"...by the time a session of bridge is over, a recent study showed, most participants have a faster heart rate and have lost more weight than a professional football player in one game."
I emailed the author of that quote, trying to get a citation for the study, but never received a response. It seems a little dubious to me.
And to others: lately Bryan has been cutting out of games early to go to the gym. Clearly he doesn't think he's getting enough of a workout lifting the cards.
Hence my brilliant idea: round-the-block bridge. It's played like normal rubber bridge, except each dummy, immediately after laying down his or her hand, takes off running around the block. If the dummy hasn't circled the block and come back by the time declarer has finished playing the hand, the team takes a 300-point penalty. To discourage egregiously slow play, there's also a penalty incurred if dummy comes back and has to sit around while declarer finishes the hand -- say, 100 points per 30 seconds.
Idea gently lifted from Alan Turing's rather more brilliant invention round-the-house chess.