During the ’60s, if someone thought a joke wasn’t funny, they might say it was “as funny as a crutch.”
It was thought to be a clever put-down remark because, of course, crutches aren’t funny and always seem to be a symbol of some kind of misfortune. I thought the rejoinder was in bad taste, too, for that same reason. But it was the heyday of insult humor and Don Rickles, and people laughed anyway.
I thought of the rejoinder tonight, as I walked home from work in bitterly cold temperatures and saw a crutch lying in the snow next to the street. Why would someone discard a perfectly good crutch? Probably not for some positive reason.
It made me wonder about the back story of the sad crutch on the snow, and it made me feel bad, besides.
I think there are lots of good reasons to walk in the morning, especially on cold mornings. But is losing weight one of them?
There is an intuitive logic to the notion that walking — or for that matter, doing much of anything — in the cold will help you lose weight. Calories are, after all, units of heat. If you’re out in the shivering winter weather, it stands to reason that your body will need to burn calories just to keep warm. So you would expect that cold weather would be a plus factor beyond the benefits provided by walking, generally.
I’ve long since stopped trying to figure out which of the competing health studies should be followed and simply tried to do what seems to work for me. I like walking in the cold because I like breathing the crisp air, and I feel mentally sharper and more fit when I get to the office. Whether I am actually sharper and more fit, I’ll leave to the researchers.