Trike* two decades ago!

bentrideronline.com is a good place to start finding out about recumbents, dealers, etc.

*ICE Trikes are the recumbent equivalent to a BMW. First rate handling and quality, but they ain't cheap. Their customer service is second to none.

I use a recumbent bike for the cardio & warmup. It varies resistance electromagnetically. I prefer "rolling hills" program. Advantages for me is that it does not stress my lower back, as the upright bikes do, and it loosens up arthritic joints. (I'm 77 in two weeks).

I use a treadmill also, at a rate that equates to a mile in 20 minutes, on a moderate incline. It amounts to a brisk walk, and provides enough impact to tell my bones to keep making more bone. A recent bone density scan shows little change and/or some improvement from the last one ten years ago. (Supplementing with calcium, D3, and K-2 (MK-7) also helps.)

I was advised a few years ago to stay away from rowers. Do not recall why.

I treat aging as an ongoing curiosity.

I'm a few years older than you. I purchased one of these in 1989


and have used it continuously ever since. An excellent, easy-on-the-joints workout for both upper and lower body muscles, not to mention aerobic. No electricity needed. After around 25 years, I had to replace the belt as well as ratcheted rollers below the skis. That's all. Try it, you'll like it. :-)

Don't overthink gym equipment. Exercise equipment is rarely improved by need bells and whistles. What is important is that you use it - regularly, and preferably daily - for all the remaining active years your adult life. Given one machine, the only important question is, what type are you most likely to use? If you are not much of a cyclist, you won't suddenly become one, so why incentive is there for you to use an exercise bike every day? If you are a cyclist, I would suggest a spin bike over an exercise bike - cheaper and better. If you are a walker (or former runner), buy as sturdy treadmill as your budget allows, preferably that lets you simulate hills.

May I suggest you that you do NOT buy a stepper/elliptical machine as your ONLY kit. They have major advantages, providing low-impact, full-body aerobic activity. But as an only machine, they suffer from the serious disadvantage that they just don't work at a very slow pace. Being able to go super slow is important to overcoming anti-exercise inertia. With a bike or treadmill, when you really don't feel like it, you can just hop on and go super slow on the basis that anything is better than nothing. Most of the time, once you are going, you will feel better and get up to normal pace. It happens to me all the time.

I also some strongly recommend free weights (or just dumbbells) to add resistance training to aerobic work - very good for you, adds variety, and lets you interchange training types so you get proper rest days between the different types. They are super cheap too, and last forever. I do recommend lessons from a qualified trainer or physio' first, to avoid injury. I was compelled to use free weights to recover from a shoulder injury (segue back to photography because only being able to lift a few ounces for some years rather changed my view on camera gear) and much to my amazement, came to enjoy them.

Mike, maybe look at the TRX kit. I use it to supplement spinning using a normal bike. But the TRX straps come the closest to having a rowing machine, (which I used often in a gym), taking up less space with more options. I get PT for shoulder blade impingement and they suggested it.

I suggest you find a gym with all the equipment you may consider to use in your home. Work with a personal trainer on how to use each machine. While you are there, get trained on the use of simple barbells or kettlebells, as weight training is as or more important than aerobics. I have severe arthritis in my upper spine and the only aerobic device that works well for me is an elliptical trainer. I have a Concept 2, which worked well for me for years. Be careful with treadmills as they are not the same as walking on the ground. One tip; use the time to listen to podcasts, music or whatever keeps your mind engaged so the time seems to go by faster.

Exercise equipment is best bought used. If you have a sporting goods resale shop like Play it Again Sports in your area you can try out a half dozen or more different machines . There are scads of these for sale in almost unused condition at up to half price. There are usually several sitting there waiting for the next guy who isn't going to use it.

Logorrhoea, surely? I mean, let's keep standards up.

Good luck with the heart. I have very frequent ectopic heartbeats at rest, and the specialists get a bit excited. But on the treadmill up to 151 bpm the ECG cleans up completely - completely normal. So I guess I just have to keep moving.

No atrial fibrillation. Yet.

Having been through several cycles (no pun intended) of exercise equipment (no one mentioned Nordic Track!) including a Concept 1 rowing machine, treadmill, and bike on stand, I agree with the person who said go for walks. I'm about to turn 74, and when the weather is good, I ride a bicycle. I've decided that when it comes to gettting out, "there's no bad weather, just inappropriate clothing." You seem to be in a place where cross country skiing would be an option, or just snowshoes. It is so much nicer to be out under the sky than inside, in an electronic cocoon. staring at a screen. Find a nice walk "loop" that you can do in less than an hour, and do it everyday.

As a former semi-pro cyclist I've spent more than my fair share of time on bikes, spin bikes, and all manner of two wheeled contraptions. Which is why when buying indoor fitness equipment I looked at everything but an exercycle. For thirty years I rode bikes while my upper body withered away. Legs got rather massive though. I ended up getting a Waterrower. I find that it's super quiet so as to not wake anyone in the AM while I row. In contrast my friends concept 2 sounds like a Piper Super Cub when you get cranking. As a plus it's the first time in my life I'm starting to put on upper body muscle.

This is coming from a lifelong cyclist - do some research on the benefits of weight-bearing exercise before you pick a stationary bike over a treadmill. Your bones will thank you. My wife has a Nordic track treadmill and loves it. Built very well too.

"[Don't all people using outdoor showers wear bathing suits? They're for getting salt water off your skin and bathing suit after ocean swimming, aren't they? --Mike who is not a swimmer]"

What a puritanical thought!



Forget mechanical execise toys: just walk. I would once drive a klick just to buy a baguette; today, I only use the car if I need to buy a bulk dose of household goodies. As a consequence, I have shed weight I really didn't need to shed, and that creates its own concern. But I can hack 90mins of steady walking at a pop, and sometimes do that twice a day.

When we lived in Scotland we had dogs, and as I eventually worked from a home studio, I was able to take the pooches out to the local park come rain, hail or snow. But back then, my heart was okay. Today, what with cellphones etc. life is much safer if you are out without a companion but have issues of health.

If the worst comes to the worst and winter administers that final bite to your ass, at least they will find you preserved as if in a freezer, and not ruining the atmosphere. There's a plus to everything, if you look.

Don't let larger toys become your new GAS!

"Aging is interesting, but simultaneously annoying. --Mike"

But better than the alternative? ;-)

I walk outside three to four miles three times a week year around (Chicago area). Well, I skipped once during the “vortex”. I have Yaktrax ice cleats permanently attached to one pair of my hiking boots for ice and snow conditions. Try to get outside, even at age 77 it beats indoor exercise in every way.

Pick up a camera and take a walk.
Start at 15 minutes but do it every day.
Each day add a minute.
More than 30 minutes and it's a hike (your call if you wish to continue adding time). The key is to do it every day. You already have all the gear you need. If it's cold (in upstate NY?) find a mall. Plug in your phone and listen to something or just listen to yourself moving through the world. I'm down 60 pounds (in about a year and a half). Best wishes, be healthy.

Out of desperation I bought a Schwinn AirDyne Pro in October. I needed to do something! Get my cholesterol numbers in order and get myself in better overall shape.

Here's why I decided on the Schwinn:
1. Great cardio workout (legs and arms and "infinite resistance").
2. Small footprint for an exercise machine
3. Not silly expensive
4. Gym quality build with a belt drive. Will require little to no maintenance and adjustments over time

I've been using it 5 days a week since I got it. I still don't like having to exercise and it's boring. I listen to podcasts but will be installing a TV at some point. The key is that I'm using it. Sometimes just for 20 mins. But that's so much better than nothing.

That's a great clip, the bathroom scene. Not at all like the one in Hitchcock's classic, "Psycho."

Good luck with the home exercise apparatus. I've purchased several throughout the past several decades.

They inevitably end up on Craigslist. That happens when my wife gets sick and tired of looking at them. ... My advice is to buy a nice used one.

My suggestions regarding starting an exercise regimen at your age:

1. Don’t follow advice from well-wishers who don’t know your health history.
2. Don’t pursue this as a your usual gear shopping rally. Which leads to my final bit of advice...
3. Consider hiring a qualified personal trainer who will keep your focus on practical objectives in line with your health and resources.

Achieving and maintaining good physical health requires thought and discipline. Gear? Not so much, if at all.

I don't know what kind of exercise equipment you should buy, but you should definitely buy it at an estate/garage sale or Craigslist. Folks buy them with the best intentions and use them as unwieldy clothes racks, then get rid of them. You'll pay pennies on the dollar.


Mike wrote, "There's always the chance of a technological fix we can't see yet."

Or one that's being ignored.

Nuclear power, the use of sustained nuclear fission to generate heat and electricity, contributes nearly 20 percent of the electricity generated in America. The United States has used nuclear power for more than 60 years to produce reliable, low-carbon energy and support national defense activities.


If you're not comfortable with current nuclear power technology (fission) there's more coming …

Researchers have yet to figure out a way to produce stable nuclear fusion, but they’re getting closer. If — or, hopefully, when — they do succeed, we’ll have a near-limitless source of clean energy that we can create from hydrogen, which is far more accessible than plutonium, and the only byproduct would be a small amount of helium.


Regarding climate change, you are right that it’s too late to prevent what we have done, but it’s definitely not too late to prevent what we continue to do. If you think of climate change as a slope, reducing the angle and peak has value. We are fast approaching a time where we all need to be climate activists. The young recognize this more than the old, according to polling. I’m fully on board with the “Green New Deal,” and more.

“…the future is always orders of magnitude more amazing than can be envisioned, because we can only predict in terms we can understand at the time of the prediction.”

Your theory reminded me of an animated film I saw this week. The film by Wes Anderson is named The Isle of Dogs and a character in the film named Oracle is believed to have the power to see the future in her “visions”. Oracle seems to appear from nowhere, quietly sits, and with a wide eyed stare and mystical voice states what will happen in the next day or two. It turns out that Oracle is the only one of the dogs who can watch and understand a TV newscast.

At one point in the movie when the dogs are having a critical discussion about their future they turn to Oracle and ask her opinion. Oracle is startled because she had not been paying attention. She was watching a guy on TV play Whac-A-Mole. The sight of that mole’s head popping up had transfixed her. If you’ve liked previous Wes Anderson films I can recommend this one too.

“The heart of a dog is a bottomless thing.” ~ Tilda Swinton (AKA - Oracle the Pug Dog)

Mike, you've got a dog! Take Butters for a brisk walk, do it twice a day - 2-3 km (minimum)each time and with hills to go up and down, you really don't need anything else.
Each day the weather and nature change so I never get bored - and take a camera along with you, I have a catalogue of walk photos that show the changing seasons and scenery in my local area dating back over the past 15 years that I would never have taken otherwise.

Looks like you got more than enough good advice. All I can say is that I have done a fair amount of bicycling these past few years, mostly of the touring kind. I've got a gadget on which to mount my bike so I can pedal during the winter, or when it's raining, from the comfort of my garage. I always listen to music or watch some kind of video on my phone--cleverly affixed to my handle bars with a cardboard box and some string, so I can watch hands-free-(TED talks, etc.) and I enjoy not having to pay attention to cars or whether it's dark and cold out or if there is a strange dog running over to greet me. When the weather gets nice and the road calls, I have a "real" bike to use.
By the way: camera is always in my bike "trunk" on road trips!Phone is in pocket.

Re watching TV while on the treadmill or whatever:
The Y where I go for their fitness center has a bank of Tv's set to a variety of channels. Usually, one to Fox, one to CNN, and another to a local station. I like keeping an eye on both CNN and Fox at the same time. Same news, different stories. But always, "breaking."

To help keep you working at it, perhaps you can find someone in your support group, to buddy up with?

Treadmills should only be found in a Victorian workhouse museum.

Back in 1972 in London I saw an exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum called 'From Today Painting Is Dead: The Beginnings of Photography'. It featured a very nice exhibition catalog which I wish I had kept. I do, however, still have the exhibit poster hanging in my house.

Good to see mention of Julian of Norwich! I live in Norwich, and often walk past the tiny St Julian's Church, on the site where she spent most of her life as an anchoress.


In 1980, as an engineer for the Vermont State Energy Office, I attended the energy summit of NEG/ECP (New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers) in Montreal, with then, Vermont Governor, Richard Snelling. At the time the world was in the midst of a severe energy crisis, with many experts predicting the end of oil by early in the 21st century. Snelling dismissed all the hype, saying something I never forgot "this problem will be solved by some genius holed up in a cave in California". I thought he was naive, but in fact he was right. Fracking and other oil technologies came along and we now have cheap and abundant, (for a while), oil and gas. Of course, at the time, we were in the dark about the effects of global warming. Now as I approach my 70th birthday, I believe, like you, that technology will pull the rabbit out of the hat. I see no other viable solution other than an unlikely global consensus that refocuses the greed machine that drives the global economy.

'...I had recognized my old lens from an anonymous picture on the wall. Never sell a good lens.'

Well said.

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