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Groaning fitness

Discussion in 'House of Politics Lounge' started by dong, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. dong

    dong New Member

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    From the posts thus far, it's not difficult to appreciate the specific demographics of the general participants on the forum. But text can only convey so much- since many of us have discussed the obesity epidemic and its prevalence: how do you rate your fitness and what do you do about it?

    I'll kick off- I exercise obsessively simply by virtue of being generally hyperactive. Being of a chinese ethnicity, however, my parents were (fairly typically) of the academic bias and thus while I was not unduly restricted, sports was not really at the fore of my priorities (though I was an avid soccer and basketball player). Throughout primary school, I struggled to shake the often misappropriated label of unco-ordinated (because I am generally poorer with the sports played with bats- namely cricket, baseball, and of course because I was a nerd). Through high school, my physical fitness profile was usually dismissed and I was placed in the bottom group for everything (largely due to absence from part of the fitness assessments thanks to music commitments).

    It wasn't until I moved out to go to college that things changed significantly. I used to be "comfortably average" but eagerly dropped that and became a bit of a fitness nut until I found I was becoming anorexic. I always had a love of martial arts and acrobatic stunts, and so I started training more rigorously there- but because I am specifically interested in what is best described as free-running and tricking (as well as breakdancing), I have as of yet no formal training, and progress is sporadic but thankfully discernible. (Note: I'm always looking for people who are into the tricking etc. scene which is a big part of the reason I'm writing this post!)

    My current routine goes along the lines of going to the gym for weights training once per week, almost without fail. Having a training partner really helps (but also hinders as working out common times is tricky even if we're doing the same course). So long as I'm in any condition to, I will spend some of my free time tricking (with the dreams of becoming actually some good at it one day), and high-risk behavior comes natural to me, so I will spend more time with my feet off the floor where it should be than with them planted on the ground as means of incidental activity and simply getting around. Also being a university student, I walk most everywhere I go, and when I'm alone, I spend most time on my hands or balancing on fences- if people are around I usually attract strange looks.

    The limiting factors to this are not surprisingly injury- of which I commonly recieve ankle sprains and the usual sore muscles, but more surprisingly other people. I can't shake the feeling that my indulgence is construed as exhibitionism especially as the purpose of what I do is undeniably aesthetic and often extraneous. But like (not that I'm even close to the level) say, the Shaolin monks, it is part of a lifestyle that helps me sort my time, elevate my motivation, and in the (painful) process of mastery, learn the aspects of control, discipline and balance that I'd wish to integrate into my life.
     
  2. Furious George

    Furious George New Member

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    I think being healthy is extremely important, but excersize is only one out of many vessels to do so. For instance, I take many supplements on a daily basis, and can notice the difference in my stamina, vitality, and energy levels. Of course, this all comes at a price, but one that is less costly than excersizing--time. Going to the gym, working out, or any other physical activity requires dedication. Being 17 years old, holding a job, getting an education, and other assorted extra-curricular activites, it is nearly impossible for me to find time to maintain my health. I've also always based this idea off of my assertions that excersizing and working out is an egotistical act in itself, but of course, does beat sitting on your bum all day doing nothing. To me--being able to wake up unchallenged, having more than enough energy to get me through whatever task I may need to, and knowing that 30 years down the road, the possibility of me developing a heart/lung/liver disease is next to none, totally outweighs my desire to be 'cut' or 'big'.

    If anyone is interested in learning on how to attain good energy/stamina levels, just send a PM my way. I currently work at a Health Food Store, so I get all the dirty details on how to achieve these essential balances in your daily routine. I'll even save you some time, and reccomend some essential supplements, that EVERYONE should take. (Sorry Dong if I'm hijacking your thread)

    Almonds - It is said (by world class cancer doctors) that a single almond a day will keep cancer away.

    Essential Fatty/Omega Acids (3-6-9) - Don't quote me on this, but I'm pretty sure the 3-6-9 oils are taken from Cod Liver, and are the most important fatty acids your diet can include. People with Diets low in Omega 3-6-9's are shown to have higher depression and mental ailment levels.

    CoQ10 - Cell Regeneration is an essential process, and quite honestly, is important for your physical vitality.

    Zinc - There is so much information to be read on Zinc, it's almost overwhelming. I take it mainly for brain support (Recent study shows that Zinc increases Word Recall and similar brain functions by over 50%).

    Greens/Kombucha - Greens, such as Spirulina, are absolutely the most important factor in being energized. I currently take a powder supplement called "Green Vibrance", and despite the price tag, it is the single most essential block of my supplementation. Without it, I would literally die. I have actually experienced withdrawal-like symptoms after not using it. If you are constantly tired, sleepy, or drowsy, I HIGHLY reccomend this for you.

    Calcium and Magnesium - While the Food Industries will try and tell you that Calcium is essential, they are only including half the story. Without proper Calcium and Magnesium levels, you will experience frequent headaches, muscle aches/cramps, and have difficulty sleeping. Magnesium taken with Calcium, will end these ailments, and allow you to sleep more soundly.

    Multivitamin! - Duh! A multivitamin is essential to keeping your bodies' processes healthy and regular. Without a multivitamin, how else is your body going to receive ESSENTIAL nutrients in our highly processed food industry? Vegetables today, are considered extremely healthy, but to someone health conscious like me, they are as bad as candy. Containing pesticides and the like. Organic/Raw is the only real way to receive the nutrients from produce, despite what a lot of people will tell you. (I'm not saying you should go out and start buying organic foods, I'm saying that if you eat processed foods and unnatural vegetables, you SHOULD be taking a Multivitamin)
     
  3. eldragon

    eldragon New Member

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    I try to walk 2 miles everyday - it's as much for my dogs as it is for me.

    I don't smoke and rarely even have a beer to drink. I have no bad habits, really.

    I rarely eat meat never pork.


    I don't watch TV for my mental health.

    I get plenty of sleep.

    :)
     
  4. dong

    dong New Member

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    George- I agree that balanced diet is absolutely essential. I'll wager that I'm missing something, as well as simply burning myself out (med school does that to everybody). The general dictum is the more variety, the better, and then there's the whole controversy about exactly what a 'balanced diet' entails...but yeah, I'm interested to hear the low-down from the healthfoods industry perspective. The whole "eat protein" thing for bodybuilders is complete bs, as are many fad diets who create deficiencies by masking others. Specialised diets technically should only be for those with specialised needs, and by that, I'm talking mainly medically determined.

    It's even more important when accounting for a fitness regime as well, as a proper diet will ensure proper metabolic activity so one can get the most out of a period of exercise. Yesterday I did 2-3 hours worth of gym training (boy am I sore today!) but struggled for much of it because my lunch consisted of a greasy MSG laden massive plate of what was essentially glorified fried rice from a mass-produced Chinese kitchen.

    I also agree that much of structured exercise in this day and age is an exercise in narcissism. I mean, I have to admit that I am a bit too narcissistic (when alone) but in public spaces, as an amateur trickster/gymnast and not-so-amateur free runner, I'm more worried about people actually watching (and going WTF and somebody berating me for some kind of civil trespass or disobedience). As you can see, I don't really care about being cut for the sake of being cut, but people will nonetheless criticise me for wanting to do something that is percieved as 'extraneous' ("yeah, so you can do a backflip, I can see that's going to come in really handy one day"). And I don't really have a reply to this in terms of fitness alone- the reasons extend to philosophical considerations. Also, it's like addiction. I'm hooked to feeling fit.
     
  5. dong

    dong New Member

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    You'd be surprised at the medical wisdom regarding alcohol. Given that your liver can tolerate alot (just don't binge or drink more than 4 s.d/day), between 2-3 will actually significantly lower your risk of coronary heart disease, compared to having no alcohol.

    But I don't feel like having 2-3 (or any more for that matter) since I need to study, so I'll live with being healthy in other ways.
     
  6. palefrost

    palefrost New Member

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    Wait a minute..Are you asking us if we are fat?

    /rant on

    I think the obesity epidemic has a few reasons for existing as it does today and I don’t put the blame on the person for being lazy as much as I blame the food industries and FDA along with the current state of the world.

    When was the last time you saw a healthy product advertised on the market? Have you read the crap that is in the products in the stores? These products get approval by the FDA no matter the shit inside because big business is running this freaking country into the ground!! These create a meals craps and quick microwaveable hell snacks (HOTPOCKETS ARE THE DEVIL!) are loaded with indigestible trans fats and chemicals that are slowly adding the pounds. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) can’t be broken down in the body. Heck it can’t be filter out right either and we wonder why diabetes is on the rise? HELLO?! Check out the products that include HFCS, go ahead, I dare you to look. HFCS also makes you want to eat more so just imagine all the products that add it just for that effect…Go ahead take a look and cry…..

    Have you seen the drinks we have for children? the box juices and sodas? Have you read the labels on that crap? Its pure sugar water!! We feed this to toddlers and offer it in the schools at lunch and snack time. Nothing like creating a taste for sugar early! Hook em while they are young!

    If you even want to eat healthy and in a conscious manner do you know how difficult that is? with the choices we have on the shelves at the present time?

    Lets add to that, the emotional wartime experience, the world, and this country is going though!! What gives you comfort? Sex, drugs and food. We are looking for escape from the shit we see in the world at the present moment. Food is one of the ways we cope. Its instant pleasure.

    So I don’t blame the people for being lazy as a lot of people love to say and use as an excuse when viewing the problem. I blame the whole freakin world that is spinning out of control around them. No education on nutriean . No accountability from the food companies or FDA. All we do is point fingers at the people eating, but lets really take a hard look at this mess…

    /rant off *bites into her hot pocket with relish*
     
  7. Furious George

    Furious George New Member

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    Well, just like anything else, your body needs to maintain a balance. It's fine to drink Alcohol, or eat Saturated Fats, but ONLY SPARINGLY. I'm a culprit of snacking on junk at least once a week, but my healthy habits far outweigh my unhealthy habits.

    Damn that Chinese food!
     
  8. dong

    dong New Member

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    Just imagine me with my ears pinned way back from the force of the tirade! Who needs to go to a rock concert after that performance!!! :headbang:

    No, I wasn't asking if you guys were fat, I was actually asking if you guys felt you were living a healthy lifestyle...which of course might entail questions about obesity, but that of course is dependent on your perception.

    I think you're quite right on every count raised in that rant, though. I'm one of the least likely people to say that somebody is fat because they are simply lazy as my habit I look at every underlying factor before I start looking at the actual initiation or practice of behavior. Additionally, I would like to say that gaining weight is very much a positive feedback system- once one has started it becomes increasingly difficult to reverse for the reasons you have already covered.

    What can be done about this? My brother would be a very fine example of somebody who engaged in gluttony because it was the only thing that brought him comfort. He wasn't particularly overweight, but his lifestyle was very sedentary and he was making himself only more so until I managed to force him into doing some kind of regular exercise, and everything improved.

    So we know that we've this growing problem- and how should it be tackled? Obviously attacking the source. Initiatives to exercise is one thing but as your rant demonstrates, it is only one half, of maybe even less, of the cultural entrenchment that is killing us slowly.

    I know my options are limited by time constraints and availability, and one just has to try and manage it with everything else. To George: alcohol isn't all bad, actually. Between 2-3 drinks daily will actually lower risk of coronary heart disease, and for most people the liver will definitely not mind handling that quantity. The tolerance and reserve capacity of our various organs is something that surprises students throughout the medical course because of the various dogma we've been fed as part of the cultural backlash against various culinary and lifestyle "evils".
     
  9. Brandon

    Brandon New Member

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    Am I fat? Yup! Am I obese? No.

    I need to work out more. I hate the idea of fitting into American stereotypes.
     
  10. dong

    dong New Member

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    ...not because you enforce the stereotype, but rather because of what it entails!
     
  11. mamab

    mamab New Member

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    Are you talking medically obese, or just heavier than you want to be? Some people may not overeat and still might be overweight. Some may eat like horses (no offense to horses, mind you) but not gain an ounce. I know my husband's uncle is hypoglycemic, and he eats all day long. He's been the same size the 20 years I've known him. Me, I can look at food and gain weight. Does that mean I'm unhealthy just because I'm a little heavier than what "society" says I should be? I don't know. I don't see why they keep changing what is "normal" for weight. Who wants to be normal anyhow?
     
  12. Plumley

    Plumley New Member

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    I've had some problems with my knees that have dictated that I improve my diet and exercise more. It seems that every pound of weight lost removes four pounds of stress from your knees. I'm working on giving my knees a much less stressful life. :)
     
  13. dong

    dong New Member

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    Good point. Weight gain/loss should not be looked at as a single variable as it depends on quite a lot of things- not just how much one eats. Even how much one eats is affected by alot of things too.

    This reveals the underlying problems underneath that erroneous trend regarding body image that alot of us subscribe to. Being related to unrealistic standards and appearance can only be generally unhealthy for us both physically, mentally and socially.

    Also, the "normal" weight is in fact weighted somewhat to the weight distribution of people, which is generally rising in the US and even faster in Australia. I do think that the standardisation should be more static, though- as calling a generally "overweight" population "healthy weight" is simply inaccurate. That said, the medical profession obviously isn't 100% sure as to what constitutes "healthy weight" and "too much" as diagnostics and clinical guidelines are arbitrary quantitative measurements and people exist more on a multi-dimensional spectrum.
     
  14. mamab

    mamab New Member

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    Is more healthy to stay a few pounds "overweight" or to drop your calories to some drastic number to lose weight, then gain it back again, starting you in a never-ending cycle of yo-yo dieting? I personally feel it's better to let your body determine it's "best" weight.
     
  15. dong

    dong New Member

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    Yo-yo dieting screws your body up much more that just being constantly overweight. Think of the stress your immune system undergoes when you subject yourself to drastic climate changes. It's quite the same thing for the body- it's mainly a balancing machine.

    That said, one's "best bodily weight" as defined by the body is also dynamic- and some people naturally have an appetite that, if heeded, will place them at an unhealthy weight (either way), and so in reality yet again it is a matter of finetuning the balance between projected risks and one's personal characteristics. We really weren't all created equal- though, which is what I think you might be driving at.
     
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