Also starting the day after my 7 mile commute is fantastic, my brain is rocking and ready.
A similar scheme would be great in Manhattan, the rides between a lot of high density places (including Brooklyn and Manhattan) are pretty short. At 70k people per square mile they could put in a bike pick up/drop off point on every block. Plus it might give them enough critical mass to shut off some lanes as cycle paths.
- Proper clothing (e.g. dry fit) which helps sweat evaporate faster
- Using a more efficient road bike if you're currently riding a mountain/hybrid bike
- Pedaling at a lower gear, and higher cadence
- Properly inflated tires
- A bag with mesh back support, so your back doesn't get all sweaty.
Also helps to live in a city such as Madison, WI with tons of paved bike paths.
I never really got why would people cycle/jog on busy roads.
Here in the tiny streets of Cambridge, UK, I sometimes feel cycling in the middle of the street is the best option. BTW, an equally big risk to cyclists is pedestrians who, by sheer stupidity or collectively having death wishes, start crossing the road without looking. It's worse when it's a group.
2. Get some high visibility gear and get a helmet and pads. I also use two sets of lights: the reds at the back are placed one high (my back or helmet) and one low, and the front lights are angled differently to give me full coverage for a good distance.
The cheapest and lightest way for visibility gear is the "jacket" type that you wear over your clothes.
Best thing I ever did was get an extremely powerful set of lights (Vistalite I think) - they were very expensive but I'm sure they saved my life on multiple occasions. I used to have one light angled so that it illuminated the road with the other pretty much shining into the faces of car drivers - probably not legal but at least I knew I could wiggle the handlebars to shine a light into a drivers face if they were about to do something that would cause a problem.
Unfortunately, bright lights can't protect you from other road hazzards - kids throwing a brick at me being an example of what cyclists have to put up with.
> Couldn't resist.
> Do, or do not.
> There is no try.
Also, making the switch from coffee to tea can have innumerable benefits to one's energy level and overall health.
I find that tea doesn't give me as much of a high as coffee, but it lasts longer without any come-down. Awesome.
No. From sources described at http://www.snopes.com/medical/myths/8glasses.asp:
Kidney specialists do agree on one thing, however: that the 8-by-8 rule is a gross overestimate of any required minimum.
"The notion that there is widespread dehydration has no basis in medical fact," says Dr. Robert Alpern, dean of the medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. Doctors from a wide range of specialties agree: By all evidence, we are a well-hydrated nation. Furthermore, they say, the current infatuation with water as an all-purpose health potion — tonic for the skin, key to weight loss — is a blend of fashion and fiction and very little science.
From an LA Times reader:
The advice fully meets three important criteria for being an American health urban legend: excess, public virtue, and the search for a cheap "magic bullet."
Additional research and articles:
The first article mentions "widespread dehydration" ..that's an exaggeration at best of what's being discussed here.
People do get dehydrated. We, as a nation, have the means of staying hydrated and therefore we don't have a major epidemic. But, dehydration is definitely an issue--and always will be.
I consider that statement equivalent to asserting "widespread dehydration" of the nation's populace. So I stand by the material I quoted.
> People do get dehydrated.
Of course they do, just like they get hungry when they don't eat. But we're discussing drinking water in excess of thirst. I'm not sure I understand what you mean by your last paragraph. The discussion here is about health primarily in the first world, not about the hydration problems in many developing countries.
By the way, I mentioned specifically too much water. You only need to drink when you're thirsty. I'm asking what benefit you get from drinking water when you're not thirsty.
By the way, "people are dehydrated a large majority of the time" -- citation needed.
Following the links on Wikipedia I got to this article:
http://www.aafp.org/afp/991115ap/2269.html It lists low fluid intake (as well as restricted access to a bathroom) as a risk factor in kidney stone formation. However, another article (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12576800) reports some conflicting results. Apparently, as people drink more water, they consume more sodium to compensate, negating some of the benefits.
I wonder what someone who actually knows about this would say. Also, 2L isn't that much, but I wonder if I drink 8 glasses of water a day. An experiment is in order.
Toxins? Again, no specific answer, but the food is not necessarily "clean", so that's what our kidneys and liver are for.
Obviously, I can't speak for any large body of humans without some kind of rigorous scientific evidence, but passive observation of coworkers, friends, and family leads me to believe that most people don't drink nearly enough water. It could be different where you live though.
I also got taken in by the nice scientific sounding words before I realize that I should shout "CITATION NEEDED".
For me it's 10pm. Too many times I'd be winding down the day, getting ready for sleep, and decided (more like, was subconsciously compelled) to check my email one last time. Every so often, some nagging issue would come up that, in hindsight, definitely could have waited till the next morning, but once I started thinking about it, there was no way I could rest until it was resolved. This obviously cut into my sleep time (not good for the long term) and also often left me in an agitated state that made it harder to get good sleep.
Maybe it's 6pm, maybe it's 2am, but I recommend drawing the line somewhere, so that you can preserve the quality of your downtime.
This is harder to manage if "the office" is actually your home but it's important to make it work.
You can't really help where your brain wanders in your downtime, but there's no need to encourage it by doing work in your downtime.
Things that I've found helpful: Vegetarian diet (currently trying vegan out to break my fro-yo addiction), yoga, running with a goal in mind, running without a goal in mind, massages, a long commute without a laptop. All except the former help me let my thoughts just drift and it's surprising what pops out.
In particular, business on meditation is interesting to me. I do all my best thinking in the shower. I suspect this is because without meaning to be, I'm in a meditative state there. Every time I have a really hard problem to ponder, I find a shower has the power to jolt me in the direction of the solution.
I'd like to find a way to harness this in a more convenient way that doesn't require soap, water or nudity, so I'm going to check out the NSR site Alex recommends.
A friend of mine told me she has a similar issue and has a special meditation that she does in bed to wind her brain down. I should email her, but if anyone has ways they deal with this issue, I'd love to hear them.
I do however think about tough issues when I'm half asleep in the morning, reaching for the snooze button. (Sometimes it's counterproductive, making me want to snooze more to make the world go away, but I reach some surprising insights here - and then crystallise them in the shower, of course!)
Secondly, 90 minutes is probably on the high end for a workout for me. If I'm pressed for time, it's closer to an hour.
Also, I don't know that I always work 9 hours a day. Realistically, I probably work a normal 8. I also often eat lunch at my desk, which shaves off half an hour from your estimated eating time.
As for chores: I pay someone to clean my apartment. I'd rather spend the time on other things.
I don't watch much TV. I also don't spend a lot of time hanging out with friends during the week. My wife and I don't have kids yet, so "family time" often consists of her and I reading or watching a movie together.
I'm sure it'll be harder to stick to this schedule when some of the above changes.
I figure if I can get my total weekday required commute down from say 2 hours to 0-0.25 hours I save roughly 500 hours a year. All of which become hours spent on things which give me a better quality of life (more sleep, more exercise, more meditation, more relaxation, more friend time, family time, etc.)
I hope an increasing percentage of folks do it in the future, because I truly think it will help make the world a better place, especially through the indirect benefits of reduced traffic, reduced pollution, reduced vehicle accidents, fossil fuel consumption, miles-o-asphalt-culture, etc.
my cf gym is full of professional people-- doctors, lawyers, and engineers and by looking at them you'd think they were gym rats.
For example, do 5 pullups, 10 pushups, 15 burpees, and 20 jumping jacks. Repeat ten times with little rest between rounds. Then jump rope a 100 times.
Should take you no more than twenty minutes. It's hard to get up from that one though.
If you love road biking, you will probably spend more time exercising then someone who loves doing a lot of high intensity interval training and cross-fit style workouts, simply because of the nature of the workout. You can ride bike for 3 hours easy when you are in shape, but there is no way you can do intervals for more than 45 minutes unless you are nuts.
Also dropping carbs is a very bad idea, reducing it is good. But dropping them in the long term is going to affect your bone structure, the muscles will eat themselves for energy and you might land some heavy calcium supplementation in 20 years.
Also the fact that you're german/english does not explain a slow metabolism. Com'on. Have you seen europeans? Do they look fat to you? Generations of cold weather does not dictate your endomorphism. It's the food you eat, with bad habits and a high sugar intake that results in turning into a fat slob. Sure we all have genetic predispositions but it can be kept in the balance. Our bodies were never designed to eat what the american market has to offer.
You can find sources that say dropping carbs is bad idea, and you can find sources that say dropping carbs is a great idea. Again: it's what works for me. I'll still eat some whole grains and other "good" carbs.
If you noticed, the bit about the German/English heritage ended in a joke, suggesting that I was exaggerating a bit there. But since you bring it up: yes, I've seen plenty of portly English and German folks, and also some quite fit ones. Like you say, it's all about diet, and that's why I'm being careful about mine.
Second, assuming you can do at least 20-30 crunches in one set, (normal) crunches are basically a waste of time as the resistance is too small.
Third, that you feel you've had a good workout at the time you're doing it doesn't mean it is. For instance, sweat, tiredness, or an elevated heart rate isn't even an indication that you've actually had a good workout.
Just lift heavy weights. That's the most efficient use of your time and effort. Everything else you do in a gym can be good for the purpose of keeping you motivated, or whatever, but it's all quite a bit less efficient than just lifting weights. Keep it under 60 minutes, followed by intake of protein and carbs. The science behind this is well established.
Well you should check out this one, it seems Europeans are not that far behind...
Just by the fact that you're in a body of fresh air (which is all that your lungs require), and in a gravitational field, and can move your body around (all your body/muscles require), there are plenty of exercises accessible to you. And they require no special separate equipment or paid services. Walking is dead simple, it's practical, you have to do it anyway, and it buys you a lot. Pushups are simple, they exercise a lot of muscles, require no fancy equipment, and buy you a lot of effect. Kicking. Lots of other motions and activities like this. I highly recommend people first try incorporating this sort of exercise into their life first, and only if that utterly fails for them should they consider moving on to a subscription-and-commute-requiring gym.
Oh it also has the benefit of requiring greater willpower and time management, so it has psychological self-improvement benefits as well.
- "combats stress"
- "always feel calmer than when I started"
- "feel like I’ve got my head screwed on straight"
- "makes my work time more productive"
For strength training, there’s evidence that stretching before a workout is counter-productive. Strength training requires muscles to contract tightly against a heavy weight, and loosening the muscle fibres by stretching them first reduces their ability to do this. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t warm your muscles up before strength training – just avoid stretching them first. If you want to include stretching in the same workout as strength training, it’s better to wait until after you’ve finished your weights work.
I typically warm up on the elliptical machine for 5 minutes and then for each muscle group I'm doing that day I start with a set of low weight/high reps to warm it up. After the workout I do stretch my hamstrings because I sit on my ass all day.
Look at results from this search: http://www.google.com/search?q=dont+stretch+before+weightlif...
Here's an example from : http://www.bodybuildingforyou.com/articles-submit/tanja-gard...
"For strength training, there’s evidence that stretching before a workout is counter-productive. Strength training requires muscles to contract tightly against a heavy weight, and loosening the muscle fibres by stretching them first reduces their ability to do this. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t warm your muscles up before strength training – just avoid stretching them first. If you want to include stretching in the same workout as strength training, it’s better to wait until after you’ve finished your weights work."
[Note: I did not refresh the page and see that user naner replied similarly. May I say: great minds think alike! Haha.]
As someone who has trained a lot of regular people, some are incredibly tight, to the point that they will not be able to perform movements correctly without stretching prior to the workout. Sure, they don't stretch right off the bat--a 5-10 "active warmup" is great--but sometimes stretching before a workout is necessary. It's not like we're dealing with elite athletes here; no one on HN is going for an 800 lb squat. And even in that realm, Jim Wendler of EliteFTS.com recommends static stretching prior to workouts.
Even better than stretching or at least as good, which I don't think anyone has mentioned, is myofascial release. Basically it's a self massage with a lacrosse ball or a foam roller. Mix a little bit of this soft-tissue work into your regular stretching and you'll see huge results.
pull your knee to your chest, quad pulls, lunges, high knees, butt kicks, shuffles, drinking birds, toe touches, karaokes, leg swings, others...
takes a little time, and sometimes looks a little funny... but is great for getting you warmed up.
Car analogies are a dime a dozen in computing, but they apply here as well. Not exercising is like changing the oil in your car every 10,000-15,000 miles, instead of every 3,000 - 6,000. Your car is still going to last years, but its lifespan will be shortened, and it's going to run poorly towards the end of it. The nice thing about a car is you can repair it, or buy a new one. Repairing a human is tricky, and you definitely can't buy a new one.
I'm absolutely baffled by those who put their careers or money at a higher priority than their own physical health. You really want to be rich and famous with a crappy body? Is type 2 diabetes, along with likely amputations, blindness, and erectile dysfunction, your thing? Looking forward to clogged arteries and heart disease? What about stroke, wiping away your ability to control your own body, or even being able to think or speak? Etc, etc...
I don't intend to be mean, but many American's simply don't prioritize their health high enough. People seem to have every excuse in the world not to do it, except for a good one.
True story. My brother is enrolled for his doctoral in physical therapy. He dissected cadavers (donated human corpses) during one of his classes. My family and I went out to visit, and he was able to let us look at one.
My father, who is about 30 pounds overweight in his late-50's, hasn't really cared about his health. He eats too much high-saturated-fat ice cream, puts cream in his coffee, likes cookies with lots of butter in them, etc... I've been trying to get him to eat healthier and exercise for years to no avail.
Well, my brother was having me hold/feel the heart from the cadaver (it was already cut out of the dissected body). I was squishing some of the arteries with gloves on, and my brother said "Try squishing this Coronary Artery. Sometimes it might be crunchy from heart disease."
So I did, and WOW! It was ROCK SOLID! So much calcium and plaque had built up inside this persons heart that it completely clogged the artery. It was as if there was a pebble-sized rock inside of it.
Of course, I forced my father to put some gloves on and feel it for himself. Well, that scared the SHIT out of him! These last few weeks since, he's made a decision to stay away from high-fat foods (and has been doing so - non-fat ice cream now, skim milk in coffee, etc...). He's also putting together an exercise room.
It looks like he's in the right mindset now, which is a very good thing! Sometimes the dagger of death hanging over your head is the best motivator. :)
In any case, it would be wise to actually measure arterial plaque over time, and other risk markers (Lp-a triglycerides, C-reactive protein, homocystein, etc.), especially if he's starting into a dietary change.
Track these variables over time, and this should provide a good assessment of whether you've put him on the right path, or not.
(argues that current U.S. obesity epidemic is largely the result of low-fat, high sugar diet)
1. Dietary fat raises LDL (A -> B)
2. LDL correlated with heart disease (B -> C)
Faulty conclusion: no A -> no C
When I lost around 100 pounds years ago, I did it on a mountain dew and rice cake diet (not recommended). That introduced calorie restriction, and it worked. After losing weight, it eventually motivated me to find and eventually adopt a diet that was long-term sustainable.
Hopefully the path my father takes is similar. Step #1 isn't always perfect, but it's much easier to take a single step than it is to try and run up a flight of stairs.
A former roommate of mine did the same. He went on an all fruit and vegetable diet, going from around 280 pounds down to about 170. That "beginning" diet wasn't sustainable, but it helped him lose weight through calorie restriction. Now he's a extremely athletic cyclist, and eats a very healthy well-balanced diet. Step #1 wasn't necessarily perfect, but it eventually got him on the right track.
A lot of the hard research on refined sugar appears to just be coming into light. It'll likely take several more years/decades before its effects are truly understood. Human nutrition in general is AMAZINGLY complex, as there are so many variables interacting with one another.
I find it's best to question anything anyone says on the internet regarding nutrition. Ensure they cite sources, state their educational background, etc... Even someone who's a Doctor doesn't always know a lot about nutrition. Typically your best sources are people with PHD's in nutrition, active in the field.
Almost everyone on the internet doesn't fall into that category. So when you end up with is a lot of "snake oil" advice mixed in with the good. It's a tough problem that needs a solution: "Verification of the accuracy of online information." It extends well beyond nutrition and fitness. The solver of that problem has the potential to be larger than even Google. :)
I don't mind things that are hard, or things that are difficult or things that take a long time or even things that are all three; what I hate is things that doesn't last - once you learned to drive, you can drive, etc.
Combine that with the fact that it sucks doing exercise and you have the reason I don't do it.
Why are you viewing it as a temporary solution?
I'd agree that exercise binges to get into shape aren't ideal but generally what people are talking about is regular exercise which should be seen as an integral part of a healthy life style.
Exercise doesn't have to be sports or going to the gym, it can be walking or cycling to get about or in some other way swapping sedentary activity for something more demanding, but whatever you choose it should be seen as something long term and on-going.
Most of your existance was dominated by finding food and eating it. Your job was walk/run around all day long, trying to find as much to eat, expending as little energy as possible. You might climb a tree to pick fruit, swim across a river towards a good fishing spot, run after and try to spear an animal, fight with other people and steal their food/have food stolen from you, etc...
Our bodies evolved for this type of work. Fast-forward 50,000 years to the present day, and you'll find we don't do anything like that anymore. My brother put it best:
"You wake up in the morning and get out of your bed couch, stumbling over to your toilet couch. After you get into your car couch and drive to work. Then you arrive at work and sit in your chair couch all day long. After work is done it's back to your car couch. Once you're home, it's off to your couch couch to watch some TV. When you're done with that, go to sleep in your bed couch. The cycle repeats."
So the permanent solution for our bodies is, simply, to be more active! Our advanced society has introduced the permanent problem, not our bodies. We're genetically designed to be active.
When I started exercising about 10 years ago, I picked running specifically because I hated it more than just about anything. In a few more months I estimate that I would have run approximately 15,000 miles since starting, which is about 3/5th's around the Earth.
How does one learn to enjoy something that one hates? You find the little things that excite you and focus on that. Eventually that snowballs into bigger and better things, and before you know it, you love something you use to hate. :)
If you ever decide to try exercising, I'd recommend finding a personal trainer to teach you the basics. There are TONS of different things to do. If you don't like going to the gym, try rock climbing, or mountain biking, or swimming, or anything that floats your boat! I "guarantee" that you'll find something that you'll like. The best part of all is after you start, it becomes addictive, and you'll wonder how you ever survived without it!
Breathing, eating - also a temporary solution to a permanent problem. It just takes more time for the problem of "not exercising" to reveal itself compared to the problem of "not eating".
I think that the last point he makes is probably the most valuable and one that I only just learned, that is to not worry if you miss a workout or two, or if you have that cake on the weekend every once in a while. I always used to set myself a very strict plan for whatever I was trying to do, and inevitably whenever I fell off I would feel like I failed and wouldn't be able to get back to it.
I've recently started taking a more relaxed approach to my 'goals' and I feel like I've made much more progress, as long as the trend is in the right direction you're good to go.
(granted my company was probably nowhere near as stressful as Twitter circa 2008-2009)
Even this small change (which is paired with eating out and having a few beers each night) has allowed me to sleep less than I normally do, while staying just as alert throughout the day and craving caffeine less than usual.
I'll be going back home this weekend and I need to figure out a way to push myself to do some walking even though I'm not forced to. Hopefully my experience these past two weeks will be enough.
It's a luxury, but it isn't that expensive (especially if you typically rely on coin-op laundromats anyway) and it's one less thing to worry about.
The pricing is based on weight? It seems to me that the time it takes to fold a pound of clothing varies dramatically based on the type of clothing...
For those interested in similar ideas regarding diet and exercise, you might enjoy http://www.marksdailyapple.com
Similarly, I find watching TED videos while lifting weights (at home) is a nice combination.
Maybe you should promote it after it launches.
I'm quite happy as a lazy slob. I ran track and x country in high school, but I didn't like exercise then and I still don't.
I'm sure it would probably make me healthier, but it just isn't worth the discomfort to me. Stop making me look bad, guys.
So I started going to the gym. I despise actually being at the gym and exercising. But it makes me feel drastically better: I have more energy now, I get sick less, and my general comportment no longer suggests illness to friends and family. I even get more work done on days I go to the gym, since it refreshes my mental batteries and contributes more than a minute of marginal thinking time for every minute I spend there.
But even if the energy/health/acuity benefits don't do it for you, take a look around you at the people who would miss you if you were gone, and go to the gym for them. Aside from quitting smoking (don't smoke, but quit if you do!) it is the cheapest way to buy extra time with your loved ones.
I couldn't agree more though, I've been doing about 90 minutes a day of exercise. I wasn't completely out of shape to begin with but I feel much more alert and better throughout the day.
I had full health work-up last year and everything came back better than ideal. And I get sick very, very rarely. I eat well; I just don't move around much.