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Healthy exercise or compulsive?

Discussion in 'General Health/Fitness & Injuries' started by Sturm, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. Sturm

    Sturm Well-Known Member

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    Not sure where to put this, was thinking fat loss since it seems to get alot of traffic, but this seems as good a forum as any.

    Looking over this site for the past few months, with everyones goals, meticulously arranged spreadsheets for workouts, meals, pics, etc., I was wondering if anyone sees a bit of themselves in these links? Just putting it out there for discussion.

    http://www.something-fishy.org/whatarethey/exercise.php

    http://www.anred.com/ath_obex.html
     
  2. PeteBDawg

    PeteBDawg Well-Known Member

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    From the second link-

    So, if your exercise plan consists of something in the neighborhood of 30 minutes of cardio, six days a week, plus a weight-training plan, the site actually recommends it as just what you need to stay healthy. You'll find a fair number of recommendations on this site to support upping that number of miniutes from 30 to 45, but not much to push it past 60. That all seems in the same ballpark.

    A lot of people do a lot less than that, especially at first, and the accountability and record keeping is trying to get them up to the bare minimum, not past that to the point of overtraining. If you're exercising for around an hour a day, cardio and weights combined, that's not excessive exercising. Or, at least, this site would seem to say so.

    Also, there are a bunch of trainers who post regularly to the site. They definitely seem competent, they don't seem against the idea of record-keeping, and their recommendations are generally appreciated.

    I have stronger feelings about stuff like this, but I think, for now, this calm and fairly brief explanation that what goes on here is within the site's own definition of appropriate volume will probably suffice.
     
  3. Brian Golden

    Brian Golden Well-Known Member

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    The first link doesn't apply to me at all.

    The second link applies in a certain context to me. But I'll just keep using my body as a guide, haven't been injured yet.

    Both links have no real guidelines, are mainly focused towards people that purge themselves, and need a lot more information if they are to be taken seriously.

    It's strange how we live in a society where a majority of people are overweight, yet we consider this the age of narcissism.

    Just eat right, use your body as a guide, and you won't go wrong.
     
  4. don_1987

    don_1987 Well-Known Member

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    Over exercising is possible. But I think what the site was referring is to the overweight people who try too lose weight by vigourosly (to an extreme point) exercising, even though their body can't take it anymore. Example, i used to play basketball 3 straight hours for fun, and play 1 hour of real game. Now it may seem too much, right? But for me, it's already normal because my body is used to it. Some may say I'm over exercising, but tha fact of the matter is, I'm enjoying myself. On the other, there are some people who uses the computer 3 straight hours and not being called "over computerizing" :lol: So I think, the key here is to listen to your body, give it plenty of rest and use it accordingly :tu:
     
  5. Nico

    Nico Well-Known Member

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    I think psychologists are quick to compare exercise to a drug, but it's much better than a drug even if you 'overindulge'.

    By most doctor's standards, every triathlete is an exercise addict and every marathon runner is completely insane and doing tremendous damage to their bodies. But like the previous poster said if your body can handle it and you gradually build it up than it's all healthy and should be viewed as a positive not a danger.

    What would they say about Tour de France competitors? Or Hawaii Ironmen? :confused:
     
  6. PeteBDawg

    PeteBDawg Well-Known Member

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    Okay, why not - here are some of my stronger feelings on the subject.

    The difference between normal behavior and mental illness is often very, very tricky to nail down.

    For instance, somebody who is OCD might "wash his hands repetitively and compulsively and get upset if he doesn't have the opportunity to wash his hands."

    I wash my hands at least ten times a day. If I go to wash my hands, and the water doesn't work, and I get upset, am I OCD? Don't make me get all scatalogical or anything, but sometimes washing your hands is a necessity! In fact, almost all of the time, when you wash your hands, it's the right thing to do.

    Most mental illnesses cannot be diagnosed only by looking at behavior, but have to be contextualized - Is this making the patient's quality of life significantly worse? Is the patient going to seriously harm him/herself? (don't confuse self-destructive mania with accidentally pulling your hamstring, it isn't the same thing) Is the patient totally out of control?

    Most of the people who take control of what they eat and learn to live an active lifestyle find that it makes them happy, makes their lives better, and gives them more control, not less, over the choices they make in life. That's not mental illness. Its absence was mental illness.

    I was having a conversation in a diner with a friend of mine about a situation where a guy's spouse was yelling at him for getting in shape, saying he wasn't attractive to her anymore because he had changed. What I said is not so important - as we got up to leave, though, this mysterious guy sitting next to me said,

    "I don't mean to eavesdrop, but I couldn't help but overhear. The only reason anybody goes to the gym is empowerment. And when somebody tries to stop you, that's an attempt to disempower."

    Yeah, sure, there are exercise bulimics out there, fine. But the people who need to exercise more, not less, outnumber them 50 to 1. If you find yourself somebody who's purging through exercise, and you're sure after thoroughly researching the relative healthfulness of what that specific person is doing that it's making his or her life worse, talk to them.

    But making these scattershot, ill-researched, general condemnations (and I thank Sturm for posting this thread, it's an interesting topic - I say this to the naysayers in life, not to him) that "regular exercise might mean you're crazy" isn't helpful. The actual bulimics require a little more sympathy than this approach offers, and the many people who are scared into overeating or discouraged from exercise are done material harm.

    I think the way that eating disorder treatement and research advocates energize their base and secure funding might be doing more harm than good, and perhaps it is time for the subsector to re-examine its priorities and reformulate its strategies. Yes, anorexia and bulimia are bad, but obesity is the far and away the #1 killer in the United States and a swiftly growing global threat.

    The eating disorders that cause you to overeat are many times more deadly than those that cause you to undereat - but people are somehow more threatened by the relatively few dangerously skinny people on television than the dangerously fat people that make up the majority of the adult population here in the US.

    I'm not saying eating disorder treatment centers should just give up the fight - I have little sisters myself and am very glad that somebody is out there letting them know that eating is good for them. But the kind of attitude, the tone of broad suspicion of anybody who counts calories or engages in regular exercise expressed in the above links just goes too far.

    In facing global health crises, is promoting general suspicion really the best we can do?
     
    #6 PeteBDawg, Mar 22, 2005
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2005
  7. RTE

    RTE Well-Known Member

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    I don't hold those sites or articles as worthy of reading to learn anything, they seem half baked. I have only seen a handful out of the hundreds that pass thru these forums that I would be concerned about for eating disorders or compulsive exercising. The small number don't last long here for whatever the reason.

    Your body is going to be with you for life. The better care you take of it, the better it will be able to serve you. The time and effort spent on the body is just as important as that spent exercising the mind by education, if not more so.
     
  8. PeteBDawg

    PeteBDawg Well-Known Member

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    Why is it that it always takes me three pages to say anything at all, and then somebody else always comes along and says twice as much in just three sentences? :lol:
     
  9. jtchen22

    jtchen22 Well-Known Member

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    couldn't have said it better myself.

    those guys are full of poo. where do they even get off on setting a tangible time limit on how much one should exercise? it's different for the individual. for them to even say that is a croak in itself.

    do what feels best for you. then when you feel you've plateaued, try to better yourself. the results will speak for themselves.
     
  10. don_1987

    don_1987 Well-Known Member

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    Yup, agree with the previous post. Come to think of it, look at the ancient Greek, most of them are physically active during the day (no computers, games, tv etc), go anywhere by walking or running (talk about cardio), and also engage in some sort of exercise or resistant training. They may seem overtraining to our society which is becoming lazier by the moment. But look at they're bodies, look great in the sculpture.
    Note: I'm telling this from what I've read in my History book and from watching Hercules :lol: But it make some sense, doesn't it? :d_biggrin
     
  11. zkat

    zkat Well-Known Member

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    I used to be anorexic, until people forced me to eat, then I went to bulimia. I can identifiy better than anyone the signs of an eating disorder.

    The people here advocate healthy lifestyles, especially when it comes to caloric intake and weight loss. I think the problem is with the perspective of the world.

    We eat healthy and that is very strange to the average american. For example: A girl I work with was trying to tell me that baked cheetos were good for me because they were not deep fried. Today she had sweet and salty chex mix (chex mix and chocolate candies) She also felt that was a "healthy snack" I am beginning to realize that this is the norm-it was how I thought before I really studied nutrition. These are the same people the will refuse to eat McDonald's because of the movie Supersize Me, but will continue to eat Arby's, Wendy's etc. etc. They all use the same crap-not one of them is good for you, so why eliminate just one?

    Most of us work out on a regular basis, which is also not the average. I believe most people here enjoy their work-outs and look forward to them. I ran 6 miles on Sunday and enjoyed it. I don't think that makes me fanatical, it just means I have found something that I enjoy and it happens to be good for me. Because we track out progress and calories doesn't mean we have eating disorders-it just means we are a bunch of A type personalities that believe in doing things right.

    For the record-My doctor asked me this afternoon what I did to control my IBS because I wasn't taking anything for it. I told her I cut out all processed flours and sugars and went to clean eating. Her comment-Good for you, wish more of my patients would do that. :claplow:

    Kat.
     
  12. jsbrook

    jsbrook Well-Known Member

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    To put a new slant on this, I think obsession can have little to do with the amount, duration, and frequency of exercise. A lot of it is mental. When clean eating and exercise becomes a major preoccupation and it's all one's thinking about then it becomes a problem. I enjoy my workouts and eating healthy and clean. At this point, it's become second nature. But at this point, it's in the back of my mind most of the time and not the forefront. When I'm making meals I think about what I'm putting together, and I'm very focused on my workouts. And of course, when posting or answering questiongs on this forum or giving advice, this is where my attention lies. But otherwise, my mind's on other things and enjoying other aspects of life. That said, everyone is different and can be immersed in health and fitness to a different degree without being obsessive and having it crowd out other aspects of life.
     
  13. Nico

    Nico Well-Known Member

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    It can also depend on how it is affecting those around you. When you have kids your priorities are different then someone who's single living alone or married with a spouse who supports the lifestyle.

    If you're married to someone who wants to spend almost every waking minute with you, you can't be as obsessive about the workouts because it is affecting them.

    One person's healthy habits could be another persons' obsessive compulsion depending on the circumstances.
     

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