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Old 05-15-2015, 10:41 AM   #21
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I see a lot of similarity to personal finance. Different things work for different people. Some people don't need to track at all, some can track top down (my net worth is going up reliably) and others must track bottom up down to the penny. Exercise is like a side job. Mathematically speaking, it always creates a caloric deficit (more discretionary income). But either can create a "hunger" that can cause one to eat or spend more than was gained by the exercise or side job.

Good analogy-- I never thought of it that way. About five years ago I was able to lose over twenty pounds by counting calories in/out, but I was very careful to measure serving sizes, track everything I ate, not overestimating calories burned, etc. Basically I didn't cheat at either end. Fooling yourself regarding calorie counting is akin to fooling yourself about what are the "needs" in your money budget.

I'm not counting calories at this time, but since ER I have been increasing my exercise and general activity. No weight loss yet, but I do feel stronger and more fit. If I decide I want to shed the five pounds I've gained since my lowest recent weight (when I was counting calories and running 30+ miles per week) I will probably have to count calories again.
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:03 AM   #22
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Ha: I pulled out several paragraphs with key points. The author goes into adolescence, young adulthood, etc in more detail but I didn't see much about what studies support the thesis. Exercise is so healthful for lots of reasons that I am happy to accept this one even if the differences are placebo. I exercised throughout life and gained a pound a year until three years ago so, for my specific circumstances, I had to conclude that exercise alone is not going to do it for me. I had to change the food I eat to modestly LCHF to achieve that (or as you and others noted, probably cutting calories by counting would work - but much harder for me).

In the mid-1990's, Carl Cotman's team at the University of California-Irvine first showed that exercise triggers the production of a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF, which helps support the growth of existing brain cells and the development of new ones....

As we age, the synapses are lost or break down. Cotman's work has shown that in older rodents, exercise increases the number of synapses and also stimulates the brain to develop more neurons in the hippocampus, which he called "a critical region in learning and memory formation and a target of massive decline in Alzheimer's disease."
Still, for those newly created brain cells, or neurons, to work — to help us learn and remember new things — they need to be plugged into the existing neural network, said Romain Meeusen, chair of the department of human physiology at the University of Brussels.
Exercise helps integrate the new neurons into the brain's circuitry to help improve learning, Meeusen said....

Research also suggests that exercise improves blood flow to the brain and, as a result, enhances cognitive abilities. "The blood carries oxygen and feeds neural tissues, so you're getting the benefits that come with that," Hillman said....

Sadly, the hippocampus naturally shrinks in late adulthood, leading to impaired memory and increased risk for dementia.
But research suggests aerobic exercise can increase the size of the hippocampus and increase levels of a protein that aids the growth of new brain cells, potentially holding off changes in the brain and improving memory function...

In another study, researchers from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found that people who said they exercised for 30 minutes five times a week in late-middle age did better on cognitive tests and showed less accumulation of the beta amyloid plaque, the protein that builds up in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.
Don, thank you for making the effort to give me this. I am disposed to be a believer in exercise, and these kinds of reports are good motivators to help keep the activity levels high.

It appears that individual differences are very important in response to diet and/or exercise. Just on this board people report widely differing responses to these things. I think the results of Naggz and his wife show very clearly that for some people, calorie counting leads to very impressive weight, loss which can be maintained. My own experiences are more like what you report. Diet comes first, and exercise is very important perhaps in other ways than weight and for other reasons than weight control. I think if I put my mind to it, I could make myself diabetic in 6 months, perhaps even without gaining any weight. So the wrong kind of diet would be seriously bad for me, apart from any weight issues. You can be sure that this is not going to happen!

Maybe 15 years ago my good friend that I have known since we were in junior high started having his doctor tell him to watch what he ate, and exercise because his FBS was starting to climb. About the same time I was told these same things. Since then he has progressed to T2 diabetes, multiple surgeries (amputations by degrees) etc. Right now he remains in a coma from what appears to have been a surgical mishap. Meanwhile, I have been exercising my ass off, and following a low carb diet that I have progressively tightened as I learned how I respond. My numbers and health have improved over these 15 years. I think there is no proof that our differing eating and exercise habits are involved here, but my bet would be that they are.

I think that we can all expect that we have fairly idiosyncratic ways of responding to food, exercise, even our emotions.

Here's to our common good fortune!

Ha
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Old 05-15-2015, 11:52 AM   #23
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Six years ago DW bought me a book on keeping the brain healthy, which included exercises such as learning to do things with your opposite hand (shaving, tennis, pool etc), driving different ways to work, driving with the windows down and the radio off etc., as well varying the type of puzzles you do. The idea being to try and build new neural pathways in the brain. I did teach myself to play pool and tennis with my left hand, and to shave with my left hand. It seemed impossible to begin with, but I recalled my father pushing me to learn to kick well with my left foot to improve my chances of getting on the school's U-11 soccer team. I hated it initially but eventually with enough practice it worked, I got pretty good with both feet and made the school team.

The author also pointed out that in his opinion physical exercise was the best way to keep the brain healthy. The analogy he used was that the neural connections build up "plaque" in the way blood vessels build up actual plaque and in both cases good blood flow through exercise is an excellent way to keep those pathways clear and operating well.
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Old 05-15-2015, 12:26 PM   #24
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A big challenge I have is that I'm not very self-aware regarding how my body is feeling day to day, my mood, aches, pains, if I'm getting a bit out of shape, etc. I would never be able to tell you how a particular food eaten hours ago impacted my mood, and I doubt that I'd be able to discern a slow gradual improvement in fitness due to exercise or diet. I just go about my daily business without thinking about these things. This, combined with all the interconnected variable of exercise, diet, etc and a natural aversion to working out, makes it really hard to keep to any exercise program. If I can somehow objectively measure an improvement in brain function or fitness as a result of exercise, I'd be much more likely to stick with it. But, other than resting heart rate (which doesn't tell much, and takes a long time to change), I'm not aware of any good objective measures. Measures of performance (e.g. maximum amount I can bench press, time to run 2 miles, etc) seem to vary a lot day to day due to a variety of factors, too much to serve as a good motivator.
Maybe I'm just looking for an excuse to remain sedentary, but I know I will not successfully motivate myself to spend 3-5 hours a week doing something unpleasant --maybe for decades --if I can't actually see that I'm getting something for it.
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Old 05-15-2015, 01:18 PM   #25
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A big challenge I have is that I'm not very self-aware regarding how my body is feeling day to day, my mood, aches, pains, if I'm getting a bit out of shape, etc.
Back in the 1970s, when I was running 10 miles a day, seven days a week, I recall saying to someone that I wasn't feeling too good, but that it was such a subtle deviation from the norm that, if I hadn't have been in tune with my body at the time I likely wouldn't have even noticed it; (and I was just a 'plodder' - I can only imagine how sensitive to changes top athletes are).

Just to say that, the more in shape you get, the likelihood of increased perception grows.
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Old 05-15-2015, 02:04 PM   #26
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Back in the 1970s, when I was running 10 miles a day, seven days a week, I recall saying to someone that I wasn't feeling too good, but that it was such a subtle deviation from the norm that, if I hadn't have been in tune with my body at the time I likely wouldn't have even noticed it; (and I was just a 'plodder' - I can only imagine how sensitive to changes top athletes are).

Just to say that, the more in shape you get, the likelihood of increased perception grows.
+1 on the more you do it and the more you get in shape, the more in tune you become.

Again, everyone is different, but I am very self-competitive and moderately outwardly competitive. I've started truly using the functionality of a Garmin multisport device and find it highly motivating in several ways:

1) Tracking PRs (personal records). There is nothing like finishing a run or ride and having it flash "new PR" on the screen. My mile, 5k and 10k run times have been steadily dropping. Also average speed and average power on the bike have been increasing.

2) Data trends -- This helps with day to day variations. Maybe I was slower today but I can see it's a blip and the overall trend is still improving. If I see a couple slow days in a row, I have to ask myself if I'm sick or need a break. If it's neither of those, maybe I'm getting lazy and need to push through.

3) Connections within the Garmin Connect -- I'm connected with friends who also work out and there is a board that shows all our activities together. If I slack off and see someone else cranking out the miles, it motivates me to get back in it. If I see someone's pace/mile dropping, it motivates me to push during my training.

4) Segments -- It shows your times and pace on the same section ranked to everyone else. Many of my common routes have 100's or 1000's of others. I like be at the top or at least climbing up


Again, I see a huge analogy to FIRE and this board. Number 1 is like the net worth milestones thread. Number 2 is like having Quicken or Mint or whatever net worth tracker you use. I might be down $50K today, but I just "zoom out" and look at the nonlinear upward curve and I keep investing. Number 3 and 4 are like seeing people with higher net worths or higher savings rates posting on here and using it to keep myself motivated and on track.
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Old 05-15-2015, 06:30 PM   #27
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Below is a link to a great video that demonstrates how much more "elastic" the brain of a child is over an adult, and also how with enough effort the brain can be re-trained to do something that seems impossible to do.

The Backwards Brain Bicycle - Smarter Every Day 133 / ViewPure
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:56 AM   #28
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A big challenge I have is that I'm not very self-aware regarding how my body is feeling day to day, my mood, aches, pains, if I'm getting a bit out of shape, etc. I would never be able to tell you how a particular food eaten hours ago impacted my mood, and I doubt that I'd be able to discern a slow gradual improvement in fitness due to exercise or diet. I just go about my daily business without thinking about these things. This, combined with all the interconnected variable of exercise, diet, etc and a natural aversion to working out, makes it really hard to keep to any exercise program. If I can somehow objectively measure an improvement in brain function or fitness as a result of exercise, I'd be much more likely to stick with it. But, other than resting heart rate (which doesn't tell much, and takes a long time to change), I'm not aware of any good objective measures. Measures of performance (e.g. maximum amount I can bench press, time to run 2 miles, etc) seem to vary a lot day to day due to a variety of factors, too much to serve as a good motivator.
Maybe I'm just looking for an excuse to remain sedentary, but I know I will not successfully motivate myself to spend 3-5 hours a week doing something unpleasant --maybe for decades --if I can't actually see that I'm getting something for it.

Always been a gym rat of sorts, so don't really have an aversion to "exercise". That's not to say I don't have to kick my own azz some days to make myself go...

But when I look around at many others in my age range, and note all the maladies they have and the associated pharmaceuticals they take, for blood pressure, diabetes, and such, I'm glad I somehow have stay motivated to remain active.

Really, some of that is luck of the draw, but still...

In my view, any activity is better than none.
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Old 05-16-2015, 05:27 PM   #29
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Below is a link to a great video that demonstrates how much more "elastic" the brain of a child is over an adult, and also how with enough effort the brain can be re-trained to do something that seems impossible to do.

The Backwards Brain Bicycle - Smarter Every Day 133 / ViewPure
That is fascinating!

(Aside from the issue of what kind of corrupted pervert would make a backward-steering bicycle....)

But it is reminiscent of when I quit smoking. After years of trying and many many attempts some switch in my head flipped and I just didn't want a cigarette anymore. No withdrawal, no desire for one, like I'd never smoked to start with. Kinda weird.
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Old 05-16-2015, 09:48 PM   #30
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The backward bike was fascinating. Young vs. old and what becomes innate is a good study.
My psych studies centered on behavioral psychology which had more to do with physiology than psychology. In particular was in depth study and laboratory work with the subconcious mind. At the very least in the simplest mannner we looked at everyday activities and how we learn to perform without making the synapse connection. The study was made of walking traffic on crowded sidewalks in Boston, a filmed segment that we had to "parse", to see how individuals acted to avoid collisions. Most individuals would thread their way through the walking traffic, with no conscious action, no eye contact, and virtually no close calls. The pesons who were visitors were obviously uncomfortable, and very aware of the congestion.

Example of the subconscious mind and studies of automatic learning and the elasticity of the neural pathways is still a matter of some controversy in the scientific sphere. The nurturing of young babies is changing the education lanscape, and may well become the basic driver of a shift in the structure of earlier grading from pre-primary or kindergarten to theee and four year olds.

The studies present the results, but do little to explain the learning improvement that must come from subliminal factors. Language in particular has a learning curve in 4 and 5 year olds that scientists cannot explain.

A good explanation is the quantum leap in learning that has forced test managers to adjust standards upwards to equalize the knowledge base between class and age differences.

Between the tech revolution and the early exposure some scholars are looking for a sea change in (first) private education and then in the public education sphere. Perhaps as soon as 2025 or 2030.
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Old 05-22-2015, 01:10 AM   #31
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Exercise does nothing but help your brain get more oxygen. And more oxygen to you brain results in better functionality of all your body organ including brain.
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Old 05-22-2015, 04:56 AM   #32
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I'm very leery of the competitive mind-set in exercise. The danger of this attitude is that if/when you acquire a moderate disability of some sort [osteoarthritis, say], you may push yourself too hard and make things worse.

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If I slack off and see someone else cranking out the miles, it motivates me to get back in it. If I see someone's pace/mile dropping, it motivates me to push during my training.
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Old 05-22-2015, 05:06 AM   #33
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I'm very leery of the competitive mind-set in exercise. The danger of this attitude is that if/when you acquire a moderate disability of some sort [osteoarthritis, say], you may push yourself too hard and make things worse.

Amethyst
Hello...has somebody been reading my mail? (A buddy of mine, for some 45 years, has often said that I don't compete against others, (no interest in team sports, etc), but I sure compete against myself.......osteoarthritis in both knees BTW.)
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Old 05-22-2015, 07:56 AM   #34
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I'm very leery of the competitive mind-set in exercise. The danger of this attitude is that if/when you acquire a moderate disability of some sort [osteoarthritis, say], you may push yourself too hard and make things worse.

Amethyst

In a sense, this is what keeps many from "exercising". Someone who has been sedentary decides to go gang-busters, gets injured, or at least gets their assets kicked, then they drop out...

This being er.org, we tend to analyze to the nth degree, trying to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, which is fine for some. But, it seems to me, ANY exercise is better than none, and a leisurely walk or bike ride is much better than couch surfing. Sure, it may not be "optimal", according to heart rate, VO2 Max, "fat-burning" zone, or whatever anal-retentive metric one chooses...
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:05 AM   #35
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Someone who has been sedentary decides to go gang-busters, gets injured, or at least gets their assets kicked, then they drop out...
+1

Back in the 1970s I used to use the 'Y' in Toronto (as well as running outdoors)......from the weight room we could observe the indoor track, and I can't count the number of times I watched fat newbies plod around until they almost dropped......never to be seen again.

(Never did it, but I had the urge to say to a couple of them "OK, that's enough for today...you didn't put it all on in one day and you're not going to lose it in one day"........but figured that'd be MYOB territory.)
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Old 05-22-2015, 08:32 AM   #36
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In a sense, this is what keeps many from "exercising". Someone who has been sedentary decides to go gang-busters, gets injured, or at least gets their assets kicked, then they drop out...

This being er.org, we tend to analyze to the nth degree, trying to determine how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, which is fine for some. But, it seems to me, ANY exercise is better than none, and a leisurely walk or bike ride is much better than couch surfing. Sure, it may not be "optimal", according to heart rate, VO2 Max, "fat-burning" zone, or whatever anal-retentive metric one chooses...
I continue to see so many parallels between personal finance/FIRE and exercise. Some people need or want to maximize as much as possible while others need or want to be less concerned with maximizing because too much concern causes general abandonment.

Having said that, using certain types of anal-retentive metrics will address the concerns you and Amethyst have. For most beginners, wearing a heart rate monitor and properly setting up HR zones will avoid overdoing it.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:44 AM   #37
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Well, I personally have not been reading your mail but so much praise and admiration is lavished on athletic achievement, that it can be hard to accept that one may have been meant, athletically speaking, to be "picked last for the team. And I wasn't necessarily talking about cardio exercise. I know a 50-year-old man who admits to having "ruined" his skeleton through competitive power lifting, when he didn't really have the build for it. Constant pain is his payback for being huger than everyone else in his younger years.

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Hello...has somebody been reading my mail? (A buddy of mine, for some 45 years, has often said that I don't compete against others, (no interest in team sports, etc), but I sure compete against myself.......osteoarthritis in both knees BTW.)
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:52 AM   #38
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I know a 50-year-old man who admits to having "ruined" his skeleton through competitive power lifting, when he didn't really have the build for it. Constant pain is his payback for being huger than everyone else in his younger years.

Amethyst
Same 'Y', same era......guy, maybe late 50s at the time, said there wasn't one of his old weightlifting buddies that didn't have a bad back.
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:56 AM   #39
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Serious weightlifting has been shown to significantly increase the risk of various injuries. I'm not aware of it showing any significant benefit other than cosmetics except in very niche areas (e.g., pro football players). This differentiates it from cardio. And strength training through other means such as yoga.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:01 AM   #40
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pro football players
I'll never forget a quote by ex-footballer turned actor Howie Long, to the effect that "Football is a desperate game played by desperate men".
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