Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Training for non-zealots

Recently there was some research that was pithily titled "Are your Friends Making You Fat?" which basically said that if your peer group (friends, family) was overweight, you were more likely to be overweight, too.
Good behaviors — like quitting smoking or staying slender or being happy — pass from friend to friend almost as if they were contagious viruses. The participants, the data suggested, influenced one another’s health just by socializing. And the same was true of bad behaviors — clusters of friends appeared to “infect” each other with obesity, unhappiness and smoking.
Anyone who is even a remotely casual reader of this blog (the few, the proud :)) knows that Dan is pretty much a self-confessed exercise zealot. A few years ago Dan was just another middle-aged guy when he went on a serious diet and began martial arts training and now he is WAY out on the curve as far as physical fitness for his age group.

For me, this has helped. While I am not a zealot a few years ago I couldn't imagine running at all but I have moved from a 5k to a 10k to soon a 10 mile. Maybe late in 2011 I will run a half marathon but not quite there, yet.

And Dan has helped with his relatively-polite scolding. It does make sense to live a healthier life and he is living proof that you can do it.

Dan recently talked about his multi-sport training; for me, the day I signed up for a 10 mile run a few months out I broke a middle toe. In the past that would have been a great excuse for not working out; but that same morning I got up and went to the trainer and that weekend I tried something new for me - the stair master (because it was less jarring on my toe and I want it to heal). While many people do that without too much trouble, an hour on that damn thing completely had me soaked with sweat, and on a relatively low setting. But when you start out something new it is always harder; I'm sure after a while I will get the hang of it a bit better.

So Dan's sport zealotry has rubbed off on me, and heck I probably am in the top 20% of health for my age, from barely in the top half previously. That's still an upward trend. And just getting up and working out in pretty much all conditions without too much of a second thought is also par for the course.


Dan from Madison said...

Good post.

I am trying to write a book about the subject of getting people who are out of shape to get into shape from a commen sense perspective. This is an important topic.

A very large and important part of this is that you have to start socializing with other people and break it off with those who think your new activities a waste or who will drag you down.

As you start working out and are getting in shape, people will start asking questions - why are you doing this, why are you "wasting" your time, we miss you at the bar, etc. etc. etc. Most of the time these people are not supportive, and just want you to stay down with them.

When you get to a certain level, you meet new people who have the same goals and vision as yourself and it is very cool. New friends are always good. You will want to encourage your old friends to join you on the journey. Some will come along, some won't.

Anonymous said...

Good topic; glad I came across your site. I have some strong feelings regarding this subject, but I'll keep it short and sweet.

I maintained a slender physique with caffeine and nicotine the majority of my teen and adult life.
No sports, minimal psyical activities.

I quit smoking at 45, and gained about 10 lbs. Whoa, didn't like that. Corporate sign up for a gym, some encouragement from younger co workers, 13 years later, no smokes and I'm a confirmed gym rat.

Your can encourage someone just so much, the rest comes from them, but who you spend your time with has a great effect on you.

Beware of negitive people you come in contact with. I see them as " emotional vampires ". They'll drain you if given the opportunity.

Our relationship with food is very complex. How we were raised, eating out of stress, emotional eating. Then there are other facotrs, such as socioeconomic status that also play an important role.

Dan has some good points. Acknowledge the positive when somewone shows interest in improving their lifestyle. But beware of the ones that want to keep you down.

Mighty Mouse

Dan from Madison said...

Good comments Mighty Mouse, we are on the same page with a lot. I like the term "emotional vampires".

Food is very complex, each person has a different metabolism and tastes.

thanks for stopping by and dropping the comment.

Terry from Crown Point said...

Great comments MM. I quit smoking 20 yrs. ago next month. Cold turkey, hardest thing I ever did. Successful because I was ready. I never preach. If someone expresses a desire to quit, I will offer positive advice. One thing I heard from a friend was that you need to replace a bad habit with a good one. Made sense, since when I quit I went on a diet at the same time. Worked for me.