KANDO, WILL DO

Those who equate the average instructor-led aerobic workout with a sadistic sergeant-major inflicting ritual humiliation on a bunch of terrified squaddies should try the Kando Technique, devised by therapist Juliette Kando. It promises 'fitness without exercise' and combines elements of dance, tai chi and yoga. All ages, sexes, and body shapes are welcome. If you can't make the London classes (pounds 7 a session, details: 0171-625-6577), Juliette's Kando Technique book, published by Thorson's, details some programmes.

ALE AND HEARTY

Here's one idea that could really catch on: the Black Dog pub in Broadmayne, Dorset, has set up a Beerobics programme to console 'aerobic widowers' whose wives regularly desert them for step classes. Free chip butties and 'happy' prices greet those who can prove themselves genuinely bereft. All those bloated paunches should set off the women's toned frames beautifully.

THE BRIDE WORE WHITE LEGGINGS

Britain is still waiting for its first pair of lycra-clad lovers to exchange their vows in mid-workout. This kind of thing is rife in America, where many couples have tied the knot during marathon runs or on the end of a bungee rope. The David Lloyd chain of fitness centres says it has received a couple of tentative inquiries regarding possible courtside conjoining, 'but it's not something we want to get involved in'. Not even the possibility of shouting 'game, set and match' can tempt them, it seems ...

CONTRAPTIONS:

THE REEBOK SKYWALKER

Become a real-life Transformer toy when you step onto Reebok's upper and lower body cross-training machine. The Skywalker is billed as 'the latest in state-of-the-art gym equipment'. To drive it you step on the footplates. You then key in your weight, the upper and lower body resistances you want and away you go. This apparently allows the body 'to pivot naturally at the hips and shoulders, with no jarring'. Those in the know say it has the feel of floating on air, with no stress on the joints. Others have likened it to the giant robotic frame in which Sigourney Weaver stomped about in the second Alien movie. For more information, call the European distributor, Star Trac Europe, on 0171 336 0444 or 336 0222.

ESPRESSO BONGO

Research this year from the University of Maastricht found that swimmers who downed an average 2.5-3 cups of coffee a day completed a 1500-metre swim 25 seconds faster than the decaffeinated, while Canadian re- searchers who fed cyclists the same amount found they were able to keep going 25 per cent longer. It might also be an aphrodisiac, according to University of Michigan researchers, who found coffee drinkers were more likely to be sexually active, particularly as they got older.

PASTA CARING

Who said healthy eating had to be dull? Spencer & Fleetwood's top-selling 'penis pasta' has been providing enough sauce at meal times to make any Dolmio or Ragu superfluous. Available from Knutz in London's Covent Garden; telephone 0171 836 3117 for mail-order inquiries.

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