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Author Topic: Physical Self-Improvement, exercise and nutrition  (Read 7641 times)
Navarre
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« on: February 17, 2011, 07:50:07 AM »

I was originally going to create a single, general self-improvement thread. But the number of factors that come into play with such a thing are so vast that it seemed likely the thread would be too disorganized. So I have broken the concept down into four categories: Physical (exercise/nutrition & appearance), Mental, and Spiritual.

Physical self-improvement in this thread concerns general health, ie Exercise and Proper Nutrition

Health: I think we can all agree that our degree of physical health has a tremendous impact on how we feel and function. It also has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves.

I know when I am in shape I feel happier, more energetic, and more capable. What I sometimes struggle to figure out is why so many of us don't exercise to our full capacity (given time factors).

In any given day we could make the time to exercise for even 30 minutes. Some people do and benefit from it. The rest kind of wish for it but do nothing.

Why?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2011, 07:53:49 AM by Navarre » Logged
Blackthunder01
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2011, 07:55:42 AM »

I would think that many people who feel like crap, feel too crapy to over exert themselves in a work out.  Other people are busy.  Other people are tired and want to rest (constantly).
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Gaumer
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2011, 08:44:44 AM »

Just this morning on one of those daily shows they have that little ticker that goes across the bottom of the screen. One behind the other they had the headlines

"Study finds that only 20% of Americans get the suggested amount of physical exercise they need every day"

followed by

"The average life expectancy of Americans has risen to 77.2"

So is exercise really that important to anything?


I believe the answer to your specific question is that its hard to get into the habit of doing something so strenuous, and people just aren't disciplined enough to get over it and get it done. I'm not sure people don;t wish for being better, just don't equate exercise to feeling better. But I agree that it does.
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Navarre
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2011, 09:15:36 AM »

Despite any excuse we make for not exercising (being tired, too busy etc) I don't think we can justify not exercising. But most people make a pretty good attempt at that justification.
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Gaumer
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« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2011, 09:18:51 AM »

yup.

I know for me, when my day is crappy and I feel tired when I know I shouldn't be tired, a 20 minute ride on the stationary bike gets my blood pumping and energizes me. And it gives me a GOOD reason for being tired Smiley
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Navarre
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« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2011, 09:24:18 AM »

I can't think of a single time I felt worse for exercising or regretted I did so. But it is hard work and it's easier on the front end to avoid that even when we know the end result is positive.

I think that's human nature for most people. But we have to train our minds to perceive it differently and work until the positive things for us become habit through repetition and seeing the rewards of the hard work.
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Matthew
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2011, 09:53:59 PM »

In any given day we could make the time to exercise for even 30 minutes. Some people do and benefit from it. The rest kind of wish for it but do nothing.

Why?

Because it's hard.  Because it's something with no short term upside, no immediate gratification attached to it.  I've spent a lifetime pretty much without regular exercise, and while I occasionally feel bad about that, I seldom think to myself, "I wish I spent more time exercising..."

We want the results (weight loss, tone, whatever) but we don't want the tsuris of actually DOING anything about it.
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@lantis
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« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2011, 01:59:44 AM »

Because what is fun for one person isn't fun for another.  Our daily lives no longer require us to exercise like they once did, so it has become a luxury.  I don't find working out at the gym fun.  I don't find bike riding all that interesting.

What I do find fun though is going out into the city and just wandering around a neighborhood finding places I haven't been.  I like playing video games, and when I play Just Dance 2 I always feel like I have enjoyed a work out far more than anything the gym has ever provided me.

What it boils down to is finding a way to give that gratification that other activities have through exercise.  That's why we have amateur sports leagues.  People don't hate exercising, they just don't want it to feel like work.
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Navarre
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« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2011, 06:48:30 AM »

I think our society in general has become one of seeking immediate gratification, as Matthew said. And, unless you enjoy the exercise process itself, few focus hard enough on the end result to go through what is required to get there.

But that seems impossible to excuse considering everyone knows the benefits of regular exercise and the problems associated with not exercising. Many people experience the downside of lack of exercise; the weight problems and all that goes with it, the lethargy, etc.

Yet few change. Even some people who have a stroke or some issue that might have been avoided by exercise still lapse back into old patterns.

But then there are those who end up with diabetes or lung cancer from smoking or any of a multitude of possibly fatal conditions related to failure to eat intelligently and exercise regularly. I would think those people would inevitably be filled with regret that they waited until it was too late when they knew all along what they needed to do.

We can give every reason in the world why we don't take better care of ourselves but, even when we know the reason from an intellectual level, it serves as no excuse for not doing it. I am trying hard to stop making excuses for not being the best person I know I can be. That is quite a challenge for me and indicative of the faulty way we have been taught to think of our lives.
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Gaumer
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« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2011, 09:16:27 AM »

In any given day we could make the time to exercise for even 30 minutes. Some people do and benefit from it. The rest kind of wish for it but do nothing.

Why?

Because it's hard.  Because it's something with no short term upside, no immediate gratification attached to it.  I've spent a lifetime pretty much without regular exercise, and while I occasionally feel bad about that, I seldom think to myself, "I wish I spent more time exercising..."

We want the results (weight loss, tone, whatever) but we don't want the tsuris of actually DOING anything about it.

Don't you sleep with a CPAP machine? And miss naps because of it? I'm not saying a lack of exercise lead to the need of that machine, only going with what I know of you and the people who I know who use CPAP machines, but they are all overweight. Exercise tends to reduce weight when accompanied by a diet.

Instant gratification and it being "hard" aside, I want Matthew around for a few more years and a healthier Matthew is good for everyone Smiley

I'm not trying to talk smack or speak down. I smoke a half a pack of cigarettes a day and don't quit because its too "hard" Smiley
There is no instant gratification by quitting, but there is instant "turning Gaumer into an asshole" (yes, even bigger than usual).

My mom was overweight her entire life, getting into the 380's at her heaviest and she got a lapband surgery and lost 150 lbs. No longer had high blood pressure and moved away from the risk of having diabetes. It was the best thing she ever did for herself or anyone she loved. She did die of cancer a few years after losing all that weight, but still, she didn't die of heart disease Smiley
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Matthew
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« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2011, 08:19:19 PM »


Don't you sleep with a CPAP machine? And miss naps because of it? I'm not saying a lack of exercise lead to the need of that machine, only going with what I know of you and the people who I know who use CPAP machines, but they are all overweight. Exercise tends to reduce weight when accompanied by a diet.

Obstructive sleep apnea is exacerbated and/or caused by obesity, this is true.  Right now, I'm dealing with the extra annoyance of holiday weight and a seriously sedentary job or three, so short term weight loss is in the cards for me.  My kid insists that she wants to start walking in the evenings, so we got that goin' for us.

And soon, the Girl Scout cookies should be all gone, as well...
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Navarre
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« Reply #11 on: February 21, 2011, 08:26:20 PM »

It seems that all of the people I know who have sleep apnea or snore are excessively overweight. I don't know if the obesity causes the condition or just makes it worse. Maybe both?

It is great that you have plans to exercise, Matthew. Having the motivational support system of a walking partner will be a tremendous advantage.

I think it is easiest to succeed when you strongly visualize a realistic goal and image of yourself but get there through achieving short term goals. I've seen a lot of people go in with some goal like, "I want to lose seventy pounds" but that is a hard thing to work forward as you scratch and claw toward it. But if you break it into smaller goals then it doesn't seen as daunting.
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Matthew
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« Reply #12 on: February 21, 2011, 08:33:30 PM »

It seems that all of the people I know who have sleep apnea or snore are excessively overweight. I don't know if the obesity causes the condition or just makes it worse. Maybe both?

Obesity is one of the factors that can cause you to have apneas, yes.  It is perfectly possible to have obstructive sleep apnea without being a fat guy, but being a fat guy tends to cause aggregation of adipose tissue in the face and neck which means that your airway can collapse when sleeping, especially if you sleep on your back.

Many to most sufferers of sleep apnea are overweight to some degree.  But I know a particular young lady who uses a machine while being thin and pretty and news anchory.  She has the same airway issues that a fat guy does because of the genetic shape of her face and larnyx.
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Gaumer
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« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2011, 08:37:21 PM »

Is it Diane Sawyer? Cause I think she's hot too. I really hope it is because I think its weird for me to think she's hot.

And Do-See-Do's FTW!!
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@lantis
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2011, 03:09:16 AM »

On another thought all together, I think environment plays a large factor in reducing people's desire to work out.  I personally hate gyms.  They make me feel self-conscious and intimidated by the gym rats around me.  If I want to lift weights I am less inclined to do so publicly, since bench pressing just the bar is a strenuous work out for me.  Now if they put those sort of things in stalls and let me do my business in private, I think I'd be more apt to go use those facilities.

Another environmental factor is just the outdoors of where I live.  For example, I live in Seattle, so getting out and doing things would require me to be willing to do them in the rain.  I am fine with walking in the rain, but any kind of major work out like biking or jogging is not something I am willing to do in rain soaked clothing.  Similarly, I have friend from Green Bay, and during the winter months there is pretty much not a chance anyone is going outside for their morning run.
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