Wellness Anyone?

GGECKOGGECKO Washington, D.C.Red Chipper Posts: 111 ✭✭✭
I know this subtopic has dropped off a bit as some of the advice offered has been controversial in the past but I would really like to see some more postings on here. I've been in jobs that demanded a high level of fitness, so I am pretty well versed in the benefits of trying to live a somewhat healthy lifestyle. As busy professionals/students/poker players, it's difficult to squeeze some of the best things for us into our daily routine, but the benefits are extremely +EV. Here are a couple of reasonable ideas that I have incorporated into daily life that have made a pretty big difference.

- I have always hated bicyclists. I think they are annoying, pretentious and think they own the road. THEN, I bought a bicycle to commute into the city for work. I can say that this was one of the most positive things I had done in awhile. Even though I have to wake up very early, I found myself looking forward to the ride. Even if I only do it once a week, 1.5 hours on my bike does tremendous things for my psyche and my body is thanking me for it.

- I stopped drinking alcohol Monday - Thursday. This was a tough one, as who doesn't like a drink (or 2) after work? But those extra calories cut out has trimmed my waistline and it didn't take too long. It also makes me enjoy the Fridays/Saturdays that I let myself indulge that much better. Cracking that cold one on a Friday night seems so much more satisfying, and it gives me motivation to stay alcohol free during the week.

Although I have a pretty rigorous workout regimen, these small adjustments that were pretty easy to implement had a huge multiplying affect on all my efforts.

Would love to hear some more wellness "life hacks" anyone else has come up with.

Comments

  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,506 ✭✭✭✭
    I get exactly what you mean about the cycling. I sometimes ride my bike to the casino for daytime sessions and it just feels great.

    A few "hacks" of the top of my head:
    -Every morning starts with H2O and meditation
    -sneak in more veggies(frozen kale or spinach) into every protein shake
    -KB + bodyweight training routine at home(saves on the gym and never an excuse about not being able to make it to the gym)
    -always take the stairs
  • SullySully Red Chipper Posts: 780 ✭✭✭
    A cup of warm bone broth every morning before coffee
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    I can say that this was one of the most positive things I had done in awhile.

    I've been hit by cars biking. Twice. I don't ride my bike anymore.
  • NYCRyNYCRy Red Chipper Posts: 336 ✭✭✭
    GGECKO wrote: »

    Would love to hear some more wellness "life hacks" anyone else has come up with.

    Strength train 3x/week. If I can life hack my squat to 500 by age 43 I'll be happy

  • GGECKOGGECKO Washington, D.C.Red Chipper Posts: 111 ✭✭✭
    I never hack squat. Lol.

    And yes, a 500 lbs is a great goal and very respectable. Strength training is essential.
  • NYCRyNYCRy Red Chipper Posts: 336 ✭✭✭
    Slightly geared towards depression, but some may find interesting:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=9ViMhxV_WRU
  • moishetreatsmoishetreats Red Chipper Posts: 1,819 ✭✭✭✭
    Something that works for me: Stretching for about 5ish minutes (that's it!) every morning when I wake and just another few minutes of light calisthenics every morning. Helps get me going and helps set the day on the positive tone.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,669 -
    GGECKO wrote: »
    I never hack squat. Lol.

    And yes, a 500 lbs is a great goal and very respectable. Strength training is essential.

    I'm intrigued by this. At high school I was a distance runner who was compelled to play rugby and thus lift for 3 months of the year. I spent the remaining 9 months trying to shed the added muscle. Do you guys feel there's a benefit to weight training in terms of mental acuity? My guess is the required discipline is probably useful.
    Moderation In Moderation
  • GGECKOGGECKO Washington, D.C.Red Chipper Posts: 111 ✭✭✭
    I could write a dissertation on this, but in short I believe that true strength training, with the use of free weight, is critical to any wellness routine. Of course, this is sport dependent, as your mentioned in your post your main sport was long distance running. Added strength, and therefore muscle, would have been a detriment to your goals. More muscle added means more weight to carry when running, which is why you shedded it after rugby season. The current definition of “being fit” in today’s world usually speaks of cardiovascular fitness - namely running/swimming/biking. The benefits of cardio are well known and I value them greatly. The missing component is usually serious strength training which not only makes a person look better but increased muscle surges calorie use and fat metabolism. Strength training becomes even more critical as we get older. Muscle loss leads to weakness and uneasiness. I want to be on my own two feet as long as possible.

    My mental state is increased but not like the endorphin high of cardio training. It’s more subtle and is longer lasting throughout the day rather than an hour after a run or bike.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,506 ✭✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    I'm intrigued by this. At high school I was a distance runner who was compelled to play rugby and thus lift for 3 months of the year. I spent the remaining 9 months trying to shed the added muscle. Do you guys feel there's a benefit to weight training in terms of mental acuity? My guess is the required discipline is probably useful.

    I believe some minimal/regular strength training is an important part of maintaining health/fitness especially past the age of 40. But unlike CV training I haven't seen anything showing cognitive benefits of strength training. I would be happy to find out I am wrong on this :)
  • persuadeopersuadeo Red Chipper Posts: 4,310 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The trainer they banned here referenced connections between mental acuity and strength training, among other things.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,506 ✭✭✭✭
    persuadeo wrote: »
    The trainer they banned here referenced connections between mental acuity and strength training, among other things.

    I forgot about him but would be happy to have him back. Got any link/resources you can share?
  • GGECKOGGECKO Washington, D.C.Red Chipper Posts: 111 ✭✭✭
    I saw some of the old posts by that former poster. He and I trained with the same strength coach. The poster seemed very knowledgeable but unfortunately I understand why he is among the RCP departed.

    There are some excellent articles and books on the site startingstrength.com. I can not recommend the book “Starting Strength” highly enough.

    Warning, the author is very strength/weights oriented and basically ignores cardiovascular fitness. I think a balance is necessary and training both cardio and strength systems has a synergistic affect, so we differ in that way. His stuff on strength is great tho and backed by a lot of experience and research. Best part about it, it’s rather simple to implement and the benefits are quick to come.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,506 ✭✭✭✭
    GGECKO wrote: »
    Warning, the author is very strength/weights oriented and basically ignores cardiovascular fitness. I think a balance is necessary and training both cardio and strength systems has a synergistic affect, so we differ in that way.

    Huh, we don't differ. I never said one shouldn't do CV training.

    I am familiar with starting strength. Does Rip make claims about strength training improving cognitive effects?

  • NYCRyNYCRy Red Chipper Posts: 336 ✭✭✭
    Here is a good article on the effects of strength training on brain aging:

    https://startingstrength.com/contentfiles/physical_training_against_brain_aging.pdf

    I think the main issue is that everyone just assumes you need both strength training and cardiovascular training for overall health. Which is generally true. But:

    1) What most people think is strength training is not actually training, its just exercise. There is a difference.

    2) Strength training improves many more qualities than cardiovascular training does. If the average person were to ONLY strength train, there would be only a minimal negative affect on their cardio, and in fact and improvement in cardio to the untrained person, but if they were to ONLY do cardio the loss of strength would be significant and quite detrimental in a handful of ways.

    Here is an excerpt from the article that explains that training is not exercise. Going to the gym and randomly using some machines a couple times a week is not the same as the process of systematically and methodically getting your Squat from 95 to 315 by logically manipulating the volume, frequency, and intensity of your workouts.

    Training is Not “Exercising”

    The term “training” does not have the same meaning as the terms “exercise” or “exercise training”,
    which are used by various health organizations, and it is also not the same as the term “chronic exercise”
    which is widely used in research.
    True, “training” is what researchers call “progressive training,” and if the training is done with
    weights, it is called progressive resistance training (PRT). This definition is correct because of the use
    of the term “progress.” Training is the process of progressing from an “untrained” state to a “trained
    from X, to a level of Y.” This training happens intentionally, is controlled by measurable variables (like
    volume, intensity, and frequency), and is quantified by direct measurement of the progress that was
    achieved [1].
    The correct definition of “training” is particularly important when dealing with older adults.
    The term “well-being” (mainly meaning a positive and comfortable feeling) is a central concept in the
    caregiving and treatment of the elderly in both private and state day care centers [2]. This term includes
    the word “being,” which means in this context “to be now.” Accordingly, when physical activities are
    used with the elderly in these institutions they are usually performed with the intention of making the
    elderly feel good now (“exercise”), and not as a part of a plan to enhance their future physical abilities
    in a systemic and measurable way (“training”).
    The “being” part of the “well-being” concept has far-reaching negative consequences for the
    elderly. It is a fact that training – a prolonged, strenuous, planned effort in order to achieve a physical
    improvement over time – can help old people achieve physical independence and produce drastic
    cognitive improvements. The “being” concept – feeling good temporarily – is the opposite of the
    “training” concept, and the time incorrectly invested in it misses the opportunity to improve the
    quality of life.

    I could take your 70 yr old grandmother and get her squatting, deadlifting, and whatever else she can do. And this will keep her out of the nursing home when she's 80. Her doctor recommending that she go on the elliptical 3x/week will not do this
  • GGECKOGGECKO Washington, D.C.Red Chipper Posts: 111 ✭✭✭
    @kenaces I didn’t mean to imply you didn’t say cardio was important. I was just mentioning that Rip doesn’t address it.
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    I can't remember the last time I did cardio, and I just had a physical done. My RHR was 58. My BP was 106/67 (I'm 29 but still). I don't like the fact that Rippetoe prescribes OH BB press. Everyone's shoulders suck, peoples scapo-humeral mobility is garbage, and it's unnecessary lift that people will cheat and trash their lower back with. Same benefits achieved with back supported DB press. Additionally, peoples dead lift form is atrocious. They just squat the weight off the ground. Even though his demo is good, it doesn't translate to people doing it well.


    Strength train 3-4 times a week. IMO steady state cardio is for herbs, but if your thing is sitting on the treadmill for 30 minutes, blessings. I'd rather do 5 1 round minute of balls to the wall HITT, but then again, if your deconditioned this might just kill you...so know yourself.


    djkc4nwunsl9.png



  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,506 ✭✭✭✭
    I get what you are saying but I think there are some health benefits to having some low-intensity steady state CV work. The is a large body of research to support this. In some ways, I don't think it is that we need to get out 30m on the treadmill as much as it is we need to not sit as much as we do. I also agree with 30m on a machine doesn't sound like much fun, so I just walk and bike just for the fun of being outside at least a few days each week.

    And I want to see the MRI of the 70-year-old powerlifter's legs :)
  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    Ya not disputing ssc is bad, but the research shows HITT or TABATTA are more effective in eliciting positive cardiac adaptation. And they take less time. More bang for you buck, quicker. Obviously you need to be conditioned for this. And I’m all for 30 walk/bike ride/ hike. I wish I did it more, but in terms of gym economy...I think most people wanna get in and out in an hour or under, so it’s hard to fit in mobility, strength, and cardio in that time frame if you derp around for 30
    Min on that stair master.
  • kenaceskenaces Red Chipper Posts: 1,506 ✭✭✭✭
    jfarrow13 wrote: »
    Ya not disputing ssc is bad, but the research shows HITT or TABATTA are more effective in eliciting positive cardiac adaptation.

    Yes and no. Depends on which adaptations you want to measure, and over what time frame.

    I don't want to get into the weeds on this because I think we likely agree on 95%+, and doing anything is just soooo much better than worrying about what is "best". But I think I could make a case for the "best" approach(which I don't follow :) ) being both LISS and HIIT.

  • jfarrow13jfarrow13 Red Chipper Posts: 1,254 ✭✭✭✭
    Yeah, like many topics on this site which infuriates a few notable posters, it's easy to get bogged down in minute details when overall strategy isn't even in place. It's the same in health and fitness, people asking about taking BCAA's at night before going to bed when they eat McDonalds 7 times a week, smoke like a fire, drink like a fish, and sleep 4 hours a night. Let's focus on the 90% before we focus on the last 5-10%.


    Anyways, "tips and tricks" is the last 10-20% for me, I always have clients: tell me your goal, and then I help them to establish realistic methods to elicit that behavior change. After all, health, wellness, and success (generally) are a combination of many behaviors together that produce an outcome. Each person is unique, and a strategy that works for some people won't work for others, and you can "brute force" something for a while, but until you either A. Have that behavior beaten into you via negative or positive reinforcement or B. Eventually run out of "effort" in which you forcibly drag yourself to do something, and you revert back to your old behavior. Generally, slow changes are best, as the shotgun approach RARELY sticks. That's why diets fail. They aren't sustainable for many people, as it requires a huge amount allocation of mental, physical, potentially financial, and time resources.



    Think instead about "wellness" as slowly building positive behaviors, until they are part of your "routine". That way they actually stick, and become permanent change, not a "phase" where you just revert. Yes, some people hit rock bottom, and they make huge, sweeping changing that stick, but that's because the fear of loss should behavior relapse (think the guy who has a heart attack, sees his own mortality, and is like 'fakkkk bro I'm not trying to die at 52 time to make a change), but most successful behavior change is A. Gradual B. Realistic and C. Accompanied by help or outside accountability.


    Think about how often you see people bitching about their weight. I see people bitching about their job, income, looks, time management, everything, yet they view these things as an ON/OFF switch, of either "IM HITTING THE GYM 5 DAYS A WEEK EATING STEAMED BROCCOLI AND CHICKEN OR IM NOT DOING ANYTHING AT ALL", and this is not how healthy habits are built. These behaviors are not a switch, but a dial. And I realize I sound like I'm preaching on a high horse, so lemme humble myself and say this is from the guy who pulls all nighters studying instead of spacing it out responsibility during the weekdays (it's gotten better, but it's still a work in progress) and had to shelf poker because he couldn't make a time table and stick with it (a man who can't get and walk away when he has set a 4 hour alarm on his phone is not in control of his actions, and while I would never ruin myself financially playing, those are not actions of a man in control, and just like someone who says they are only going out for a few drinks for happy hours and then ends up blacked out on a Tuesday, you gotta know recognize unhealthy behaviors and sometimes abstinence has to be taken until you can be sure of moderation.)


    So think about your life. Think about what "wellness" means to you, and what you think might lead you to live a happier, healthier life. Don't think "wellness" means that hippie dippie chick drinking some ambiguous green sludgy amorphous drink on her way to her 3rd yoga session of the day, cause that's her definition. Then think about what small, repeated, potentially incremental actions can you take in order to make that change? And if your unsure or want help, go ahead and PM me (shameless plug at the end).
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Do you guys feel there's a benefit to weight training in terms of mental acuity?

    Absolutely. I don't know how old you are and I don't want to offend you, but I highly recommend this book. It explains so much more than just weight lifting. It addresses how the body changes as it ages and what you can do about it.

    https://www.amazon.com/Barbell-Prescription-Strength-Training-After/dp/0982522770

    By the way, this is the first thing I've read that gives me a real reason to eat less sugar, in the sense that it actually explains what is going on biochemically, because in my case I haven't seen or felt anything on or in my body that has convinced me previously that it's not good for me.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    GGECKO wrote: »
    The current definition of “being fit” in today’s world usually speaks of cardiovascular fitness - namely running/swimming/biking. The benefits of cardio are well known and I value them greatly. The missing component is usually serious strength training which not only makes a person look better but increased muscle surges calorie use and fat metabolism.

    Another misunderstood aspect of this is that increased strength increases your endurance, but increased endurance does not increase your strength.

    Well, up to a small point it might. If you're sedentary and you get up and walk or bike, obviously you are going to get a tad stronger. But the point is endurance training does not increase muscle mass once you're slightly fit.

    Why does strength, on the other hand, increase endurance? Because if you double your muscle, you're now using only half of it and getting only half as tired doing the same amount of work.

    Imagine your cardio workout is doing 20 minutes on the stair trainer. At first you will get a little stronger, but you will quickly plateau strength wise. Now start doing some real free weight squats, maybe like getting up to 200 pounds. You will now be able to do much longer on the stair trainer simply because your legs are much stronger. In other words, you have more endurance simply because you got stronger. However you can do 10 minutes on the stair trainer for 10 years, and the first time you try to squat 200 pounds it will crush you and the janitor will sweep up your body with the trash that night.

    So the benefit of getting stronger is not only that your endurance increases, but you can actually do more real world work, like lift your kids or grandkids, haul that stuff into your truck, or carry that desk up the flight of stairs for your wife. Hell, carry your wife up that flight of stairs if you really want to impress her.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    In addition to taking the stairs instead of the elevator as already mentioned, also stop burning gas looking for the closest damn parking spot. Park in a spot that's easy to get in and out of and walk 100 yards to the damn movie theater.
  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2018
    GGECKO wrote: »
    There are some excellent articles and books on the site startingstrength.com. I can not recommend the book “Starting Strength” highly enough.

    Warning, the author is very strength/weights oriented and basically ignores cardiovascular fitness. I think a balance is necessary and training both cardio and strength systems has a synergistic affect, so we differ in that way.

    While Rippetoe (the author of Starting Strength) and Sullivan (the book I linked) are in cahoots, Sullivan does say that a combination of strength and cardio is great. Although he leans toward getting your cardio from the sport you like, kind of assuming the reader "has a sport". e.g. lift weights and then go play basketball.

    Since he mentioned it though, I thought I'd add that I happen to think that playing a sport is better than going to the gym and doing something boring.

    For one thing, if you join a team or league, then there are people depending on you to be there at a certain time on a certain day for the game, whereas it's really easy to just say "Ah, I'll go to the gym tomorrow."

    For another, when playing a sport you're more focused on the fun and the strategy, while walking the treadmill at the gym is super boring.

    And finally, can we get the headphones out of our ears and the TV off for an hour and interact with humans instead of machines for a change?

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