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Fitness and buddhism

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

I’ve started a bit of a fitness jag, I put on some weight in corona time and thought I would take it off again. So I have installed a fitness app on my iPhone for exercise programs and am making use of bicycles and things, and have put together a program of diet and exercise.

But I notice that all this effort is very much part of the culture of health and beauty. The gyms are still all closed over here, but from what I recall of when I was a regular some years ago there was a whole thing around ‘active wear’ clothing and trainers and the right look.

So I was wondering how do you combine body maintenance with Buddhism? Especially on the motivation front?

Walkerlobster

Comments

  • WalkerWalker Veteran Veteran

    Ugh... I've put on some weight too.

    For the last week or so, I've cut back on the snacking and I'm walking more (I've been doing a 7km route each day).

    Motivation wise, I know that I feel a lot better when I'm not carrying around the extra weight, and when my clothing starts to feel tight, well, I take it as a clue that it's time to do something about it. Looking better is just a side effect for me. Not sure if my motivation is skillful in the Buddhist sense, but as our friendly neighbourhood crustacean often laments, I'm a rubbish Buddhist anyway. :D

    Keromeperson
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited May 17

    Fasting fits in well with my Buddhist lifestyle and is regularly followed by Monastics (as you well probably know). When I DO eat, I am far more conscious of my intake, food provenance and the privilege of eating food, produced and manufactured by others for my benefit.

    Exercise is essentially either of cardio benefit, or muscular maintenance/growth, (which makes you weigh more, obviously). However, it has little dietary benefit, so exercise is optional, but good for you nevertheless.
    Fasting is KNOWN to have many benefits.
    It can reverse type II diabetes, aid longevity and rejuvenates the body, aiding your system to live longer.
    I regularly fast (twice a week) for 36 hours, then the remainder of the week, I stick to one meal a day, eating beneficial nutrients.

    KeromeBunkslobster
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited May 17

    Homemade wholemeal bread, spread with homemade butter, gouda slices and sauteed tomatoes in their juice. Very good!

    ETA: Motivation is the same, regardless of what yoiur discipline is; be it exercise, meditation, an eating/Fasting regimen, or even something as basically simple as turning your bed linen every morning, on rising. It takes discipline, willpower and determination.
    It's no secret I am an avid cook and definite foodie. But it's quite simple. If I find I am tempted to eat, during a Fast, I merely think to myself, "No. You can do this." and I avoid food intake for the duration.
    The longest I have gone on a Fast (so far) is 42 hours, but I'm at my most comfortable, personally, on 2 36-hour clean Fasts/week. ('Clean' fasting means water only, with electrolytes. 'Dirty' Fasting - not a term that endears! - means you drink herb teas, black coffee/tea, water with lemon juice or ACV, and maybe a tablespoonful of Chia seeds in warm water....)

    lobsterRen_in_black
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Walker said:
    Ugh... I've put on some weight too.

    Yeah I think a lot of people will have done. Sitting at home in coronavirus time doesn’t leave you with a lot to do except vegetate, so it takes a lot of motivation to keep up a routine.

    For the last week or so, I've cut back on the snacking and I'm walking more (I've been doing a 7km route each day).

    It sounds like you are doing something about it. 7 km is 10,000 steps roughly, so that gets you to your daily quotient.

    I’ve started doing a HIIT routine 3x a week (that’s High Intensity Interval Training for those not up on the latest jargon) so I do get sweaty a few times, but I don’t think I make my 10,000 steps. I’ve been tempted to get an Apple Watch, which I know is a great motivator for getting daily exercise.

    Motivation wise, I know that I feel a lot better when I'm not carrying around the extra weight, and when my clothing starts to feel tight, well, I take it as a clue that it's time to do something about it. Looking better is just a side effect for me.

    I agree, about nine years ago I was relatively fit, but the weight has been creeping up for a while and now push has come to shove and I’m going to see if I can lose those extra 20 kg.

    Not sure if my motivation is skillful in the Buddhist sense, but as our friendly neighbourhood crustacean often laments, I'm a rubbish Buddhist anyway. :D

    I know, I’m a rubbish Buddhist as well — as recent Sutra-reading efforts have been pointing out to me.

    Walker
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @federica said:
    I regularly fast (twice a week) for 36 hours, then the remainder of the week, I stick to one meal a day, eating beneficial nutrients.

    I stand in awe of your fasting prowess. I tried intermittent fasting for a while, two days a week and while I kept it up for a few months in the end I couldn’t stick with it, especially as it wasn’t having any real effect on my weight.

    So I decided to go back to what really worked for me, diet and exercise in combination. I watched a few bodybuilding videos and basically built my plan from that, 3x training days a week and low-carb diet on the off days to encourage fat burn.

    There’s no substitute for getting properly fit, so I’m planning to build up to a more rigorous set of strength and cardio exercises in time. I’m a bit constrained by the available equipment, but I have done this before. Once previously in my life I lost 30 kg in about a year, so I know it can be done and I know how to do it.

    federica
  • JeffreyJeffrey Veteran

    I'm at risk for diabetes because of medicine I have to take and I am lightly to moderately overweight but I am a healthy overweight I think because I exercise. My Dad says that he thinks he is this active because he used to run and because he still walks a lot.

    About 10 years ago I started exercising with my Mom because her friend suggested it and I really liked it because I was connecting back to physical activity which I really enjoyed in high school; back then I played 3 sports. So although when I exercise I truly do "feel the burn" of lactic acid and laboring breath, but overall I enjoy the experience.

    My exercise routines vary over the years. I've read to get 10 minutes of vigorous cardio (jogging, eleptical machine, treadmill, etc) every 72 hours (3 days) to get my protection from high blood sugar and other heart healthy things like blood pressure. So cardio is one area that I focus on. For the past year for strength training I alternate calisthenics: push ups one day, then sit ups, then squats with just my body weight. I also do stretches every day or every 3 days or so and I do a combination of stretches I did for soccer team along with some I do to prevent plantar fasciatus I am prone to.

    And finally in addition to the 3 areas of stretching, strength, and cardio do a joyful exercise! Tennis or shooting hoops or throwing a ball with someone or something joyful! Dog owners can play with their 4 legged friends.

    lobsterRen_in_black
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited May 17

    Fasting reverses and can cure diabetes Type II. It's also an effective and healthy way to lose weight.
    I get an awful lot of people telling me "oh, I don't think I can fast because <& Insert condition here &>" but the truth is that a vast majority of ailments can be vastly improved and even eliminated by judicious controlled fasting. I belong to a Zero Fasting group on Fb, and have learnt a great deal as a result of sharing experiences and reading posts, articles, websites and literature. I'm absolutely no expert whatsoever, but I know it works.

  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

    Simply walking is low- to no-cost, manageable by almost everyone, and really has nothing to do with vanity or anything like that. As some have mentioned above, weight loss is a nice little potential side effect.

    https://trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-health-fitness/Walking-Benefits-Infographic.jpg

    adamcrossleyWalkerlobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I’ve started a bit of a fitness jag, I put on some weight in corona time and thought I would take it off again. So I have installed a fitness app on my iPhone for exercise programs and am making use of bicycles and things, and have put together a program of diet and exercise.

    But I notice that all this effort is very much part of the culture of health and beauty. The gyms are still all closed over here, but from what I recall of when I was a regular some years ago there was a whole thing around ‘active wear’ clothing and trainers and the right look.

    So I was wondering how do you combine body maintenance with Buddhism? Especially on the motivation front?

    The below is just what works for me @Kerome:

    I'd suggest walking is the best exercise for non-attachment. Maybe some light weights as well sometimes.

    Once it becomes too strenuous is when the attachment arises (if you're just training for training's sake).

    WalkerRen_in_blackShoshin
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Fellow Fast trackers and healthy Buddies,

    I do minimum fasting, no snacking between meals, 12 hour night fast. Yep even us rubbishers can aspire to that.

    Fortunately I can do gardening. However my water can filling is superseded by hosing from a deck chair ... failure on that. :(

    I am practicing extreme shielding. Not walking amongst covid phone zombies ... I have to walk around the garden (tiny) up and down the steps but I am lifting logs and heavy garden pots when required. I prefer to walk after during rain to cleanse the air ... Sadly am using minimum dig method for gardening. Try digging for exercise. Not that I intend to ...

    Prefer yoga, chi kung and solo martial practice ... <3

    More tips on breathing exercise during meditation welcome. In-out works for me ...
    Oh and Micheal Sealey will hypnotise you skinny ... easy does it ...

    KeromeWalkeradamcrossley
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well it’s good to know that even Buddhists take food and health somewhat seriously. We all seem to do something about it, although I think Mr Sealey's efforts to hypnotise people into slimness are likely to be a dead end.

    Personally I find the whole fitness scene quite inspiring. There are a lot of very dedicated men and women doing their thing there, putting in a lot of effort into something that’s quite healthy.

  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Homemade wholemeal bread, spread with homemade butter, gouda slices and sauteed tomatoes in their juice. Very good!

    Yep it's pizza ... :p

    Yum!

    I would remind those practicing mindful chewing. Eat slowly, chew well. Focus on the food. If you eat mindfully, you will eat less. Only eat wonderful food as @federica mentions ...

    • small sweet toms
    • home made wholemeal bread
    • olive oil iz buttery/tasty

    Does you haz herbs? Food is medicine ...

  • DavidDavid some guy Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    I’ve started a bit of a fitness jag, I put on some weight in corona time and thought I would take it off again. So I have installed a fitness app on my iPhone for exercise programs and am making use of bicycles and things, and have put together a program of diet and exercise.

    But I notice that all this effort is very much part of the culture of health and beauty. The gyms are still all closed over here, but from what I recall of when I was a regular some years ago there was a whole thing around ‘active wear’ clothing and trainers and the right look.

    So I was wondering how do you combine body maintenance with Buddhism? Especially on the motivation front?

    This is going to sound predictable and possibly pat but I go the Middle Way in times of unsurety. Not too tight, not too loose.

    I like to stay healthy in both body and mind so I watch what I consume and keep fit.

    I like to remember that if I want to keep my current level of physical fitness not only do I need to eat mindfully I need to burn the same amount of energy I take in.

    I've never been one for fads and don't go to gyms probably for the same reasons.

    lobster
  • lobsterlobster Veteran

    Good advice @Shoshin 🙏🏽🌈👍🏼

    Very well said.

    Never beguiled
    Always ready to do
    without thought

    BunksShoshin
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I’m tempted to buy an Apple Watch to help motivate me... it apparently does a good job of reminding you if you have been slacking. But I’m not sure if I am obsessive enough about fitness to do this. In some ways the whole getting into shape vibe is rather obsessive.

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Kerome said:
    In some ways the whole getting into shape vibe is rather obsessive.

    I agree - I had to stop worrying about it as I have a bit of an obsessive personality so became fixated on fitness. Just a 30 minute walk each day should suffice.

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I’m going to do Pilates for a while, I think, on top of cycling as a form of burning calories. It’s a good system for gaining fitness and you can do it with just some floor space and a mat. I did a short 10 minute session today and I’m already a little sore...

    Bunks
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    (Before I knew what it was, I used to pronounce 'Pilates' as 'Pilots'.... )

    BunksWalker
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Very sore today after my first Pilates session yesterday, my core muscles have gotten soft!

    Bunks
  • WalkerWalker Veteran Veteran

    @federica said:
    (Before I knew what it was, I used to pronounce 'Pilates' as 'Pilots'.... )

    lol... I did too.

    Cold and rainy here. It was actually snowing a little this morning. I did get out and walk about half my usual amount yesterday. I'm going to try and get out for a little today. Walking is miserable in this weather.

    Bunks
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