Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts after biceps day

As I was leaving the gym yesterday evening, an interesting thought came to me: why are people so apathetic toward exercise? More to the point, why do people routinely abuse their bodies with food and then act surprised when they're told they're obese - or worse?

I then thought back to a conversation I once had with someone who said,  "Food makes me feel good. It doesn't judge me. I can be me and just eat."

Scary, eh? The release of hormones from eating good food becomes an addiction all on its own. People who chronically over-eat don't eat that much because they're "hungry", they eat that much because it makes them feel good.

In the last 20 years or so, since the advent of "technology" really came into its own, people on the whole have become far more complacent regarding their health. When I was a kid, it was on you to make yourself happy, to find hobbies, to occupy yourself with friends or something else - a good book, a bike ride, etc.

I now know that I was likely in what could be considered the last generation of kids who really used their imaginations or drove themselves to learn all on their own.

This "something exists that will do this for me" approach extends through the teen years and into adulthood. It's a learned pattern. "I don't need to go outside, I have a Nintendo DS". "I don't need to read a book, there's a video on Youtube about that". "I don't need to eat healthy, there are lots of healthy kids eating McDonalds in those commercials".

Oops. See what I did there? Directed stimulus that works to effectively monopolize the attention of an individual can truly derail them from making proper, conscious choices about what they do with/for themselves.

Going outside and getting some exercise (admittedly a challenge in most of Canada during the winter months) will do far more for an individual's health than playing a game. Having said that, I'm not averse to gaming after I've done my workout for the day.

Reading a book allows you to make much more esoteric connections between the topic you're reading about and other related topics, as opposed to having a singular topic's matter force-fed into your head via Youtube. Youtube is great, but I'd rather read about something new and THEN see an applicable video about it.

Food. *sigh* For years I ate horribly. I truly did. All through junior high and highschool, and even for most of my adult life. Thankfully, my innate need to remain at least somewhat active and my occasional dabblings in weightlifting seem to have countered most, if not all, of the ill effects of eating that bad. It was just convenient, and so I ate in that fashion. Thankfully, I also ate subs and other healthy meals as well, which is a good thing. I love subs. Now, I eat as healthy as I can manage, with the occasional cheat day reserved for when I'm / we're away from the house or I'm on the road for work.

Kids need to be taught the basics these days, but in the increasing climate of litigation and other nasty things that parents seem to have adopted as tools for when things aren't going exactly as they want them to for their little spawn - I don't blame the educators. Parents need to feed their kids more nutritious meals. Teachers could do well by reinforcing this at school. Thankfully most sport coaches seem to be keeping their young charges on track, but that requires the kids to be in those programs to begin with.

If we encouraged kids to think more about the world and how they interact with it, they might make better choices. As it stands, I'll still rage silently every time I see a drastically overweight parent, or parents, with an equally overweight child. There's no need for that. Let them grow up healthy, both in body and mind.

/end rant

Having said all of that, and feeling all the better for it, biceps and abs day was wicked once again! Progressions right across the board. I couldn't have asked for a better Week 2 day.

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