Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

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Könchok Thrinley
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Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by Könchok Thrinley » Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:51 pm

Hi!

Recently I have started pondering engaging in some form of exercise as with time my body has started accumulating fat and now I am the heaviest I have ever been (just 80 kg, but the BMI is getting uncomfortably close to being overweight). However, I have discovered some issues with motivation as I tend to see engaging in exercise a bit boring or even a waste of time compared to other activities.
Is there a sutra source that mentions Buddha's position on exericses? How do you go about keeping yourself fit? Do you have some recommendations for somebody like me who just really wants to get rid of the dangerous belly fat and be fit not necessarily ripped?
“Observing samaya involves to remain inseparable from the union of wisdom and compassion at all times, to sustain mindfulness, and to put into practice the guru’s instructions”. Garchen Rinpoche

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by tkp67 » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:26 pm

Our health influences our mind so diet and exercise for the benefit of health is very important. Diet and exercise have become markets because of human vanity and indulgence. Working out for washboard abs or working out for long sustained life fulfill different desires and might yield different results.

My grandmother lived to 105 by eating moderately and being mindful to always keep her circulation moving. As with my uncle nick (101). Both ate a Mediterranean diets and walked after ever meal. I saw them as carrying on practice that was common until modern times. I think that without all the distractions back then it was much easier for people to be attuned to how their diet and exercise effected their state of mind because both of these relatives had very balanced minds as well.
Last edited by tkp67 on Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by DharmaN00b » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:32 pm

Don't bombard your cells with nutrients. AFAIK too much sugar is poisonous to cells. The cells reject sugar and it goes on your belly. High fiber, low on the glycemic index, is better. In other words you don't develop insulin resistance.

As for exercise you do like aerobic activity.. simple stuff like meditation. Anaerobic exercise will tap your energy "reserves" or belly fat and is really quick and easy but requires extreme effort if only for a short amount of time. Look up TABATA if you like.

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by futerko » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:44 pm

Miroku wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:51 pm
Hi!

Recently I have started pondering engaging in some form of exercise as with time my body has started accumulating fat and now I am the heaviest I have ever been (just 80 kg, but the BMI is getting uncomfortably close to being overweight). However, I have discovered some issues with motivation as I tend to see engaging in exercise a bit boring or even a waste of time compared to other activities.
Is there a sutra source that mentions Buddha's position on exericses? How do you go about keeping yourself fit? Do you have some recommendations for somebody like me who just really wants to get rid of the dangerous belly fat and be fit not necessarily ripped?
I guess it depends on your circumstances. It seems that the Buddha did quite a bit of walking.
I enjoy walking and cycling in nature - I live in a built up area on the edge of a large city, but with a nice large forest fairly close by. Gardening is also great exercise and you can see the fruits of your labour, which can be motivating.

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by Hazel » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:47 pm

Practice the middle way. Extremes are the enemy of health. Drop your caloric intake or lose weight too quickly and you can slow your metabolism. Starve yourself and you'll likely end up binge eat. Aim for healthy life style change and frame of mind.

Practice wisdom. Getting distracted by what people think of your appearance can lead to shame and clinging, both hazardous to the path (of good health). Same goes for your view of yourself.

Which beings us to....

Practice compassion. Self hatred will either lead to unsustainable choices born out of ignorance, quitting when you reach a roadblock, or never starting to begin with. Love yourself as you are so who you are is not an impediment of what you want to be.

Adjust your expectations. This is a long road and there's no easy fix. Imagine if you encountered a Buddhist teacher that was selling "enlightment in 3 easy steps!" This is what diet fads and programs are about. Truth is, to do this healthily it will take a while. Any inch is worth a mile.

Enjoy your practice. Find a way to get moving and feel good about it. Circus arts (particularly static trapeze) and weight lifting are super fun to me.

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by Johnny Dangerous » Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:48 pm

Miroku wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 6:51 pm
Hi!

Recently I have started pondering engaging in some form of exercise as with time my body has started accumulating fat and now I am the heaviest I have ever been (just 80 kg, but the BMI is getting uncomfortably close to being overweight). However, I have discovered some issues with motivation as I tend to see engaging in exercise a bit boring or even a waste of time compared to other activities.
Is there a sutra source that mentions Buddha's position on exericses? How do you go about keeping yourself fit? Do you have some recommendations for somebody like me who just really wants to get rid of the dangerous belly fat and be fit not necessarily ripped?
Statistically, trying to actively "lose weight" tends to be a waste of time in the long term. If you look at the studies, not many are able to successfully drop a bunch of weight and keep it off. It happens, but it's much rarer than the diet/fitness world would have us believe. When people do lose weight, it's about long term diet modification usually, you can't exercise your way thin. It's better just to be healthy, there are better outcome to that approach than trying to directly lose weight/diet etc.

https://www.vox.com/2018/1/3/16845438/e ... n-calories this is some goofy Vox article, but AFAIK it is right on the money, exercise by itself simply will not help you lose weight, and most of weight loss is adjusting eating habits.

For exercise, IME you have to find something that is interesting to you, or at least minimally boring. If you're not into exercising generally, all I can think of is trying to do it as some sort of meditation, running or something.

I personally do HIIT training and martial arts. HIIT is great because it's so short attention span, you can do anything for a minute. Doing a HIIT class for a while you will naturally figure out how to create your own workouts too. I still have a big gut and pretty much gave up on getting rid of it, I try to focus on building core strength and getting cardiovascular exercise, a little every day, then two to three heavy workouts per week. Even with my gut my lab numbers are good if I do this. Again though, I exercise for health and because I like it, it is not making me lose weight.

Finally, I recommend https://www.darebee.com/, it's free and has a lot of good workouts that you can pretty much just pick up and do. The monthly challenges are also good to get you moving in a certain direction.
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by boda » Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:55 am

As others mention, exercise is healthy for the body and mind, and should be made a habit regardless of weight, assuming there’s a desire to be healthy and vital.

Also as others mention, diets don’t work. The only thing that works is a lifestyle adjustment to compensate for an aging metabolism, or whatever caused the unwanted weight gain. Making a habit of more exercise and being mindful of calorie intake is the essential formula.

I do many forms of exercise. Getting older, the diversity helps to prevent repetitive stress injuries, I believe. The most boring is lap swimming because there’s no possibility to distract yourself. Nevertheless I enjoy it. Sometimes it’s like a meditation. Other times it’s an opportunity to think about something undistracted. Sometimes I focus on technique, which can be like a meditation.

A new form of exercise I’ve been doing lately is standup paddle boarding. You can burn a lot of calories in a short period of time because it works many parts of the body, including the core. Plus it’s nice being emerged in nature.

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by RDTAC Ranger » Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:58 pm

The human body was designed to move. This being the case means that very little or no movement causes problems for normal functioning. You have to understand that a human being consists of 90% fluids and these fluids rely on body movement to both stimulate and facilitate the fluid transfer from one area of the body to another. Now its very important to understand what types of movements you require to create this optimal effect on your body's systems. This is because not all forms of movement are healthy, even though the media, fitness coaches and the general public might say that they are. Ignorance is always bliss. And when it comes to movement, one size does not fit all. Its very important that you understand that there is a distinction between health and sports performance fitness. With sports performance fitness the aim is to compete and win a personal challenge or prestigious event. Whereas with health the goal is to live a happy, stress and disease free, energy filled life. If your goal is to compete, then by all means sign up at a gymnasium and train with its equipment. But if your focus is on health then I suggest you take up sailing, canoeing, rock-climbing, short distance hiking, social tennis or horse riding each of which will stimulate all your body systems adequately for supreme health and vigor. DO NOT go to a gym. To stimulate health its important that the activity itself shifts your focus from "exercise" to "an exciting fun activity to share with friends."

If you take this approach to movement and make it a fun part of your weekly routine, your body will adjust its metabolism and your extra weight will reduce naturally. And, in a short period of time your health with become optimal. And both your body and mind will be at peace with one another. This in essence is "every day Zen."

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by Supramundane » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:42 am

:good:
RDTAC Ranger wrote:
Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:58 pm
The human body was designed to move. This being the case means that very little or no movement causes problems for normal functioning. You have to understand that a human being consists of 90% fluids and these fluids rely on body movement to both stimulate and facilitate the fluid transfer from one area of the body to another. Now its very important to understand what types of movements you require to create this optimal effect on your body's systems. This is because not all forms of movement are healthy, even though the media, fitness coaches and the general public might say that they are. Ignorance is always bliss. And when it comes to movement, one size does not fit all. Its very important that you understand that there is a distinction between health and sports performance fitness. With sports performance fitness the aim is to compete and win a personal challenge or prestigious event. Whereas with health the goal is to live a happy, stress and disease free, energy filled life. If your goal is to compete, then by all means sign up at a gymnasium and train with its equipment. But if your focus is on health then I suggest you take up sailing, canoeing, rock-climbing, short distance hiking, social tennis or horse riding each of which will stimulate all your body systems adequately for supreme health and vigor. DO NOT go to a gym. To stimulate health its important that the activity itself shifts your focus from "exercise" to "an exciting fun activity to share with friends."

If you take this approach to movement and make it a fun part of your weekly routine, your body will adjust its metabolism and your extra weight will reduce naturally. And, in a short period of time your health with become optimal. And both your body and mind will be at peace with one another. This in essence is "every day Zen."

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明安 Myoan
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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by 明安 Myoan » Thu Feb 06, 2020 5:03 am

Exercise is a great support for visualizations and rhythmic practices like chanting :smile:
With a heart wandering in ignorance down this path and that, to guide me I simply say Namu-Amida-Butsu. -- Ippen

The Fundamental Vow [of Amitabha Buddha] is just for such people as woodcutters and grassgatherers, vegetable pickers, drawers of water and the like, illiterate folk who merely recite the Buddha's name wholeheartedly, confident that as a result of saying "Namu Amida Butsu" they will be born into the western land. -- Master Hōnen

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by Mantrik » Thu Feb 06, 2020 10:39 am

The simple rule - calories consumed need to balance calories used. Exercise helps but unless you are incredibly active the advice is always the same - eat no more than you need.
Losing weight is generally the key, but some manage to put on a little weight as muscle as they adopt a healthier lifestyle, which can mask the drop in body fat percentage.
Fat in food used to be the 'enemy' and now it is sugar but both allow you to consume a huge number of calories with very little effort. So read labels on foods and find out more about your weight, fat percentage etc so you can be accurate in changing your lifestyle. No quick fixes, just a need for motivation and long term change.
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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by CompassionateJourney » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:21 pm

futerko wrote:
Thu Nov 07, 2019 7:44 pm
Gardening is also great exercise and you can see the fruits of your labour, which can be motivating.
I agree with gardening but really and physical active that you enjoy doing will be equally beneficial. Don't think of it as excersise, think of it as a hobby.

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by Nemo » Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:54 pm

Weight loss is just a number. As you age it's good to keep track of the mileage on all your organ systems. Exercise can easily slow the progression of aging and dissolution of this precious human birth. In practice it is very boring like most forms of preventative maintenance. Keeping yourself alive and fit enough to not be a burden on others is worth some effort.

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Hazel
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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by Hazel » Thu Feb 06, 2020 9:59 pm

Nemo wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 1:54 pm
Weight loss is just a number. As you age it's good to keep track of the mileage on all your organ systems. Exercise can easily slow the progression of aging and dissolution of this precious human birth. In practice it is very boring like most forms of preventative maintenance. Keeping yourself alive and fit enough to not be a burden on others is worth some effort.
Unfortunately weight can be a misleading and sometimes hazardous number to measure health by. In my personal opinion, the ability to accomplish tasks is a much better one. Mindfulness of body helps with measuring this.

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Re: Exercise and weight loss - waste of time?

Post by DharmaN00b » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:31 am

True Hazel, but mortality is also measured by degree of loneliness. Sum are imbued with beauty from the outset and struggle in desperation to keep attention. This isn't clear (or clearly sad) until one becomes of age or remains an ugly duckling.

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