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Old 05-29-01, 09:34 AM   #1
LittleBigMan
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Choosing exercise

"I really should start exercising."

"Exercise is good for your health."

"People who exercise feel better and have more stamina."

I can't argue with statements like these. But I have to wonder,
is exercise really a choice? Can you really choose not to exercise? I do not "choose" to exercise, as if it were an option. Since I ride my bike to work, exercise is a
natural part of the day.

I don't look at myself in a mirror and say, "I need to get some exercise." Because I ride my bicycle to work, I don't have to "get in shape." I remain in shape all the time. It is as normal for me as eating or sleeping. There is nothing extra I have to do to achieve physical fitness, only improve on what I already have.
What would be unnatural and abnormal for me is to be unable to climb 10 flights of stairs.

I guess in this topsy-turvey world, being fit is abnormal.
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Old 05-29-01, 11:48 AM   #2
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When one integrates physical activity into their life, there is no such thing as "working out". I have to admit, I do the occasional set of push-ups on the living room floor, but have never been to a health club. I know many people who take time out of every day to go to the gym to "get healthy". If they would only follow my integrated philosophy, they would find being healthy was much less a chore and much more enjoyable.
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Old 05-29-01, 12:47 PM   #3
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Yes, Pete, being fit is abnormal in this topsy-turvy world, you said it very well. A whole lot of marketing and advertising in this insane culture depends on people sitting for hours in front of their TV screens, and on their purchasing "remedies" to their unfitness: diet pills (no matter if they can kill you, as long as they get sold), "exercising" machines that will sit unused in the basement after two evenings' bemused attempts to become healthy on them (hey, it's too hard to watch TV while exercising!), etc., etc.

One thing that contributes to fitness is being without a car. Far too radical a solution ever to propose, right? I could have bought another car since 1982; if I'd wanted to, I could have bought two or three of the things. But I don't want one.

Of course, being car-less has its cultural downside: many stellar cultural events occur, though allegedly in "Kansas City," at venues lacking access by public transportation. Even some here in town are hard to get to without a car. But does this bother planning officials and local governments?

Look at how the agency officials get to work. It's not by bike. It's not by walking. It's not by bus (the bus probably doesn't go where they live).

You got it. It's by car.
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Old 05-29-01, 01:43 PM   #4
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Interesting string, Pete. In my own case, a little over a year ago, I took a job at an ISP, so I sit for 9 hours a day in front of a computer. Then, when I get home, I am on call for another 3 hours, so if things are busy, that's 12 hours a day on my butt.
Previously, I drove a ready mix concrete truck, so I was over weight, but got lots of excercise.
In January, I got tired of looking like a bearded Buddah, and started dieting. Next, the company I work for has several thousand dollars worth of excercise equipment for the employees to use, and, as you said, it sat around going unused. That was my next undertaking, working out. I chose to do it, along with my diet, to get into shape.
Next, I chose to get my bike to ride to work, initailly to just burn up some more calories. But the bike has now turned into an obsession! Funny how that works!
Me, and probably many others, envy those who easily stay in shape. But, I have 'chosen' to get into shape, by diet and excercise. And, a by-product of that is that I loose weight, and don't have to peddal so manuy pounds around, so biking just keeps getting better and better!
So, to answer your question, yes, in some cases, getting in shape is a choice!
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Old 05-29-01, 02:12 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by nebill
Next, I chose to get my bike to ride to work, initailly to just burn up some more calories. But the bike has now turned into an obsession! Funny how that works!
Me, and probably many others, envy those who easily stay in shape. But, I have 'chosen' to get into shape, by diet and excercise. And, a by-product of that is that I loose weight, and don't have to peddal so manuy pounds around, so biking just keeps getting better and better! So, to answer your question, yes, in some cases, getting in shape is a choice!
Don't get me wrong, Fujidude. Initially, I made the "choice," too.
But I now realize that choosing not to exercise is not really a valid choice, though I once saw it that way.

It's my way of saying that I hope I never fall asleep again.
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Old 05-29-01, 03:35 PM   #6
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There are choices, and there are choices.

Joe mentioned (in the "mojo" thread) that he wears a "CTR" ring. I had to look that up, and found it means "Choose the Right," as in "Choose the Right Action," or choose the right thing to do.

Religious considerations aside, there's a lot to be said for that! It isn't easy living that way, but even SOMETIMES choosing the right action is beneficial way beyond what you'd expect.

Why does choosing "exercise equipment" usually fail, while choosing a bicycle you can go places on, so often succeeds? I think it's because cycling goes beyond considerations of vanity or "what I ought to do for my health [gritting teeth, dreading every moment]"--into realms of pleasure and adventure and a certain risk-taking.

Why do solo yachtspersons have such big smiles despite all their grisly hardships?

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Old 05-29-01, 08:43 PM   #7
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I guess at this point, I would not call riding my bike a 'choice'...more of a passion! I guess that I don't think of riding my bike as exercise, just a really fun thing that I choose to do for myself. Tomorrow, we leave on a little vacation...and I am taking both of my Fujis' with me so I can ride, ride, ride! See you all in a week!
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Old 05-29-01, 09:18 PM   #8
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Originally posted by nebill
Tomorrow, we leave on a little vacation...and I am taking both of my Fujis' with me so I can ride, ride, ride! See you all in a week!
Take pictures! ...
...
...
Oh, oh, too late, he's already out the door...
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Old 05-30-01, 02:19 AM   #9
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Originally posted by Ba-Dg-Er


I know this from experience. Put me on my trainer or a pair of rollers and the time spent on it is slow and boring. What seems to be never ending. Put me on my bike and the time flys by. The scenery is always changing, you're always thinking about what can happen next and the time always ends to soon.
Well said Badger, I personally would rather ride in rain and hail and actually go somewhere than sit on a trainer for hours. The best motivation for exercise is to find something you actually enjoy.

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Old 05-30-01, 10:51 AM   #10
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My trainer has cobwebs on it. Tells you how little I use it. Five minutes on the trainer feels like an eternity to me.
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Old 05-30-01, 07:37 PM   #11
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I think riding in crap weather gives you a nice little story to embellish later on. You don't get that from a trainer.

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Old 05-31-01, 10:44 AM   #12
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My favorite thing about my trainer is that when I am trying to adjust the derailuer (sp?) I don't have to ride around the block with a scredriver in my hand. Other than that it only gets used when the roads are ice covered.
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