Diet – Exercise: Stretch, Lift, Move

I’ve been looking at this picture I threw up in my last post for a week now, and it’s sort of depressing me because it takes a lot of things I wanted to talk about and quickly summarizes it with bold capital letters and bright colors.  I need to keep these posts lasting for another six months, at least, and that graph is stealing my thunder.   Frankly, I relieved.  I’ve started to sweat just thinking about exercise so I am going to use this time to play some solitaire and maybe do some whittling.  Goodnight!

. . .

Trust me, that graph has everything you need.  Just keep looking at that graph, aim for one of the yellow zones, and go at it.  You’ll figure things out.  Good luck!

. . .

Look, just put on some sweat pants and start moving!  I’ll be back next week to cheer you on, or whatever.  You’ll get a lot of things wrong, but don’t worry, I’ll let you know what every little thing is in extraordinary detail.  NOW GO FORTH AND EXERCISE!!!

"But you said . . ."

All right, Mr/Mrs SmartyPants.  If you’re going to use my own words against me, then I’ll just have to put my whittling knife back under my pillow next to the brass knuckles and baby teeth (the Tooth Fairy pays up no matter where they came from), and talk about the different types of exercise so you don’t feel so “neglected”.  But this is a two-way street, fella; if you’re making me ignore my much beloved whittlin’ to talk about exercise, I’m gonna make you do some.  So start jogging in place.  I’ll even do it with you.  Right now.  I mean it.  START JOGGING!!!

Almost all exercises can be categorized into three different groups; Flexibility, Aerobic and Anaerobic.  Each one focuses on different areas of your body and each one is needed to make your body as strong as possible.  It is important to note, once again, that none of the forms of exercise are designed to help you to lose weight.  The main goal is to make your entire body be able to last longer, get stronger and move in every single way it can without causing pain.  It is also important to note that, although your body will be incredibly sore for a long time once you start exercising, it should not be causing real pain.  The saying “No Pain, No Gain” really should be changed to “No Hellish Unending Soreness That You Would Kill Your Parents and Most of You Loved Ones to Never Feel Again, No Gain” because anytime you feel pain higher than the ‘I Got An Owey-Boo-Boo’ level, you should stop and sit down.  Get used to reading this because I’m gonna say it as many times as I said that starvation is not dieting in the food portion.

It's an epidemic, not a regime.

HAVE YOU STOPPED JOGGING WHO SAID YOU COULD STOP JOGGING GET UP OUTTA THE CHAIR AND JOG, YA BASTARD, IF YOU THINK READING WHILE JOGGING IS HARD, TRY TYPING AND JOGGING.

So let’s start off on the three kinds of exercises you’ll need to be doing to make your body stronger, leaner, faster and more capable of helping you burn fat.  Let’s begin with the one I really should have had us do before we started jogging in place.

Flexibility

*Sniff Sniff* "Who smells like ass?"

Your flexibility refers to your body’s range of motion, which is how far your body can twist, extend and bend, and the act of exercising your range of motion is called stretching.  The image that probably pops into your mind is a person trying to touch their toes, or a gymnast performing splits, and your impression might be that stretching only has to do with muscles.  But I said at the beginning I’d point out when you were wrong as fuck and I’m not going to disappoint.  Yes, stretching has to do with muscles, but it also has to do with tendons, ligaments, joints and a slew of other things that all impact your range of motion.  If you have ever pulled a tendon or bruised a joint, you understand how much these things can inhibit (or allow) how well you can move.

The point is that stretching is not just something you do before and after exercising (which you should do each and every time, without exception) but something you should do for its own virtue.  Not only can stretching be a preventative measure against injuries and act as healing factor for sore muscles, but it also helps improve balance and agility which are things that a lot of large people entirely lack.

More importantly, and forgive the new age lingo, but it helps you to get in touch with your body.  When I was large, my connection to my body was something I tried to deny and forget; that it was merely a large and fatty vessel housing my brain.  The result of this was that I stopped sensing my body, stopped feeling it in real time.  Unlike many exercises in which speed is a big factor, stretching is meant to be taken slowly and the process of taking your time with a stretch will make you feel parts of your body you had not even realized were there.  This is a very important sense to redevelop if you are trying to lose weight because you can not improve something about yourself if you don’t know what it is.

Aerobics

Aerobic exercises are ones that are generally low in intensity and that get your heart pumping, but not too fast.  The term aerobic refers to how our bodies use oxygen to help give us energy when our heartbeats reach a certain rate.  These are the kinds of exercises people think of when you say exercising: Jogging, biking, swimming, jumping jacks, climbing stairs.  Any activity that is hard enough to make you breathe heavily and yet easy enough for you to be able to go at least twenty minutes without stopping is aerobic.  Hell, even sex can be aerobic.

And if you can keep the same pace for forty minutes straight, I suggest you exercise no other way.

But the key terms here are “low intensity” and “long lasting”.  Things like sprints, or jumping as high as you can over and over, are too taxing on the body.  Aerobic exercises have to be things that can keep your heartrate up for a prolonged period of time, which means your heartrate can’t get too high or you’ll end up vomiting or passing out or both at the same time.

FITNESS!

The main benefit of aerobic exercise is endurance.  The human body is extremely adaptable, and the more you push it the further you will be able to push it.  Today you’re jogging around the block and barely able to keep your breath, but in a couple of weeks you will be jogging around the neighborhood and wondering how much further you can go before you have to go to work.  This is because aerobic exercises strengthen the muscles that control your breathing, the muscles that pump your heart, your circulation and blood pressure, and how efficiently your body absorbs and distributes oxygen.  It can even stimulate bone growth, leading to a stronger skeleton than can absorb higher impacts.  Aerobic exercise is not so much about making your arms or legs stronger, but making your insides stronger and able to endure more strain.  I know it sounds like people who like aerobic exercise are madmen who want to run across the entire continent, but once you start you’ll marvel at how you ever went without it.

You know what?  Start jogging in place again.

Anaerobic Exercises

Unlike aerobics, which you do to help you last longer, anaerobic exercises are the ones you do to help you perform physical activities that require massive amounts of energy in a short period of time.  Things like lifting a 50 lbs weight over your head, or sprinting up a hill, or punching a charging rhino in the face, or swinging an axe into the armored skulls of you enemies, anaerobic exercises are the ones that bring you from 0 to 180 mph in the matter of seconds.

These exercises get their name from the type of metabolism that is caused by such strenuous activities, called . . . anaerobic metabolism.  I wish I could say there was something more romantic to it, but anaerobic metabolism is all pretty technical.  Whereas with aerobics, where energy is produced by a tremendous intake of oxygen, anaerobic exercises derive their energy from glucose and things called high energy phosphates, which I have no clue about as I just started researching them today.

The fools think I actually think I know things! MUAHAHAHAHA!

Lifting weights, resistance training (lifting your own bodyweight, e.g. push-ups), and eccentric training (which has to do with a specific stage of lifting weights) are all included in anaerobic exercise.  The benefits are increased strength, faster reflexes and increased accuracy.

You may think that you don’t need to do these kinds of exercises, right?  I mean, they’re only for bodybuilders and athletes and show-offs, yeah?

In all actuality, anaerobic exercises are more likely to help you in your day to day life than the other two categories.  When was the last time you jogged for twenty minutes to get where you needed to go?  Just use your car, stupid!  When was the last time you stretched your arm behind your back and grasped the top of your butt?  Only at Christmas parties!  Now when was the last time you accidentally knocked over a glass and caught it before it shattered on the floor?  Or the last time you tripped and corrected yourself before you fell face first into the pavement?  Or the last time you lifted a couch for a former friend who tricked you into helping him move by saying he’d take you to Disneyland?  All of those activities use muscles that are developed and trained by anaerobic exercises.

So there are the three kinds of exercise.  And yet I must stress again that the point of these exercises is not to lose weight, but to make you a stronger and healthier person.  To include each of these in your work-outs (in fact many exercises can fall into all three categories, or be easily modified to do so) will help you lose some weight, but more so it’s going to train your body to be able to lose massive amounts of weight.  If you are trying to lose a lot of weight (50 lbs or more), at some point doing jogs around the block and lifting a few weights aren’t going to be enough.  I will talk about “Amping Up” in a later post, but the human body is very adaptable and you will need to go far and beyond the norm to lose lots of weight.  Losing ten to fifteen pounds is one thing.  Losing more than fifty is not just changing how you look, it’s changing your life, and you’re going to have to sweat for it. 

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