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The Great Fitness Scam

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  • J72FITJ72FIT Member Posts: 5,657 Member Member Posts: 5,657 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Interesting there seems to be at least a few people that found a cardio that was fun, but view weights as purely functional.

    I'm about the opposite. I've found running fun at the times I've done something new in it, but even the scenic outdoors stuff, I still just get the most out of whatever I'm listening to and the health.

    Weights I tend to find a way to keep pushing at, even at times I know my current deficit means practical advancement is not possible. Even for all the time I was stuck using just barbell routines by the limits of working out at home.

    Yeah, lifting is purely functional for me. I like what it does for my body aesthetically and as I get older it'll be nice to be able to get off the toilette or couch or in and out of my car easier because I do squats and it's nice to be able to move furniture or whatever around when I need to. Also, strong legs makes climbing hills on the bike a heck of a lot more fun.

    As cycling goes, I don't ever even really think about it in terms of "cardio"...I mean, it is, but I never say to myself, "I need to get some cardio in, I'll go for a ride." I just go ride because it's fun AF. I'm actually ditching my trainer session this evening and bouncing early from the office because it's supposed to be around 63* and sunny with no wind and there is a single track down by the river that I haven't hit in quite awhile so I'm going to go tear that thing up this afternoon on my hardtail. It's fairly flat, so I'll be able to just cook the *kitten* out of it. Then I'm going to pick my boys up from school and we'll ride home together and grill cheeseburgers.

    Exactly this.

    I don't consider hiking "fun" and got a lot of flack for saying so in a hiking community. I love doing it, it's peaceful, the views are to die for, it can be educational in the sense that I'll see something when I'm out on (or off) a trail and then come back to civilization and learn about what I saw, it deepens my appreciation of life, makes me feel like I'm using my limited time on this Earth wisely ... I could go on and on. But I never do it for exercise or calories, I do it because it's rewarding.

    This is exactly how I feel about jumping rope. I feel like a kid when I jump rope. Add to that the fun in learning new techniques etc...

    I'm teaching my kids double dutch...

    to6n13C1cGhF3CFoDIMmt2SLqW6lPD0y0vNEa3KVxCXmh3bYd0vUi6xAqXVk13-lwF4aXfwgNa1Jj7-Uj3ArdvW-V86NfqE8bcH5PuSA7g1AMQDPC9DH9yLy0ZBNi9yb-B6WZmAmK68OJxf_wZH3wXk

    Sweet!
  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 38,199 Member Member Posts: 38,199 Member
    J72FIT wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    J72FIT wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Interesting there seems to be at least a few people that found a cardio that was fun, but view weights as purely functional.

    I'm about the opposite. I've found running fun at the times I've done something new in it, but even the scenic outdoors stuff, I still just get the most out of whatever I'm listening to and the health.

    Weights I tend to find a way to keep pushing at, even at times I know my current deficit means practical advancement is not possible. Even for all the time I was stuck using just barbell routines by the limits of working out at home.

    Yeah, lifting is purely functional for me. I like what it does for my body aesthetically and as I get older it'll be nice to be able to get off the toilette or couch or in and out of my car easier because I do squats and it's nice to be able to move furniture or whatever around when I need to. Also, strong legs makes climbing hills on the bike a heck of a lot more fun.

    As cycling goes, I don't ever even really think about it in terms of "cardio"...I mean, it is, but I never say to myself, "I need to get some cardio in, I'll go for a ride." I just go ride because it's fun AF. I'm actually ditching my trainer session this evening and bouncing early from the office because it's supposed to be around 63* and sunny with no wind and there is a single track down by the river that I haven't hit in quite awhile so I'm going to go tear that thing up this afternoon on my hardtail. It's fairly flat, so I'll be able to just cook the *kitten* out of it. Then I'm going to pick my boys up from school and we'll ride home together and grill cheeseburgers.

    Exactly this.

    I don't consider hiking "fun" and got a lot of flack for saying so in a hiking community. I love doing it, it's peaceful, the views are to die for, it can be educational in the sense that I'll see something when I'm out on (or off) a trail and then come back to civilization and learn about what I saw, it deepens my appreciation of life, makes me feel like I'm using my limited time on this Earth wisely ... I could go on and on. But I never do it for exercise or calories, I do it because it's rewarding.

    This is exactly how I feel about jumping rope. I feel like a kid when I jump rope. Add to that the fun in learning new techniques etc...

    I'm teaching my kids double dutch...

    to6n13C1cGhF3CFoDIMmt2SLqW6lPD0y0vNEa3KVxCXmh3bYd0vUi6xAqXVk13-lwF4aXfwgNa1Jj7-Uj3ArdvW-V86NfqE8bcH5PuSA7g1AMQDPC9DH9yLy0ZBNi9yb-B6WZmAmK68OJxf_wZH3wXk

    Sweet!

    Lost art...I used to jump rope and double dutch all the time when I was their age...they had no idea what it was when I bought the ropes. We're just starting, so just one rope right now. I need to teach them to turn them better though...they always *kitten* me up when I jump.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Interesting there seems to be at least a few people that found a cardio that was fun, but view weights as purely functional.

    I'm about the opposite. I've found running fun at the times I've done something new in it, but even the scenic outdoors stuff, I still just get the most out of whatever I'm listening to and the health.

    Weights I tend to find a way to keep pushing at, even at times I know my current deficit means practical advancement is not possible. Even for all the time I was stuck using just barbell routines by the limits of working out at home.

    Yeah, lifting is purely functional for me. I like what it does for my body aesthetically and as I get older it'll be nice to be able to get off the toilette or couch or in and out of my car easier because I do squats and it's nice to be able to move furniture or whatever around when I need to. Also, strong legs makes climbing hills on the bike a heck of a lot more fun.

    As cycling goes, I don't ever even really think about it in terms of "cardio"...I mean, it is, but I never say to myself, "I need to get some cardio in, I'll go for a ride." I just go ride because it's fun AF. I'm actually ditching my trainer session this evening and bouncing early from the office because it's supposed to be around 63* and sunny with no wind and there is a single track down by the river that I haven't hit in quite awhile so I'm going to go tear that thing up this afternoon on my hardtail. It's fairly flat, so I'll be able to just cook the *kitten* out of it. Then I'm going to pick my boys up from school and we'll ride home together and grill cheeseburgers.

    Exactly this.

    I don't consider hiking "fun" and got a lot of flack for saying so in a hiking community. I love doing it, it's peaceful, the views are to die for, it can be educational in the sense that I'll see something when I'm out on (or off) a trail and then come back to civilization and learn about what I saw, it deepens my appreciation of life, makes me feel like I'm using my limited time on this Earth wisely ... I could go on and on. But I never do it for exercise or calories, I do it because it's rewarding.

    I'm thinking you and I have a different definition of "fun". Personally, I'd use "fun" as an abbreviation for those sorts of goodness. I row for fun (wouldn't do it if it weren't fun, probably), but with recognition that it has fitness and calorie pluses as beneficial side effects.
  • Bry_Fitness70Bry_Fitness70 Member Posts: 2,484 Member Member Posts: 2,484 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    The concept of spending a lot of money on fitness items that you never use seems related to ordering a McDonalds super-sized Big Mac value meal and having a diet coke with it. It makes you feel like you are doing something to further your wellness, even though you are actually doing very little to actually benefit your wellness.

    Ideally, your fitness regimen is a combination of things you enjoy and things that are very effective, in the sense that you get the most return for your time and effort. If I only have an hour, I want the maximum benefit from exercising in that hour - I believe that running and weight lifting are the top exercises that provide this. These are also the least amount of fun. There are days when I need to prioritize recovery and do activities with less impact, so I do the elliptical, cycle, or swim. These are more enjoyable and easier to find motivation for.

    I think you and I are very different in outlook. (I also think you're likely more fit ;) ).

    I'll admit that I buy quite a few fitness and self-care things, most of them not terribly expensive, that I use only occasionally. (It's a "do it once in a while, for a while, for a reason" thing, usually, not a "try for a while, then put it away forever" thing. Variety is good, rehab is a thing sometimes, etc.)

    I completely can't imagine devoting myself to the "most efficient" exercise. As a pretty hedonistic person, I'm mostly motivated to do things that are fun (though I'll do other non-fun things to stay in better condition or improve capabilities for the fun ones). But I'm not looking for "most return for time and effort" if "return" is defined in fitness terms.

    I mostly row, on-water when I can (4 times/week in season), machine when I must (Winter); and go to spin class twice a week year 'round. I fall in and out of lifting, which I know is good for me; but at my age (64)/condition the recovery demands don't play well with the rowing that's my clear priority, so I rarely lift in prime rowing season, or the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas Holiday Challenge period. This is not a new thing; this has been routine for me for 15+ years, even while obese.

    So, my relatively more expensive fitness toys (boats, rowing machine, hybrid bicycle, weights) get pretty regular use, though somewhat seasonal. Other things (various fitness bands, hula hoop, kettle bell, foam roller, that sort of thing) go in and out of rotation. (Well, not all the boats get regular use. But some boat routinely does. ;) ).

    Like I said, I think you're more fitness motivated than I am, and almost certainly more fit. Still, I'm not in terrible condition (especially for my age and history, frankly), so I don't think your "buy things to feel like you're doing something, but not use them" is necessarily a universal. May be common; don't know.

    I think the diversity of your fitness activities is great! It sounds like you have it figured out and have something to keep you engaged year-round. A rowing machine, to me, fits in that category of "effective but boring".

    I have a very budget-minded spouse, so I always feel compelled to show a return on my investment. I know how many miles I have on my bike, indoor trainer, treadmill, and running shoes, how many exercises I have tracked with my Garmin, how many times I've used my gym and rec center membership, etc. I suppose I would be a lot more free-wheeling with fitness spending if I didn't have these fiscal controls 😂
    edited February 21
  • Bry_Fitness70Bry_Fitness70 Member Posts: 2,484 Member Member Posts: 2,484 Member
    Cherimoose wrote: »
    The United States leads the world in spending for every segment, including fitness classes ($37 billion), sports and recreation ($58 billion), apparel and footwear ($117 billion), equipment and supplies ($37.5 billion), mindful movement, such as yoga ($10 billion), and related technology ($8.1 billion). And yet, according to the academic journal The Lancet, for all of this spending, we rank 143rd globally for actual participation in physical activity.

    Not so fast. Almost half the spending was "apparel and footwear", which lots of people buy simply to wear, not to increase their fitness. It's misleading to include sneakers, yoga pants, baseball hats, and other dual-purpose products in their numbers.

    Second, it's false to assume that those who don't get enough activity are the same subset of people who spend on classes, sports, devices, etc. Those who spend on fitness are probably more likely to be meeting the activity guidelines than those with little to no spending. So if less was spent on fitness, even fewer people might meet the guidelines. And conversely, more might be meeting the guidelines if more people invested in their fitness.

    I agree with his solutions, just not the cheap shot at the fitness industry, which overall, is helping the problem, not causing it.

    Good insights. And I didn't see this as a cheap shot at the fitness industry, they have no control over whether the people who purchase their products actually use them.
  • bmeadows380bmeadows380 Member Posts: 2,929 Member Member Posts: 2,929 Member
    "The Global Wellness Institute listed a few causes for the discrepancy between dollars spent on physical activity in the our country and actual participation: we don’t have enough sidewalks or bike lanes, youth sports have become too expensive and hypercompetitive, we lack a supportive and communal exercise culture."

    These are not small factors.

    I grew up in a quieter borough of a city with sidewalks everywhere, as well as good public transportation and public recreation programs. I walked or biked almost everywhere - schools, library, friends' houses, parks, stores - getting several hours of physical exercise each day. During winter, we grabbed our skates and sleds and walked to the city-run parks or took a bus to the municipal ice-skating rink. During the summers, I walked or rode my bike to the city recreation camp at the local public school, or, when I was older, took the bus to meet up with friends at the beach or at free concerts in the parks. Although I was not particularly athletic (more of a book nerd, really), I was fairly fit and weight wasn't an issue.

    Now I live in the suburbs. We have few sidewalks, no bike lanes, strip malls on highways rather than walkable downtowns, inadequate public transportation, and generally expensive private recreation programs. Sadly, I've become too reliant on my car. Since I stopped working in the city, I've become much less fit, and managing my weight is a constant battle.

    I love biking, but if I want to ride, I need to load up my bike and drive to a safe trail. I could (and sometimes do) walk to the closest grocery store or a nearby restaurant or the Italian ice stand, but at least half the journey means walking in the street, an exercise made more difficult when those streets are dark or narrowed by mounds of brush or leaves or snow. The post office, bookstore, clothing stores, salons, etc. - all places I could walk to in the city - are located on busy roads or in malls.

    Too many drivers routinely ignore the residential speed limits or speed up to avoid stopping for approaching pedestrians and cyclists. An aquaintance who is an avid cyclist was critically injured and permanently disabled when he was hit a few blocks from his home by a driver who turned into him trying to beat the light. A few months ago, a woman out walking in my town was hit and killed.

    Suburbanites may join gyms with the best of intentions, but when exercise is extra rather than integral to daily life, it's hard to make it a habit. If we want healthier citizens and lower health care costs, we need to support an appropriate infrastructure.

    I would say, though, that many cities now, the downtown areas are unsafe to walk. I'm thinking of what I saw in Pittsburgh, PA when I lived in the area, and what I've heard of San Francisco, Chicago, and now New York City.

    When I was a child, my mom didn't think twice about us kids going down over the hill to play in the woods behind the house, or me at 12 years of age, walking 1/2 mile up the train tracks into the small town we lived near to spend time at the public library. Nowadays? With the drug activity and general run down state of the area? I'd be very cautious about letting a child out of my sight. As an adult, I'm reluctant myself to walk those same tracks uptown because of the long stretch that is out of view.


    And while this infrastructure would help with activity, I'm sure, much of America is rural and small town and infrastructure is left up to counties and small townships which simply can't afford to build that infrastructure. In some states I know this isn't a problem, but in the vast majority of states, especially those with a mostly rural topography or that are struggling anyway, maintaining the existing roads are hard enough as it is - building parks and recreational trails is simply out of their ability. The county I live in in WV is a very large county. The eastern end, where the county seat is, has some money flowing due to old money and tourism, but even with that, the town isn't all that exercise friendly. There are no bike lanes, and you'd never get the town to modify the street layout to put them in because of "history". We can't even get them to agree to rearrange the street directions to try to alleviate traffic.....

    There are only a handful of parks and none are big enough for any kind of recreational use - they have a couple of picnic tables and a child's play area. There is a river trail, but you have to drive 4 miles out of town to get to it. The county is trying to raise funds for a swimming pool, but progress is slow. And that's on the end that has the money flowing in. There is not even a YMCA - the closest one is 45 minutes away.

    On the other end where I live, the towns are poor - very low population with stagnate to negative growth, few decent jobs - just about everyone drives either to the eastern end or further for work. The communities on my end of the county do well just to meet minimum maintenance standards, let alone building more infrastructure to encourage activity. And frankly, knowing the kind of folks my neighbors are, few people would take advantage of it even if it were there. A car is an absolute must in this state, unless you live in the few larger cities (and by larger, I mean the biggest city in the state has about 70,000 people in it.) West Virginia is beautiful, but its rugged and very rural, and its poor. Sadly, its also one of the fattest states in the country.

    edited February 21
  • magnusthenerdmagnusthenerd Member Posts: 1,198 Member Member Posts: 1,198 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Interesting there seems to be at least a few people that found a cardio that was fun, but view weights as purely functional.

    I'm about the opposite. I've found running fun at the times I've done something new in it, but even the scenic outdoors stuff, I still just get the most out of whatever I'm listening to and the health.

    Weights I tend to find a way to keep pushing at, even at times I know my current deficit means practical advancement is not possible. Even for all the time I was stuck using just barbell routines by the limits of working out at home.

    Yeah, lifting is purely functional for me. I like what it does for my body aesthetically and as I get older it'll be nice to be able to get off the toilette or couch or in and out of my car easier because I do squats and it's nice to be able to move furniture or whatever around when I need to. Also, strong legs makes climbing hills on the bike a heck of a lot more fun.

    As cycling goes, I don't ever even really think about it in terms of "cardio"...I mean, it is, but I never say to myself, "I need to get some cardio in, I'll go for a ride." I just go ride because it's fun AF. I'm actually ditching my trainer session this evening and bouncing early from the office because it's supposed to be around 63* and sunny with no wind and there is a single track down by the river that I haven't hit in quite awhile so I'm going to go tear that thing up this afternoon on my hardtail. It's fairly flat, so I'll be able to just cook the *kitten* out of it. Then I'm going to pick my boys up from school and we'll ride home together and grill cheeseburgers.

    Pretty much this, with the exception that I'm less disciplined about weights, and I mostly substitute boat-love for bike-love.

    I find it weird, in fact, that people talk about "cardio" as if it were all one thing, with the same characteristics and benefits. It's not really sensible even to compare weight training to "cardio" in anything but the most high-level terms, because the different methods and modalities (of both, but especially "cardio") are so very different. Walking on a treadmill, biking (of different types!), swimming, rowing, using a stair-climber, others . . . all have rather different cumulative effects on the body, even though they're all "cardio".
    Eh, cAMP pathway versus mTOR.

    IMU, which is admittedly very limited/amateur, it doesn't seem that pure, in practice, even considering potential inhibition effects. Real-world activities involve complex patterns, and have diverse results.

    If a person's trying to optimize a particular effect (physical outcome), purity probably matters. If just trying to have a good time, be healthier, feel better . . . different physical effects on the body from different "cardio" choices are a thing that happens.

    I'm just being properly over reductionist. I think the inhibition is just one way though with cAMP blocking mTOR, but not the other way around, but I'm not sure. The asymetry would make it funnier with how a lot of body builders use cardio as euphemism.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 9,958 Member Member Posts: 9,958 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Interesting there seems to be at least a few people that found a cardio that was fun, but view weights as purely functional.

    I'm about the opposite. I've found running fun at the times I've done something new in it, but even the scenic outdoors stuff, I still just get the most out of whatever I'm listening to and the health.

    Weights I tend to find a way to keep pushing at, even at times I know my current deficit means practical advancement is not possible. Even for all the time I was stuck using just barbell routines by the limits of working out at home.

    Yeah, lifting is purely functional for me. I like what it does for my body aesthetically and as I get older it'll be nice to be able to get off the toilette or couch or in and out of my car easier because I do squats and it's nice to be able to move furniture or whatever around when I need to. Also, strong legs makes climbing hills on the bike a heck of a lot more fun.

    As cycling goes, I don't ever even really think about it in terms of "cardio"...I mean, it is, but I never say to myself, "I need to get some cardio in, I'll go for a ride." I just go ride because it's fun AF. I'm actually ditching my trainer session this evening and bouncing early from the office because it's supposed to be around 63* and sunny with no wind and there is a single track down by the river that I haven't hit in quite awhile so I'm going to go tear that thing up this afternoon on my hardtail. It's fairly flat, so I'll be able to just cook the *kitten* out of it. Then I'm going to pick my boys up from school and we'll ride home together and grill cheeseburgers.

    Exactly this.

    I don't consider hiking "fun" and got a lot of flack for saying so in a hiking community. I love doing it, it's peaceful, the views are to die for, it can be educational in the sense that I'll see something when I'm out on (or off) a trail and then come back to civilization and learn about what I saw, it deepens my appreciation of life, makes me feel like I'm using my limited time on this Earth wisely ... I could go on and on. But I never do it for exercise or calories, I do it because it's rewarding.

    I'm thinking you and I have a different definition of "fun". Personally, I'd use "fun" as an abbreviation for those sorts of goodness. I row for fun (wouldn't do it if it weren't fun, probably), but with recognition that it has fitness and calorie pluses as beneficial side effects.

    I've put more thought into this than any normal person would. I don't think "fun" is a synonym for "enjoyable," in other words there are a lot of things that people like doing, even do for its own sake, that aren't "fun." I'm lucky to still have my mom in this world, I like visiting her, but wouldn't really call it fun, it makes me feel good, it makes her happy, etc. I can't put my finger on exactly what makes something fun, but a lot of things I consider fun are "fast" and I think most or possibly even all of them involve overcoming challenges that are partly mental. To bring this back to hiking, a friend and I did a hike last spring, we had planned to do Navajo Peak, and wound up doing Earl, I'd done Earl before, from a different direction, and my friend hadn't. The hike itself was long, about 12 miles with 4,200 feet of elevation gain. I didn't think the hiking was fun, although I enjoyed it and had a great time. But as soon as we left the trail, and started making our way up a boulder field to the summit, it became fun. I knew there was another trail that we could take back to the car, but we'd have to find it. My buddy wanted to go back the way we came but I was able to talk him into making our way down from the summit and finding the other trail. That was fun (to me). Once we got back on the trail, it stopped being fun. It didn't stop being wonderful, this was far enough away from home that the climate and plant community is completely differnet, so there was novelty, there were wildflowers, etc. But now we were walking, and the trail made the way obvious. Rock climbing is fun for me (scary too) and I think it's because you have to figure out how to move across the rock. Mountain biking is fun because at least on the way down you're moving quickly, you have to choose the right line, and you don't have a lot of time to do it. It forces you to stay engaged in the moment.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Interesting there seems to be at least a few people that found a cardio that was fun, but view weights as purely functional.

    I'm about the opposite. I've found running fun at the times I've done something new in it, but even the scenic outdoors stuff, I still just get the most out of whatever I'm listening to and the health.

    Weights I tend to find a way to keep pushing at, even at times I know my current deficit means practical advancement is not possible. Even for all the time I was stuck using just barbell routines by the limits of working out at home.

    Yeah, lifting is purely functional for me. I like what it does for my body aesthetically and as I get older it'll be nice to be able to get off the toilette or couch or in and out of my car easier because I do squats and it's nice to be able to move furniture or whatever around when I need to. Also, strong legs makes climbing hills on the bike a heck of a lot more fun.

    As cycling goes, I don't ever even really think about it in terms of "cardio"...I mean, it is, but I never say to myself, "I need to get some cardio in, I'll go for a ride." I just go ride because it's fun AF. I'm actually ditching my trainer session this evening and bouncing early from the office because it's supposed to be around 63* and sunny with no wind and there is a single track down by the river that I haven't hit in quite awhile so I'm going to go tear that thing up this afternoon on my hardtail. It's fairly flat, so I'll be able to just cook the *kitten* out of it. Then I'm going to pick my boys up from school and we'll ride home together and grill cheeseburgers.

    Exactly this.

    I don't consider hiking "fun" and got a lot of flack for saying so in a hiking community. I love doing it, it's peaceful, the views are to die for, it can be educational in the sense that I'll see something when I'm out on (or off) a trail and then come back to civilization and learn about what I saw, it deepens my appreciation of life, makes me feel like I'm using my limited time on this Earth wisely ... I could go on and on. But I never do it for exercise or calories, I do it because it's rewarding.

    I'm thinking you and I have a different definition of "fun". Personally, I'd use "fun" as an abbreviation for those sorts of goodness. I row for fun (wouldn't do it if it weren't fun, probably), but with recognition that it has fitness and calorie pluses as beneficial side effects.

    I've put more thought into this than any normal person would. I don't think "fun" is a synonym for "enjoyable," in other words there are a lot of things that people like doing, even do for its own sake, that aren't "fun." I'm lucky to still have my mom in this world, I like visiting her, but wouldn't really call it fun, it makes me feel good, it makes her happy, etc. I can't put my finger on exactly what makes something fun, but a lot of things I consider fun are "fast" and I think most or possibly even all of them involve overcoming challenges that are partly mental. To bring this back to hiking, a friend and I did a hike last spring, we had planned to do Navajo Peak, and wound up doing Earl, I'd done Earl before, from a different direction, and my friend hadn't. The hike itself was long, about 12 miles with 4,200 feet of elevation gain. I didn't think the hiking was fun, although I enjoyed it and had a great time. But as soon as we left the trail, and started making our way up a boulder field to the summit, it became fun. I knew there was another trail that we could take back to the car, but we'd have to find it. My buddy wanted to go back the way we came but I was able to talk him into making our way down from the summit and finding the other trail. That was fun (to me). Once we got back on the trail, it stopped being fun. It didn't stop being wonderful, this was far enough away from home that the climate and plant community is completely differnet, so there was novelty, there were wildflowers, etc. But now we were walking, and the trail made the way obvious. Rock climbing is fun for me (scary too) and I think it's because you have to figure out how to move across the rock. Mountain biking is fun because at least on the way down you're moving quickly, you have to choose the right line, and you don't have a lot of time to do it. It forces you to stay engaged in the moment.

    Seems like you need some adrenaline for something to escalate to fun.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Interesting there seems to be at least a few people that found a cardio that was fun, but view weights as purely functional.

    I'm about the opposite. I've found running fun at the times I've done something new in it, but even the scenic outdoors stuff, I still just get the most out of whatever I'm listening to and the health.

    Weights I tend to find a way to keep pushing at, even at times I know my current deficit means practical advancement is not possible. Even for all the time I was stuck using just barbell routines by the limits of working out at home.

    Yeah, lifting is purely functional for me. I like what it does for my body aesthetically and as I get older it'll be nice to be able to get off the toilette or couch or in and out of my car easier because I do squats and it's nice to be able to move furniture or whatever around when I need to. Also, strong legs makes climbing hills on the bike a heck of a lot more fun.

    As cycling goes, I don't ever even really think about it in terms of "cardio"...I mean, it is, but I never say to myself, "I need to get some cardio in, I'll go for a ride." I just go ride because it's fun AF. I'm actually ditching my trainer session this evening and bouncing early from the office because it's supposed to be around 63* and sunny with no wind and there is a single track down by the river that I haven't hit in quite awhile so I'm going to go tear that thing up this afternoon on my hardtail. It's fairly flat, so I'll be able to just cook the *kitten* out of it. Then I'm going to pick my boys up from school and we'll ride home together and grill cheeseburgers.

    Exactly this.

    I don't consider hiking "fun" and got a lot of flack for saying so in a hiking community. I love doing it, it's peaceful, the views are to die for, it can be educational in the sense that I'll see something when I'm out on (or off) a trail and then come back to civilization and learn about what I saw, it deepens my appreciation of life, makes me feel like I'm using my limited time on this Earth wisely ... I could go on and on. But I never do it for exercise or calories, I do it because it's rewarding.

    I'm thinking you and I have a different definition of "fun". Personally, I'd use "fun" as an abbreviation for those sorts of goodness. I row for fun (wouldn't do it if it weren't fun, probably), but with recognition that it has fitness and calorie pluses as beneficial side effects.

    I've put more thought into this than any normal person would. I don't think "fun" is a synonym for "enjoyable," in other words there are a lot of things that people like doing, even do for its own sake, that aren't "fun." I'm lucky to still have my mom in this world, I like visiting her, but wouldn't really call it fun, it makes me feel good, it makes her happy, etc. I can't put my finger on exactly what makes something fun, but a lot of things I consider fun are "fast" and I think most or possibly even all of them involve overcoming challenges that are partly mental. To bring this back to hiking, a friend and I did a hike last spring, we had planned to do Navajo Peak, and wound up doing Earl, I'd done Earl before, from a different direction, and my friend hadn't. The hike itself was long, about 12 miles with 4,200 feet of elevation gain. I didn't think the hiking was fun, although I enjoyed it and had a great time. But as soon as we left the trail, and started making our way up a boulder field to the summit, it became fun. I knew there was another trail that we could take back to the car, but we'd have to find it. My buddy wanted to go back the way we came but I was able to talk him into making our way down from the summit and finding the other trail. That was fun (to me). Once we got back on the trail, it stopped being fun. It didn't stop being wonderful, this was far enough away from home that the climate and plant community is completely differnet, so there was novelty, there were wildflowers, etc. But now we were walking, and the trail made the way obvious. Rock climbing is fun for me (scary too) and I think it's because you have to figure out how to move across the rock. Mountain biking is fun because at least on the way down you're moving quickly, you have to choose the right line, and you don't have a lot of time to do it. It forces you to stay engaged in the moment.

    I'm glad to see these definitions. I'm always confused by why anyone puts on a dating profile they "like to have fun" - always seems an uninformative tautology to me. I'd be really interested in the people who could explain how they do no like to have fun.


    I am no expert but I am pretty sure you are reviewing profiles the wrong way.
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member Member, Premium Posts: 17,063 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    The concept of spending a lot of money on fitness items that you never use seems related to ordering a McDonalds super-sized Big Mac value meal and having a diet coke with it. It makes you feel like you are doing something to further your wellness, even though you are actually doing very little to actually benefit your wellness.

    Ideally, your fitness regimen is a combination of things you enjoy and things that are very effective, in the sense that you get the most return for your time and effort. If I only have an hour, I want the maximum benefit from exercising in that hour - I believe that running and weight lifting are the top exercises that provide this. These are also the least amount of fun. There are days when I need to prioritize recovery and do activities with less impact, so I do the elliptical, cycle, or swim. These are more enjoyable and easier to find motivation for.

    I think you and I are very different in outlook. (I also think you're likely more fit ;) ).

    I'll admit that I buy quite a few fitness and self-care things, most of them not terribly expensive, that I use only occasionally. (It's a "do it once in a while, for a while, for a reason" thing, usually, not a "try for a while, then put it away forever" thing. Variety is good, rehab is a thing sometimes, etc.)

    I completely can't imagine devoting myself to the "most efficient" exercise. As a pretty hedonistic person, I'm mostly motivated to do things that are fun (though I'll do other non-fun things to stay in better condition or improve capabilities for the fun ones). But I'm not looking for "most return for time and effort" if "return" is defined in fitness terms.

    I mostly row, on-water when I can (4 times/week in season), machine when I must (Winter); and go to spin class twice a week year 'round. I fall in and out of lifting, which I know is good for me; but at my age (64)/condition the recovery demands don't play well with the rowing that's my clear priority, so I rarely lift in prime rowing season, or the Thanksgiving-to-Christmas Holiday Challenge period. This is not a new thing; this has been routine for me for 15+ years, even while obese.

    So, my relatively more expensive fitness toys (boats, rowing machine, hybrid bicycle, weights) get pretty regular use, though somewhat seasonal. Other things (various fitness bands, hula hoop, kettle bell, foam roller, that sort of thing) go in and out of rotation. (Well, not all the boats get regular use. But some boat routinely does. ;) ).

    Like I said, I think you're more fitness motivated than I am, and almost certainly more fit. Still, I'm not in terrible condition (especially for my age and history, frankly), so I don't think your "buy things to feel like you're doing something, but not use them" is necessarily a universal. May be common; don't know.

    I think the diversity of your fitness activities is great! It sounds like you have it figured out and have something to keep you engaged year-round. A rowing machine, to me, fits in that category of "effective but boring".

    I have a very budget-minded spouse, so I always feel compelled to show a return on my investment. I know how many miles I have on my bike, indoor trainer, treadmill, and running shoes, how many exercises I have tracked with my Garmin, how many times I've used my gym and rec center membership, etc. I suppose I would be a lot more free-wheeling with fitness spending if I didn't have these fiscal controls 😂

    To the bolded: To me, too, pretty much. But if I don't do it, I have to start conditioning over every Spring, which is a drag; and deconditioning happens faster (it seems) the older I get. Also, there are some technical things that are easier to focus on, on the machine, than on the water, so I can find some goodness in that that helps keep me engaged.

    This is a total aside, but one thing that keeps me engaged in an activity (makes it not-boring) is having some level of intellectual complexity to it. Rowing is so technical, that there's always some aspect that's still mentally challenging. (I was semi-serious about martial arts for a while, some years ago, for about 8 years, and found that to have a similar level of complexity in that way.)

    I'm single (widowed); I can spend what modest amount of money I have any silly way I want to, completely unchecked (other than basic needs for food-clothing-shelter). :lol:
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 9,958 Member Member Posts: 9,958 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Interesting there seems to be at least a few people that found a cardio that was fun, but view weights as purely functional.

    I'm about the opposite. I've found running fun at the times I've done something new in it, but even the scenic outdoors stuff, I still just get the most out of whatever I'm listening to and the health.

    Weights I tend to find a way to keep pushing at, even at times I know my current deficit means practical advancement is not possible. Even for all the time I was stuck using just barbell routines by the limits of working out at home.

    Yeah, lifting is purely functional for me. I like what it does for my body aesthetically and as I get older it'll be nice to be able to get off the toilette or couch or in and out of my car easier because I do squats and it's nice to be able to move furniture or whatever around when I need to. Also, strong legs makes climbing hills on the bike a heck of a lot more fun.

    As cycling goes, I don't ever even really think about it in terms of "cardio"...I mean, it is, but I never say to myself, "I need to get some cardio in, I'll go for a ride." I just go ride because it's fun AF. I'm actually ditching my trainer session this evening and bouncing early from the office because it's supposed to be around 63* and sunny with no wind and there is a single track down by the river that I haven't hit in quite awhile so I'm going to go tear that thing up this afternoon on my hardtail. It's fairly flat, so I'll be able to just cook the *kitten* out of it. Then I'm going to pick my boys up from school and we'll ride home together and grill cheeseburgers.

    Exactly this.

    I don't consider hiking "fun" and got a lot of flack for saying so in a hiking community. I love doing it, it's peaceful, the views are to die for, it can be educational in the sense that I'll see something when I'm out on (or off) a trail and then come back to civilization and learn about what I saw, it deepens my appreciation of life, makes me feel like I'm using my limited time on this Earth wisely ... I could go on and on. But I never do it for exercise or calories, I do it because it's rewarding.

    I'm thinking you and I have a different definition of "fun". Personally, I'd use "fun" as an abbreviation for those sorts of goodness. I row for fun (wouldn't do it if it weren't fun, probably), but with recognition that it has fitness and calorie pluses as beneficial side effects.

    I've put more thought into this than any normal person would. I don't think "fun" is a synonym for "enjoyable," in other words there are a lot of things that people like doing, even do for its own sake, that aren't "fun." I'm lucky to still have my mom in this world, I like visiting her, but wouldn't really call it fun, it makes me feel good, it makes her happy, etc. I can't put my finger on exactly what makes something fun, but a lot of things I consider fun are "fast" and I think most or possibly even all of them involve overcoming challenges that are partly mental. To bring this back to hiking, a friend and I did a hike last spring, we had planned to do Navajo Peak, and wound up doing Earl, I'd done Earl before, from a different direction, and my friend hadn't. The hike itself was long, about 12 miles with 4,200 feet of elevation gain. I didn't think the hiking was fun, although I enjoyed it and had a great time. But as soon as we left the trail, and started making our way up a boulder field to the summit, it became fun. I knew there was another trail that we could take back to the car, but we'd have to find it. My buddy wanted to go back the way we came but I was able to talk him into making our way down from the summit and finding the other trail. That was fun (to me). Once we got back on the trail, it stopped being fun. It didn't stop being wonderful, this was far enough away from home that the climate and plant community is completely differnet, so there was novelty, there were wildflowers, etc. But now we were walking, and the trail made the way obvious. Rock climbing is fun for me (scary too) and I think it's because you have to figure out how to move across the rock. Mountain biking is fun because at least on the way down you're moving quickly, you have to choose the right line, and you don't have a lot of time to do it. It forces you to stay engaged in the moment.

    Seems like you need some adrenaline for something to escalate to fun.

    Interesting you say that. I don't see it, personally, but a friend described me as "a textbook adrenaline junkie" so maybe there's something to it.
  • NovusDiesNovusDies Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8,753 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Interesting there seems to be at least a few people that found a cardio that was fun, but view weights as purely functional.

    I'm about the opposite. I've found running fun at the times I've done something new in it, but even the scenic outdoors stuff, I still just get the most out of whatever I'm listening to and the health.

    Weights I tend to find a way to keep pushing at, even at times I know my current deficit means practical advancement is not possible. Even for all the time I was stuck using just barbell routines by the limits of working out at home.

    Yeah, lifting is purely functional for me. I like what it does for my body aesthetically and as I get older it'll be nice to be able to get off the toilette or couch or in and out of my car easier because I do squats and it's nice to be able to move furniture or whatever around when I need to. Also, strong legs makes climbing hills on the bike a heck of a lot more fun.

    As cycling goes, I don't ever even really think about it in terms of "cardio"...I mean, it is, but I never say to myself, "I need to get some cardio in, I'll go for a ride." I just go ride because it's fun AF. I'm actually ditching my trainer session this evening and bouncing early from the office because it's supposed to be around 63* and sunny with no wind and there is a single track down by the river that I haven't hit in quite awhile so I'm going to go tear that thing up this afternoon on my hardtail. It's fairly flat, so I'll be able to just cook the *kitten* out of it. Then I'm going to pick my boys up from school and we'll ride home together and grill cheeseburgers.

    Exactly this.

    I don't consider hiking "fun" and got a lot of flack for saying so in a hiking community. I love doing it, it's peaceful, the views are to die for, it can be educational in the sense that I'll see something when I'm out on (or off) a trail and then come back to civilization and learn about what I saw, it deepens my appreciation of life, makes me feel like I'm using my limited time on this Earth wisely ... I could go on and on. But I never do it for exercise or calories, I do it because it's rewarding.

    I'm thinking you and I have a different definition of "fun". Personally, I'd use "fun" as an abbreviation for those sorts of goodness. I row for fun (wouldn't do it if it weren't fun, probably), but with recognition that it has fitness and calorie pluses as beneficial side effects.

    I've put more thought into this than any normal person would. I don't think "fun" is a synonym for "enjoyable," in other words there are a lot of things that people like doing, even do for its own sake, that aren't "fun." I'm lucky to still have my mom in this world, I like visiting her, but wouldn't really call it fun, it makes me feel good, it makes her happy, etc. I can't put my finger on exactly what makes something fun, but a lot of things I consider fun are "fast" and I think most or possibly even all of them involve overcoming challenges that are partly mental. To bring this back to hiking, a friend and I did a hike last spring, we had planned to do Navajo Peak, and wound up doing Earl, I'd done Earl before, from a different direction, and my friend hadn't. The hike itself was long, about 12 miles with 4,200 feet of elevation gain. I didn't think the hiking was fun, although I enjoyed it and had a great time. But as soon as we left the trail, and started making our way up a boulder field to the summit, it became fun. I knew there was another trail that we could take back to the car, but we'd have to find it. My buddy wanted to go back the way we came but I was able to talk him into making our way down from the summit and finding the other trail. That was fun (to me). Once we got back on the trail, it stopped being fun. It didn't stop being wonderful, this was far enough away from home that the climate and plant community is completely differnet, so there was novelty, there were wildflowers, etc. But now we were walking, and the trail made the way obvious. Rock climbing is fun for me (scary too) and I think it's because you have to figure out how to move across the rock. Mountain biking is fun because at least on the way down you're moving quickly, you have to choose the right line, and you don't have a lot of time to do it. It forces you to stay engaged in the moment.

    I'm glad to see these definitions. I'm always confused by why anyone puts on a dating profile they "like to have fun" - always seems an uninformative tautology to me. I'd be really interested in the people who could explain how they do no like to have fun.


    I am no expert but I am pretty sure you are reviewing profiles the wrong way.

    Look, I'm not interested in people I'm not interested in, so I watch out for tautologists.

    lol at people disagreeing with me when I am kidding. I was ridiculously picky when I was dating.

    Now back to the fitness scam already in progress...
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,180 Member Member Posts: 6,180 Member
    NovusDies wrote: »
    I think of it like this: my day-to-day fitness may not always be fun (I didn't particularly enjoy my three miles on the treadmill at 6 AM), but keeping up with it allows me to do the things I do find fun (the run alongside the river this weekend).

    Yeah, I could just do the fun stuff . . . but then it wouldn't be as fun, as I wouldn't have the training base for the longer runs that I really enjoy.

    I think there are (at least) two groups of people. There are people who see fitness as something purely functional. It wouldn't be surprising that these people would want to focus on the most efficient exercises. And there are those of us who get great personal satisfaction from certain fitness activities (runners and cyclists come to mind, among others). Even though running may not be the absolute best use of my fitness time, that doesn't matter to me because it's like a hobby that I do for the love of it, it just has the bonus of keeping me fit.

    For some other aspects of fitness (like resistance training), I am way more functional. I do the exercises that I believe will support my running and those that support overall muscle mass for my health. I'm not like some of these people here who truly enjoy resistance training, so it gives me some insight into how those that don't have a favorite cardio activity are approaching that.

    Very much this.

    The recipe for feeling your best and doing the things you truly enjoy has some ingredients that by themselves are not always pleasant. I hate being on a cholesterol med. Many mornings it makes me really feel bad. Sometimes that lasts all day. I require myself to do 30 minutes of cardio each morning in hopes that I can get rid of that medication finally.

    my bold


    does this not apply to just about everything though? Not specific to excercise or fitness?

    ie you like the activity but not neccesarily every little thing that goes with it.

    eg, somebody loves cooking and trying our new recipes - but not neccesarily doing the dishes afterwards.

    or enjoys gardening - but not neccesarily pulling out weeds?





  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 22,708 Member Member Posts: 22,708 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    I think one of the biggest obstacles to regular exercise for many people is the idea that good exercise will be consistently exciting and joyful and will never feel like work.

    I watch a lot of infomercials for fun and with exercise programs, a frequent phrase is "It doesn't feel like a workout."

    Which is a ridiculous way to think of exercise. I love exercise, it's a key component of my life. It brings me great joy. It's also sometimes hard. It's hard to get up at 5:30 AM on the days when that's the best fit for your workout. It's hard to keep going for another set or mile when you're tired. It's hard to turn down that extra drink at happy hour because you know you want to do a long run the next day.

    Looking at popular culture, all the messages are "Find a workout that you love" with the idea that it won't feel like a workout. We should love our workouts. But they're still going to feel physically difficult sometimes (that's the point!). I'm not talking about pain or injuring ourselves, but if we expect to always feel motivated by our inner spark that makes each moment of every workout feel like pure joy, we are not going to be consistent. And when we're not consistent, it's hard to develop the level of fitness that makes exercise truly sustainable.

    So now we've got all these boutique fitness places that trade on promising constant joy at each moment, we've got Beachbody-style workouts that promise you won't even notice you're exercising, we've got devices that make you think tracking your data will be so fun it will be sufficient motivation to get you exercising, we've got clothing ads that kinda make it look like putting on the clothes is enough to get you active somehow. It's ridiculous.

    I'm not saying don't do boutique classes. If you find them fun and can afford them, knock yourself out! I have a Fitbit myself. I'm just saying that as a culture we seem to expect a trick that will somehow make exercise like not-exercise. I know I spent too many years thinking I hadn't found the right exercise technique or product because sometimes my exercise was dull or because I didn't bounce out of bed every morning full of excitement for my workout. There was nothing wrong with me. I'm just a person who finds push-ups dull and no product is going to "fix" that.

    I agree with all of this.

    "Find something you love and do it." is bad advice for most people. If getting in shape was that much fun, we would all be in great shape. Sure, you can do fun things that simultaneously increase your fitness, but in reality, most of the effective fitness things you do are rigorous and not that much fun. The gratification for me is always getting it over with - get out of bed, get to the gym / out on the street / in the pool / on your bike / etc., and just knock it out. Make it a habit, do it so often and so consistently that you don't entertain the idea of skipping it or quitting. It is up there with your job, taking care of your family, maintaining your house, etc. Just another mandatory thing you do.

    The takeaway from this article is that we just want to throw money at something that is understood to increase fitness and hope that is enough. If I get that great looking workout outfit, that $400 Garmin, and join that cool gym, then I will certainly be compelled to get in shape. This clearly doesn't work.

    Not sure I agree with that or that something has to be rigorous to be effective and improving health and fitness. I love...love...love riding bikes. It makes me feel like a kid all over again. Nothing is more fun than flying around mountain trails on my mountain bike (which is usually a pretty vigorous workout with all of the climbing) or hauling *kitten* on a road bike. I also love hiking in the mountains and doing some rock climbing either outdoors or in a rock gym.

    I pretty much think the opposite...I think people by and large fail in their fitness endeavors regardless of best intentions because they think they need to do this class or that or drone away on stationary equipment, etc. Finding things that I love to do that involve being physically active was pretty much a game changer for me, as I was always one of those that signed up for the gym in January and was gone by March. Outside of winter, I pretty much only use the gym for the weight room (I do spin classes and whatnot in winter)...everything else is me having fun on bikes.

    The only thing I really need to put energy into is getting into the weight room because I'd rather be out riding...but the benefits are great and I do a full body program, so it's only 3x per week, so not that big of a deal. Spin is hard af, but it's hella fun and love the energy...but I'd still rather be on the trails or the road if I could have it my way all the time.

    A state park near me has lots of great little trails made by mountain bikers. These guys are clearly having fun. I think y'all are a little nuts, too :lol:

    What's super fun for me is making new trails, mostly making straight lines between the curves. My brain really likes this. I spotted a new opportunity yesterday and am really psyched about this. One of the mountain bikers brought in a leaf blower last fall and cleaned off a bunch of the little trails and now I can see them all. Now that's dedication! The mountain bike association has also put in some walk ways over wet areas, which I really appreciate.

    I like lifting weights, but I'd prefer to be out in the woods...because it is more fun for me.
  • SmallMimiSmallMimi Member Posts: 541 Member Member Posts: 541 Member
    I think that too many people are looking for the "quick and easy" fix. Even when you find something you enjoy, doing it is not going to make the extra pounds of fat disappear overnight or build those extra muscles immediately.
    edited February 29
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