The Pursuit of Healthiness

The Pursuit of Healthiness
Your Guide to Getting Healthy

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Why Phoned-In Workouts Don't Count as Real Workouts

Look, if you're watching "Game of Thrones" and you get up in the middle of it to do twenty sit-ups every twenty minutes, that's really, really good. Being sedentary is very bad for you so getting up and moving everyone now and again to get your blood pumping for a couple minutes is a great idea.

But if you do this and binge watch "Game of Thrones" for ten hours straight, only getting up to do these sit-ups every twenty minutes and you spend the whole day like that, don't be surprised when you don't see the scale move.

Weight sticks to you. You have to shake it loose. If you're not really shaking, you're not really going to lose it.

For a lot of winter break, that's what I did, with the occasional (read: once a week) trip to the gym. Most days I was just watching tv and patting myself on a back when I'd get up every now and again to do squats and lift five pound weights. When I got back to school, I pretty much continued the same trend. I'd watch television all day and then go do a ten minute Pilates video every couple of hours. I hadn't felt sore in a long time, unless you count my butt from sitting for so long.

I woke up this morning feeling so gross and lazy, I couldn't take it anymore. I put on a sweatshirt, filled up my water bottle and made the trek to my gym. I scanned the equipment, thinking maybe I'd work up the courage to use the treadmill and start a real running regime since I recently decided that in Fall 2017, I would run the Star Wars Half Marathon in Disneyland. But after seeing that most of the treadmills were filled up and my favorite machine, the bike, was empty, I made my way over to it. I putting on the "Hamilton" soundtrack, set the time for forty-five minutes, and got started.

By fifteen minutes in, I was so out of breath. I kept going, mind you. I did the full 45 minutes and the five minute cool down. But by the time I was done, my legs felt like jello. They almost gave out when I got off the bike for the first time. I found my sea legs, walked back to my dorm, and collapsed in my bed, ready for a nap.

I wondered when I'd gotten so out of shape. I used to be able to do that with ease! Now I was struggling to get through it, with my brain screaming, "STOP! What the hell are you doing?" the whole time. I thought I'd been working out all winter already. Sure, they were miniworkouts, but it was still something. Then I realized, there's no such thing is a miniworkout! Just moving every now and again is not a workout; it's just something you should do as a human being. It should come natural to us that we wouldn't spend the whole day on our butts, but we forget that sometimes so when we don't spend the day in a bed or a chair, we think we did something outrageously good for us. Really, we did something good, just not as great as we think.

Fitting in workouts can be hard, both for lack of time and lack of desire, but if you really want to lose weight, phoning in a quick couple of squats would do it. We are always looking for shortcuts:the quickest way to a six pack, the quickest way to get a better butt. This advice is everywhere, but there should be a little clause under all this advice saying that it doesn't really work. There is no shortcut. The only way to get health, the only way to lose weight, is to put in the work.

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