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Sedentary Lifestyles suck. Now how do you really fix one?

24

Posts

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Well, for elliptical machines, I usually just read my economist. I use one of those floor pedal thingies at my computer.

    Couscous on
  • SkyGheNeSkyGheNe Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    I like playing videogames while walking on a treadmill or elliptical.

    You know what, I asked H/A about this a while back and they said it was impractical/not worth it.

    Well, to be more specific, either doing that or finding equipment that has a place for a keyboard and mouse. If the movement of my body wouldn't get too much in the way, that seems about ideal.

    I have a partly desk job, I also wonder if those floor cycles are any good.

    41ekwjop9flss400.jpg

    I remember there being bikes and other steppers that would require you to exercise or else the game controller would stop being responsive. It was pretty awesome for games like street fighter or soul calibur because if you stopped pedaling, you were more or less dead.

    SkyGheNe on
  • TylanthusTylanthus Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I started playing golf. I rode a cart for days when my feet/legs ached. Those days eventually became rarities. Now I'm 30lbs lighter and I'm outside for 4 hours per day that I go play.

    Also, during golfing. I don't eat potato chips, mcdonalds, taco bell, whatever. I eat a power bar and drink water. Otherwise I feel like shit and run out of energy.

    Tylanthus on
  • BackstopBackstop Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Do you have difficulty maintaining an exercise regiment? Consider enrolling into a class or creating some other kind of obligation. "I should go to the gym sometime tonight" is a very easy requirement to delay or ignore, "I have cycling at 6:00" or "I need to meet Jim and Bob for weights at 7:00" makes it harder for your brain to say "meh, let's do it later."

    Essentially: create a scenario where doing nothing is no longer convenient. Too much effort is placed into "what specific activity should I do to change my lifestyle," as if there's some gigantic difference in health benefits between biking and kickball. Get a generic idea of how you'd like your lifestyle to change and then abuse your own psychology to ensure it happens.

    I agree with this. I've worked in call center/office for about ten years now and the best I ever did at keeping fit was when I was taking fencing classes twice a week and meeting a friend at the gym the other three days. Days I didn't feel like going she pushed me to go and days she didn't feel like going I pushed her to go. Days we both didn't feel like going we opted to hike a trail in the park instead so it was still on target.

    Backstop on
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    How do you fix a lazy lifestyle?

    Start with walking everywhere less then 3 miles/5 km from your house, even for grocery shopping. Buy a cart to lug your food back.

    The roads between here and there are not so friendly to things not in a steel cage, and this is the case for most people stuck in the suburbs.

    MKR on
  • adytumadytum Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I mean, really, either you like activity or you don't. I derive enough pleasure from lifting weights, running, biking, pushing myself physically, etc. that those activities are a pleasure to do by themselves. Most people that don't feel that way, and try to do it themselves, quit pretty quickly. It's hard.

    Nobody mentioned finding someone to be "non-sedentary" with.

    If you don't enjoy activity implicitly, then find someone to do it with. It's a lot easier to get your ass in gear if you're going to be disappointing someone else if you don't. Even if it is just going for a walk.

    edit- Actually it was mentioned. It's good advice.

    adytum on
    etxvv5.jpg
  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    If you can, a regular exercise routine is the best way to go.

    Failing that, purchasing a bike and riding around 3+ times a week is always a good idea. Also, outdoor hobbies like paintball may be up your alley. Gamers tend to like paintball quite a bit.

    This last suggestion may sound a bit strange, but cooking all your own food might be a good idea. Cooking is a surprisingly good way to get yourself feeling productive/active, and forcing yourself to make all your own food typically improves diet (though certainly not always). I'm not talking frozen stuff, either.

    Heartlash on
    My indie mobile gaming studio: Elder Aeons
    Our first game is now available for free on Google Play: Frontier: Isle of the Seven Gods
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    MKR wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    How do you fix a lazy lifestyle?

    Start with walking everywhere less then 3 miles/5 km from your house, even for grocery shopping. Buy a cart to lug your food back.

    The roads between here and there are not so friendly to things not in a steel cage, and this is the case for most people stuck in the suburbs.

    I live in smalltown BC. Literally everyone I know owns their own car. I don't. You just have to run/walk along the side of the road, and occasionally pause and step back if two trucks pass each other beside you. It's no more or less dangerous then walking anywhere, really.

    Robman on
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    MKR wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    How do you fix a lazy lifestyle?

    Start with walking everywhere less then 3 miles/5 km from your house, even for grocery shopping. Buy a cart to lug your food back.

    The roads between here and there are not so friendly to things not in a steel cage, and this is the case for most people stuck in the suburbs.

    I live in smalltown BC. Literally everyone I know owns their own car. I don't. You just have to run/walk along the side of the road, and occasionally pause and step back if two trucks pass each other beside you. It's no more or less dangerous then walking anywhere, really.

    Someone dies walking (or cycling) on the side of this road about once a month. I don't want to be that guy.

    MKR on
  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Devil's advocate here.

    Do you want to change your sedentary lifestyle because some is guilting you into it, or because you really want to do it?

    One of these might work. The other has no chance.

    chamberlain on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    MKR wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    MKR wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    How do you fix a lazy lifestyle?

    Start with walking everywhere less then 3 miles/5 km from your house, even for grocery shopping. Buy a cart to lug your food back.

    The roads between here and there are not so friendly to things not in a steel cage, and this is the case for most people stuck in the suburbs.

    I live in smalltown BC. Literally everyone I know owns their own car. I don't. You just have to run/walk along the side of the road, and occasionally pause and step back if two trucks pass each other beside you. It's no more or less dangerous then walking anywhere, really.

    Someone dies walking (or cycling) on the side of this road about once a month. I don't want to be that guy.

    Someone dies driving on the road about once a few minutes. I don't want to be that guy.

    Couscous on
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Heartlash wrote: »
    If you can, a regular exercise routine is the best way to go.

    Failing that, purchasing a bike and riding around 3+ times a week is always a good idea. Also, outdoor hobbies like paintball may be up your alley. Gamers tend to like paintball quite a bit.

    This last suggestion may sound a bit strange, but cooking all your own food might be a good idea. Cooking is a surprisingly good way to get yourself feeling productive/active, and forcing yourself to make all your own food typically improves diet (though certainly not always). I'm not talking frozen stuff, either.

    What if you live in a suburban hellscape that's nothing but bars and churches, consisting almost entirely of highways and interstates with no possible bike access that won't get you killed, and is below zero for most of the year and covered in ice?

    Edit: I recently got on food stamps, which I'm not terribly ashamed to admit because my job pays pennies and I'm a student, but this has successfully shifted my diet from fast food based to cooked food based. I must say I've noticeably had more energy cooking foods with fresh veggies, as prepackaged food is generally too expensive (except for stuff that tastes terrible), and you can't buy hot foods with food stamps.

    I think when I start getting paychecks (I work at the school so I really need help between semesters) in a few weeks I probably won't go back to my old diet, I've found that cooking is awesome, and I make better chinese food than the local chinese place, with less salt in it. If you have enough free time and are struggling to be less sedentary, cooking your own meals is win, win win.

    You spend less money on food (mostly), it tastes better, and it's much better for you

    override367 on
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Devil's advocate here.

    Do you want to change your sedentary lifestyle because some is guilting you into it, or because you really want to do it?

    One of these might work. The other has no chance.

    Sex is an excellent motivator. Ask married people.

    Robman on
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    MKR wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    MKR wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    How do you fix a lazy lifestyle?

    Start with walking everywhere less then 3 miles/5 km from your house, even for grocery shopping. Buy a cart to lug your food back.

    The roads between here and there are not so friendly to things not in a steel cage, and this is the case for most people stuck in the suburbs.

    I live in smalltown BC. Literally everyone I know owns their own car. I don't. You just have to run/walk along the side of the road, and occasionally pause and step back if two trucks pass each other beside you. It's no more or less dangerous then walking anywhere, really.

    Someone dies walking (or cycling) on the side of this road about once a month. I don't want to be that guy.

    Someone dies driving on the road about once a few minutes. I don't want to be that guy.

    I'm much less likely to be that guy driving than walking, but I wish I didn't have to do either.

    But seriously, you guys don't know this road. Blind turns, random spots where you have to sharply reduce speed to avoid going into the shoulder. This isn't uncommon. Maybe it's a Georgia thing.

    MKR on
  • MorgensternMorgenstern Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Baby-steps.

    Start by going for walks, hiking, etc...then start at a gym at least twice a week and bump that up to three times. Don't go all out when you start the gym either. Just because other people are there and doing these insane work-outs doesn't mean you need to start falling into that as well. Start at your comfort level and then just push yourself from there.

    Morgenstern on
    “Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.” - Loren Eiseley
  • chamberlainchamberlain Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Devil's advocate here.

    Do you want to change your sedentary lifestyle because some is guilting you into it, or because you really want to do it?

    One of these might work. The other has no chance.

    Sex is an excellent motivator. Ask married people.

    I am, and eventually it isn't anymore.

    chamberlain on
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Heartlash wrote: »
    If you can, a regular exercise routine is the best way to go.

    Failing that, purchasing a bike and riding around 3+ times a week is always a good idea. Also, outdoor hobbies like paintball may be up your alley. Gamers tend to like paintball quite a bit.

    This last suggestion may sound a bit strange, but cooking all your own food might be a good idea. Cooking is a surprisingly good way to get yourself feeling productive/active, and forcing yourself to make all your own food typically improves diet (though certainly not always). I'm not talking frozen stuff, either.

    What if you live in a suburban hellscape that's nothing but bars and churches, consisting almost entirely of highways and interstates with no possible bike access that won't get you killed, and is below zero for most of the year and covered in ice?

    Move.

    Anyone can rent a room in a student ghetto for $400/mo. while they get settled and find a job/real place to live. Given the number of people returning to school due to starting second careers, it won't even be that creepy.

    Robman on
  • amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    30 minutes a day

    seriously, spend 30 minutes a day on a new hobby. Make it an outdoor walk around the neighborhood, a trip to a store five or ten miles away just to window shop, whatever.

    hell, it's not the cheapest solution, but start cooking your dinners nightly instead of buying in bulk. Go out every day to the grocery store, see what kinds of meats, fish, vegetables, etc look good, find a recipe book, and invest about an hour and a half total every day in shopping for, cooking, and eating dinner.

    pretty soon you'll want to budget your time for other stuff too.

    amateurhour on

    Arch wrote: »

    I never expected this burn from captain bushmeat
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I think the key to improving a lifestyle is planning.

    It's easy to get in a rut when you wake up in the morning and wonder "what will I do today?" It's easy to end up with "Eh, I dunno" and do stuff that requires little effort. Same thing happens when it comes to nutritional choices, it's easy to buy something from a shop or order takeout than cook for yourself.

    So you should take some time to think about your daily routine, and think about how to improve it. Definately try and build a small stockpile of prepared food that you can cook and eat easily, and prepare sandwiches for your job so you're not tempted to get a pizza or something. Definately open up time in your schedule for some sort of exercise. If all you do is work/computer, that should be easy enough. A group activity would be a good idea, for then you'll have someone to help drag you to whatever you've decided to try out.

    So plan out your weekly or monthly schedule a little, whatever you do. Living life day to day is an easy way to get caught in a rut.

    Some people, myself included, are remarkably adept at sabotaging the best laid plans that we ourselves make. For some people, simple determination or whatever may be enough. I literally had to go to the other side of the world before I got out of my rut. Putting oneself into a new situation forces one's hand at actually doing something. Doing something extreme may force one to devise a completely new schedule for oneself, and it's an opportunity to so something relatively extreme in routine, such as to reinvent a schedule as you suggest.

    For some people, your advice may be sufficient, so you may have the proper advice for the OP. But I think a change of scenery is something that works for a good chunk of the people that advice is not sufficient for.

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
  • override367override367 ALL minions Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Robman wrote: »
    Heartlash wrote: »
    If you can, a regular exercise routine is the best way to go.

    Failing that, purchasing a bike and riding around 3+ times a week is always a good idea. Also, outdoor hobbies like paintball may be up your alley. Gamers tend to like paintball quite a bit.

    This last suggestion may sound a bit strange, but cooking all your own food might be a good idea. Cooking is a surprisingly good way to get yourself feeling productive/active, and forcing yourself to make all your own food typically improves diet (though certainly not always). I'm not talking frozen stuff, either.

    What if you live in a suburban hellscape that's nothing but bars and churches, consisting almost entirely of highways and interstates with no possible bike access that won't get you killed, and is below zero for most of the year and covered in ice?

    Move.

    Anyone can rent a room in a student ghetto for $400/mo. while they get settled and find a job/real place to live. Given the number of people returning to school due to starting second careers, it won't even be that creepy.

    I can't move away from school, and I live in a student ghetto. I can't afford to go to a university or something, community college is all thats in my range for the time being.

    Anyway my exercise routine is embarrassing as shit and I would never let anyone see me doing it, I just repeat what I remember from karate when I was 10 because it really gets the blood pumping and requires very little space and no money

    override367 on
  • KastanjKastanj __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2010
    I have my tuition to take some of my time, and now I have a gym close by.

    The more you do, the more you can do. But to break out of a fugue, you need to start slow. From personal experience, it's important to not look at the rest of the world through malaise-tainted glasses.

    Kastanj on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Any advice cast too broadly will prove impractical or ineffective for a large chunk of people. Just keep than in mind when reading or giving advice.

    MKR on
  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    My trouble is living in the northeast and not getting out of work till 6

    for a good 5 months of the year I barely see sunlight much less have lots of time to go outside. I do walk a couple miles a day to and from trains which keeps me from becoming gigantic.

    nexuscrawler on
  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    MKR wrote: »
    Any advice cast too broadly will prove impractical or ineffective for a large chunk of people. Just keep than in mind when reading or giving advice.

    Don't you mean too specific? I think you can go big and wide with things that can probably help almost anyone (but don't address unique problems) or go case specific and give advice that is probably impractical for most other people (and possibly the subject if your assessment is no good).

    Loren Michael on
    a7iea7nzewtq.jpg
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    MKR wrote: »
    Any advice cast too broadly will prove impractical or ineffective for a large chunk of people. Just keep than in mind when reading or giving advice.

    Join the fitness thread, post your progress. Hell, just keep a chart on your own computer. Also, NO MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL ADVICE OF ANY TYPE WILL EVER BE GIVEN OVER THE INTERNET. Don't ask for it, because you can't get it. Vague generalities are as good as it gets.

    Robman on
  • HeartlashHeartlash Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Oh, here's a good one: buy a pull up bar. You can get them at most sporting stores. Put it in a doorway you frequently go through (bathroom can be a good one) and do 1-2 every time you go through that door. When you feel comfortable, up it to 2-4, and so on.

    Obviously it's not going to solve all your problems, but it's a good step.

    Heartlash on
    My indie mobile gaming studio: Elder Aeons
    Our first game is now available for free on Google Play: Frontier: Isle of the Seven Gods
  • DirtyDirtyVagrantDirtyDirtyVagrant Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I want to do one further.

    I want to improve my work ethic. I really have a hard time mustering up the motivation to get anything accomplished.

    I start so many projects and I can never bring myself to finish any of them. Even now I know I'm supposed to be studying the human figure. I'm reading the words in the book, but none of them are absorbing into my head because the only thought occupying my mind is "FUCK THIS IS BORING."

    DirtyDirtyVagrant on
  • Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator Smooth Operator Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I want to do one further.

    I want to improve my work ethic. I really have a hard time mustering up the motivation to get anything accomplished.

    I start so many projects and I can never bring myself to finish any of them. Even now I know I'm supposed to be studying the human figure. I'm reading the words in the book, but none of them are absorbing into my head because the only thought occupying my mind is "FUCK THIS IS BORING."

    A few years ago, I had gotten into a rut in terms of writing. While setting the timer for my french bread pizza to bake, I figured "hell, I can write for the 25 minutes it takes to cook this thing." Time flew, I had a delicious snack, and I had actually written something. It felt great. There is something about the countdown that triggers action in me--perhaps its a subconscious allusion to all those bomb timers I've witnessed in action movies and TV shows.

    To this day, I set a kitchen timer when I start writing. I usually keep writing even after it beeps.

    Spaten Optimator on
  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited January 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    MKR wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    MKR wrote: »
    Robman wrote: »
    How do you fix a lazy lifestyle?

    Start with walking everywhere less then 3 miles/5 km from your house, even for grocery shopping. Buy a cart to lug your food back.
    The roads between here and there are not so friendly to things not in a steel cage, and this is the case for most people stuck in the suburbs.
    I live in smalltown BC. Literally everyone I know owns their own car. I don't. You just have to run/walk along the side of the road, and occasionally pause and step back if two trucks pass each other beside you. It's no more or less dangerous then walking anywhere, really.
    Someone dies walking (or cycling) on the side of this road about once a month. I don't want to be that guy.
    Someone dies driving on the road about once a few minutes. I don't want to be that guy.
    To be fair to MKR - a lot of roads are pretty dangerous for pedestrians and a lot of drivers are horribly inconsiderate, more or less a product of 1) pedestrians being really unusual in some places and 2) many cities, and pretty much any suburb, being very poorly designed for pedestrians.

    Which I guess raises another round-about way of reducing sedentary lifestyles: getting involved in local politics; even if it's just to write your councilor and encourage them to support pedestrian-friendly projects, which could mean something as simple as a sidewalk or more ambitious like zoning that might allow stores or simply "things to do" to operate closer to where you live.



    On an unrelated note, one thing I have been doing lately is doing push-ups during TV commercial breaks. Just a couple sets of 10 or so every break. Gives me something to do, and keeps me from forgetting to do them altogether.

    Andrew_Jay on
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Yeah, every time they do road work here that costs over 40k they also put in a sidewalk as well. It's a great system.

    Robman on
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Sidewalks would be awesome.

    MKR on
  • KastanjKastanj __BANNED USERS
    edited January 2010
    Lol are you guys serious about the lack of sidewalks? You Usaicans are so weird.

    Kastanj on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Kastanj wrote: »
    Lol are you guys serious about the lack of sidewalks? You Usaicans are so weird.

    They pretty much end where the municipality meets the county.

    MKR on
  • CorvusCorvus . VancouverRegistered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Kastanj wrote: »
    Lol are you guys serious about the lack of sidewalks? You Usaicans are so weird.

    Large swaths of North America have no side-walks. Post WWII urban planning is pretty much all about the car.

    Corvus on
    :so_raven:
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    I went to China. Got thinner, had lots of sex, modified my gaming habits such that I was playing Settlers of Catan with pretty girls in coffee shops instead of in a comic book store with guys who smell like grease.

    A change of scenery can do wonders. The move necessitated getting rid of a lot of the stuff I had hoarded
    .

    I can't even begin to tell you how good a change of cities has been for me. The only way I was ever able to get out of my rut was when circumstances physically forced me to do so. It entails meeting so many more new people and doing so many more new things, just because it really presents no other option. Now I go out and do stuff with friends several times a week, which basically fulfils my exciting-life requirements. I also walk all the time. This is tricky in the frigid wastelands of Canada, but if I'm inside for more than four or five hours at a time I feel compelled to go somewhere else for a while, just to have an excuse to move around a bit.

    I actually think this whole sedentary lifestyle thing seems a pretty significant social problem in our first-world society, just to judge by how many people I know have the same issues. That's ok. There are much worse problems to have than 'I have too much lesuire time and unfettered access to too many interesting things'.

    Also, Loren, do you mind awfully if I ask how old you are? I'm just noticing certain parallels between my life and what I know of yours.

    Crimson King on
  • RobmanRobman Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Kastanj wrote: »
    Lol are you guys serious about the lack of sidewalks? You Usaicans are so weird.

    Most communities planned and developed in the 50s lack sidewalks. It isn't restricted to America, there are large areas of Canada that lack sidewalks.

    Robman on
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Corvus wrote: »
    Kastanj wrote: »
    Lol are you guys serious about the lack of sidewalks? You Usaicans are so weird.

    Large swaths of North America have no side-walks. Post WWII urban planning is pretty much all about the car.

    also; lolamericans. you could just, y'know, have decent public transport.

    Crimson King on
  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Corvus wrote: »
    Kastanj wrote: »
    Lol are you guys serious about the lack of sidewalks? You Usaicans are so weird.

    Large swaths of North America have no side-walks. Post WWII urban planning is pretty much all about the car.

    also; lolamericans. you could just, y'know, have decent public transport.

    Hahahah, good one. I live in Georgia. You try increasing taxes for that.

    Couscous on
  • MKRMKR Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    Corvus wrote: »
    Kastanj wrote: »
    Lol are you guys serious about the lack of sidewalks? You Usaicans are so weird.

    Large swaths of North America have no side-walks. Post WWII urban planning is pretty much all about the car.

    also; lolamericans. you could just, y'know, have decent public transport.

    Hahahah, good one. I live in Georgia. You try increasing taxes for that.

    It's weird how people here are all gung-ho about education, but won't pay up for public transit.

    And I didn't know you were in Georgia. Which part?

    MKR on
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    edited January 2010
    Couscous wrote: »
    Corvus wrote: »
    Kastanj wrote: »
    Lol are you guys serious about the lack of sidewalks? You Usaicans are so weird.

    Large swaths of North America have no side-walks. Post WWII urban planning is pretty much all about the car.

    also; lolamericans. you could just, y'know, have decent public transport.

    Hahahah, good one. I live in Georgia. You try increasing taxes for that.

    well exactly

    Crimson King on
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