walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

Good comments thread on exercise machines and dust

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/01/05/exercise-machines-gathering-dust/

This is the Well blog over at the NYT. I'm a few pages into the thread (not quite done -- it's taking a while), and the summary so far:

A lot of people find exercise equipment, especially treadmills, really boring.
But they can consistently use them by getting on them first thing in the morning. They have a water bottle stashed the night before.
Some people use them in the evening, by bribing themselves with NPR broadcasts, iPods, the Daily Show/Colbert Report and/or a Netflix subscription.
A lot of people _really_ love their Concept 2 rower. No one has mentioned buying one and not using it.
A lot of people let a Nordic Track gather a lot of dust (or a crappy exercise bike, or an elliptical).
A small number of people _wear out_ Nordic Tracks; they buy replacements used. Presumably from people who let theirs collect dust.
People who attempt to get their equipment repaired are rarely happy about how that turns out. People who replace worn out equipment are often happy, especially when they replace used with newer second-hand.
People who buy used exercise equipment tend to be happy about the experience, whether they ever use it or not.
Ellipticals are surprisingly unnice to a lot of people's knees, given that they are supposed to be good for that body part.
While nearly everyone who acquires exercise equipment puts it in the basement at least initially, many of the people who consistently use their exercise equipment have it in their bedroom, living room or den -- in a main living area with TV and/or sound system (possibly portable, like an iPod).
Many people who don't use exercise equipment are kinda jackasses about people who buy exercise equipment. They extol the wonders of outdoor exercise, gym memberships, dogs and assert that owners of home exercise equipment never really use them, other than to attempt to convince other people that they're trying to lose weight/get in shape.
A lot of people who live in apartment buildings with exercise equipment find the location of the exercise equipment inconvenient and/or the equipment inferior.
A number of people describe exercise routines involving yoga, stretching and resistance training as somehow comparable to cardio machines.

A lot of Well comments threads are creepily judgmental, or a bunch of people complaining about something in a very repetitive way, or people who misunderstood the originating article, or arguments about another comment. This is an unusually wonderful comments thread, reminiscent of threads on the New Old Age (altho not one I read recently; it may have deteriorated in the last few weeks -- I haven't been checking in much lately). I think the key to getting a good comments thread is writing an article about something that is a _very_ common problem (buying exercise equipment at the beginning of the year, using it briefly and then not so much) which is a little embarrassing, rarely discussed, but interesting in its perplexity. People want to know they aren't alone, they want to share their experiences -- both what did not work for them and what eventually did.

ETA: Oh, yeah. The posts signed by MDs are among the most useless. The MDs _aren't_ talking about their personal experience. They're either giving advice, or describing patients who don't take their advice. More like the typical Well comment thread.
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