Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Stress & Training

It's an interesting conundrum: the more stressed you are, the less you feel like you have the time and energy necessary to train. But at the same time, the more stressed you are, the more you'd benefit from setting aside a bit of time to get in the gym and work your ass off.

Exercise relieves stress. Even better news for the lifters, Crossfitters and LSD-haters among us, high-intensity exercise is better at relieving stress than low-intensity exercise.

I don't really have any mind-blowing analysis or earth-shattering ideas to present here. This is one of the few cases in exercise science where the experts all agree, and conventional wisdom is actually wise.

This post is just a reminder to myself and anybody else out there who may have been feeling a bit overhwelmed lately and hasn't gotten into the gym: Do it. As soon as possible. As in right now, unless you're a heart surgeon in mid-operation or a pilot in command of a transatlantic flight. (In which case you probably shouldn't be reading this, anyway.)

Get your gym shorts on, go kick your own butt and forget your worries for a while. It'll do you a world of good.

P.S. I googled the word "necessary" to make sure I'd spelled it right in this post. The very first result turned out to be quite an interesting read. Good times.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

My couch fixation

At dinner tonight, my mother mentioned in passing that I use the example of moving a couch a lot on this blog. (No, I don't live with my parents. They're in town for the July 4 weekend. Although free meals and laundry do sound pretty good...)

I don't have an obsession with moving multi-person seating units. I didn't even realize I was using the couch example so often until Mom called me out on it.

Moving couches just usually jumps to mind when I try to think of an example of my definition of fitness: the ability to perform daily physical activities with ease, and the ability to perform difficult but useful physical activities, period.

So I squat, deadlift and press while most other people head to the elliptical or bust out another set of bicep curls. And that's fine. Thier definition of fitness has more to do with BMI and calories burned, while mine has more to do with performance improvements and pounds lifted.

Neither is the "right" definition of fitness. I think mine's a healthier, more practical approach than the BMI crowd, but they think their definition is superior to mine. Each camp has the scientific and anecdotal evidence to back up their claims.

But I won't be asking any of those guys I see in the gym spending hours on the treadmill to help me move my couch. They'd scuff the upholstery when they dropped it.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Moving on

This isn't really fitness-related, but what the hey. It's my blog and I'll go off-topic if I want to!

I accepted a new job at my alma mater today and gave my two weeks notice at my current job. I'm very excited about this move -- it's actually a minor decrease in take-home pay, but the benefits are much better and there's a strong possibility for advancement (compared to my current job, which has offers basically zero advancement opportunity).

On a fitness-related note, my new job is much closer to my current abode, so I'll be able to bike to work whenever the weather is nice. That's not nearly strenuous enough to replace picking up heavy things as my daily exercise, but it's always good whenever you're able to add a little more physical activity into your day.

Oh, and the new job also includes a membership at the campus gym. The current gym is no worse than your average Globogym, but a new and improved facility will open in about a year. From what I can tell, the new facility will be open to everyone from varsity athletes to students to staff, so I should have access to fancy things like bumper plates and maybe even o-lifting platforms!