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Fitness question

Several servers are down here today, so I can't do much work. And that makes it harder to resist eating things that are way off the diet. I think Mondays are the hardest for that, maybe.

Which reminds me... how many of you folks have a regular exercise plan? I know I need to set up a structure for that sort of thing, but with work and home ownership and a dozen other priorities, it feels almost impossible to do much more than a few stretches when I happen to think of it. To hear the experts tell it, anything less than 30 minutes of aerobic exercise, at least 3 or 4 times a week is tantamount to slow suicide. An hour every single day is much better, they say. Ack.

Who really does that? Do all of you actually do that, and I just don't know about it? I mean, I sometimes think I must be in the top 10% of the sedintary.

I was doing pretty well there at Curves for about 6 months (and losing weight really fast) but then I found out that Curves is owned by an extreme anti-choice homophobe, so I had no choice but to quit or seriously comprimise my values.

Now what? I really hate traditional gyms. But it looks like I'm headed for Gold's anyway, because I can't think of any other good solutions. Any advice regarding better gym environmets or exercise programs would be greatly appreciated.


( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2005 05:22 pm (UTC)
sorry this is very off topic. I found your LJ through my friend covenofone. The reason that I am posting here is because she told me that you went to Potomac Massage School in DC. Well, I am considering doing that as well. What I would like to know from you is if you feel that it was the best place you could go? Did you regret anything about going there, what was your experience like?
Aug. 1st, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC)
Hi, there. I'm always happy to talk about PMTI. It was an amazingly good experience, and I don't regret a thing. The instructors are generally wonderful people, the curriculum is interesting and challenging, and you come out of there feeling very well prepared. I think every one of my classmates gets a tad misty looking back at that time.

The only caveat I can think of is this: some folks may scoff, but I truly think this program is as challenging as going for your Master's degree in the evening. There are some weeks when you feel like you are there every day. There are whole months when you'll have to prepare for an academic test every week, and a practical exam every other week. The research papers and field work projects require a lot of brain work as well as leg work. The sheer volume of assignments and requirements was a little surprising.

But the other thing that surprised me was how supportive everyone was. As long as you work with them, they will not let you fail. That's where it differs from a more traditional academic setting. Even though the standards are very high, so is the dedication to getting everyone through the program with sanity intact, and entirely well prepared to be a credit to the profession. You could pick a school that would be easier, but certainly not one that's better.

Feel free to drop me a line at fenriss AT gmail DOT com if you have any questions, or want more info about how the program works. I'll gladly prattle on about this topic all day.
Aug. 1st, 2005 05:23 pm (UTC)
you know what is so freaking wierd????????? I went to curves and they were talking about homophobic stuff as well????? Damn strange.
Aug. 1st, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
that also got me to stop going.
(no subject) - fenriss - Aug. 1st, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peregrin8 - Aug. 1st, 2005 06:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenriss - Aug. 1st, 2005 07:19 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - joanarkham - Aug. 1st, 2005 07:49 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - _blackjack_ - Aug. 1st, 2005 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenriss - Aug. 1st, 2005 07:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - rimrender - Aug. 1st, 2005 10:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 1st, 2005 05:24 pm (UTC)
Do you really want my comments, or am I already written off as insane so my situation is deemed not applicable to mamalian bipeds? My answer is very predictable: if I can do law school, full time work, and a social life while working out - everyone else can. Everyone.

Just in case:
I work out 4 days a week or more if you include the hiking and biking.

Getting to the gym is the real battle - once you're there working out is easy. My trick - don't go home. Once you touch "base," it's impossible to get out. Also, tell yourself when you feel like ass that you'll do a half-assed work out. It's great motivation, and you'll never actually do the half-assed workout once you get there and start moving around. The routine takes over.

Classes help motivate you if you can find a sport you enjoy - similary a workout buddy is amazing motivation (unless they suck, in which case demotivation).

Set goals - not negative goals (like losing x, wearing y, not doing z) but things you can do. Set a goal to lift this much this way, run that far this fast, do this much with your heart rate at x while resistence y. These will haunt you into pushing yourself further.

Golds is the best gym in the area, but you may have to price haggle.
Aug. 1st, 2005 06:03 pm (UTC)
Do you really want my comments, or am I already written off as insane so my situation is deemed not applicable to mamalian bipeds?

Of course I want your comments. If I want to know about something, I want a range of thoughtful opinions. You were one of the folks I specifically hoped would reply.

I work out 4 days a week or more if you include the hiking and biking.

Actually, that doesn't strike me as the least bit insane. If you can be in such great shape in 4 workouts a week, it actually makes me feel better about it.

My trick - don't go home. Once you touch "base," it's impossible to get out.

Thank you! I'm always telling E, "no, we can't go home first, I will not go back out again."

Set goals - not negative goals (like losing x, wearing y, not doing z) but things you can do. Set a goal to lift this much this way, run that far this fast, do this much with your heart rate at x while resistence y.

That is PRECISELY the kind of advice I need. I hadn't ever thought of that, but it makes very good sense, especially for me. In the many times I have made false starts at getting fit, the one thing that just knocks me over is how fast I get strong. I mean, in three workouts, I may not have dropped an ounce in weight, but I can suddenly handle much more resistance.

Looking at my dress size is just de-motivating. But if I go in there with the intent of become an unstoppable force of nature, I have hope. So thanks. That's tremendously helpful.

(no subject) - vicar - Aug. 1st, 2005 07:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 1st, 2005 05:28 pm (UTC)
Mostly callisthenics (shoulder circles etc) when I have no gym or cant put my bench and stuff where I'm living. About half an hr a day is fine. Never more that 90 minutes at a time. I try to do a couple of sets of crunches, push ups, pull ups and squats in the morining before work and when I get home. The night session is when I go for about 30 mintues of varuous stuff. Mostly high rep (15-25) with 2-3 sets. With a little weight.
I just do the above to keep in shape, but I build and stay that way fast with my metabalism.
For cardio try to keep your heart rate elevated for at leaast 20 minutes, callisthenics are great for this if you dont like running.

To start after a break of not doing anything though is to start slow. Go for 30 minutes every other day. Doing like 2 major muscle groups each day. It will give your body time to adjust and lower the risk of an inhury.
Aug. 1st, 2005 06:04 pm (UTC)
Thanks, man. This is especially helpful because I know I won't always feel like I can face being in the gym. Your suggestions sound sensible.
(no subject) - rimrender - Aug. 1st, 2005 11:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenriss - Aug. 2nd, 2005 06:06 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 1st, 2005 05:35 pm (UTC)
I need a lot of downtime to keep from going insane, and exercise doesn't count for me, so I can tell you right now I'm never going to get an hour every day unless I retire. What I do do is commit to exercising every Saturday and Sunday (at least a half hour's fast walk if the weather allows, yoga if it doesn't, with a hike subbed in for walking if I can afford to spend most of the day on it). That's my baseline. I try to do some during the work week as well, but my commitment to that goes up and down depending on my mood.

Of course, I am violently allergic to exercising in company, so that kind of removes the gym thing as an option.
Aug. 1st, 2005 06:07 pm (UTC)

Your "exercise profile" sounds a lot like mine, when I'm paying attention to it. Fast walks and yoga come naturally. Long workouts in a crowded gyn really do NOT.
Aug. 1st, 2005 05:45 pm (UTC)
I certainly don't do that. Or much of anything, in fact. Which is bound to become a problem for me at some point but I currently lack sufficient motivation to do anything about it. The ideal solution (move somewhere with a better climate so that I can do things I like doing) is a staggeringly difficult one and I am insufficiently motivated to do that either.

I know I should go to the gym with colinmac. But that involves a schedule alteration in the form of getting up early. And I am extremely unlikely to change my schedule in a direction I don't like for something I don't even really want to do. Indeed, I am dying a slow death.
Aug. 1st, 2005 06:16 pm (UTC)
Ah. I'm right there with you. "Get out of bed early to do a hard, painful thing." Um, no.

I think I'll eventually get back into the habit of rushing to the gym to avoid the very worst of the crowds right after work. But I won't like it.
Aug. 1st, 2005 05:48 pm (UTC)
I walk more than most Americans, which is to say, not much... other than that, I do yoga and/or aerobics (which for me means "calisthenics and jumping around to loud music") in my room by myself, 2-3 times a week. I try for 45 minutes. I used to take yoga classes but I am more likely to actually do it if I don't have to go anywhere.
Aug. 1st, 2005 06:19 pm (UTC)
You know, I can't begin to count all the aerobics, stretching, yoga, tai chi and belly dance classes I've taken over the years. I know all kinds of steps and exercises I can do on my own, and I've got lots of music to which I could be doing it, in the privacy of my own livingroom. Yet there is something in my head telling me that there's no way I'll ever get fit unless I do my sweating in a gym. I wonder why I think that?
(no subject) - peregrin8 - Aug. 1st, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fenriss - Aug. 1st, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 1st, 2005 06:30 pm (UTC)
Anybody can lift weights with their BODY. I spend several hours a day trying to lift heavy objects with the power of my mind alone! It isn't much of a cardio workout, but man, my prefontal cortex is CUT!
Aug. 1st, 2005 07:27 pm (UTC)
Toned brains are tastier.
Aug. 1st, 2005 06:41 pm (UTC)
If there is any way you can afford a personal trainer, or a class with only one or two others, I highly recommend it. I was lucky enough to find someone just starting out, who only charged me 10$ a session (as opposed to the 50$ he charges now). Maybe look on craigslist, or post there yourself? Maybe find an exercise nut who'd be willing to trade for weekly massage therapy appointments?

I also joined a very small gym (happened to be the one where my trainer worked) and I liked that a lot. There was no posing, socializing, checking people out, etc. At first the other members (mostly body builders; a few in training for fights) ignored me, but then as I continued to show up three nights a week, they started telling me how proud they were of my good work and cheering me on. I never felt ogled or unwelcome, possibly because I was there with a trainer.

The other thing about having a trainer is that I felt absolutely obligated to show up. Very different from a gym buddy... The friends I have worked out with were always just as eager as me to go for coffee instead. But having a business relationship meant I couldn't blow it off.

Aug. 1st, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
But, you see, I am really, significantly out of shape. An argument could be made that that's exactly why I need a trainer, but the bottom line is this: I won't do it, because I will assume the trainer secretly loathes me for being fat and weak.

I'm an emotionally driven person, rather than rationally driven. If it's very upsetting to my feelings, it won't happen. I'll bail.

A good suggestion, nevertheless.

(no subject) - smoakes777 - Aug. 1st, 2005 08:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 1st, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC)
I agree about not going home first. It's the only way I can get there at all. Today I'm going to go straight home (since K. is out of town) and do a DVD instead. If I slack I'm forcing myself to go to the gym the rest of the week though.

Also, I find that paying for the gym is motivation...I'm way too cheap to pay for something I'm not using.

I'm not quite up to an hour a day, more like 40 minutes, Monday through Friday. If you want to do Gold's with me maybe we can work something out (although my schedule isn't super-flexible).
Aug. 1st, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
I'd love to go with you. I wonder if a couple times a week, the boss would let me leave a little early. You get there around 4:30 or so, right?
(no subject) - joanarkham - Aug. 1st, 2005 07:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Aug. 1st, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC)
Oh, and one more thing
My rule for skipping the gym if I didn't feel well was this: I still had to change into my gym clothes, get in the car, drive to the gym, find parking, and get out of the car. If at that point I still didn't feel up to working out I could go home. I almost never went home.
Aug. 1st, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Oh, and one more thing
Ah, that is good. I have a similar thing with home practice: at least get changed and get on the yoga mat for 5 minutes of light stretching. Usually if I get that far, I will go ahead and do my routine.
Aug. 1st, 2005 08:23 pm (UTC)
So, I went to a Gold's gym that had a private room for women to work in which was fab.

You live in the city right? Walking around town counts. So, I walk at least 30-45 minutes a day getting to my bus stop and such.

Also, while yes exercising every day is awesome, any amount of movement regularly is just as awesome. When I ride my bike to work and back (20 minutes each way) I feel kick ass. Similarly, 30-45 minutes of weight lifting a few times a week makes me go RAR!!

What works best for me is having a friend who will go to the gym regularly with me. It keeps me motivated. Other ppl I know like meeting with a personal trainer (the gym will provide one usually) a few times a month.
Aug. 2nd, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC)
So, I went to a Gold's gym that had a private room for women to work in which was fab.

That would be great. They don't have that at ours, though.

You live in the city right? Walking around town counts. So, I walk at least 30-45 minutes a day getting to my bus stop and such.

I do count that, generally. That's the only reason I don't put myself in the "totally sedentary" category!

And I am working on the gym buddy thing. Thanks!
Aug. 2nd, 2005 12:45 am (UTC)
Walk Away the Pounds dvds - they only way to do it, in my book.

1, 2, and 3 mile workouts, with weights and cardio. Easy steps to do, and you can do them in your home and therefore not have to travel to a gym after work or anything. It's seriously the only thing that's getting me exercising!
Aug. 2nd, 2005 06:09 pm (UTC)
I think I really should look into that, if only as a supplement to what I do at Gold's. I need options! Otherwise I will probably fail again.

Wonder if I can Netflix those?
(no subject) - boadiccea - Aug. 2nd, 2005 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )