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About Being Male/Female and Striving to Become Stronger/Healthier

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#1 niemandgeist


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Posted 30 June 2016 - 03:21 PM

So this is a topic that I feel some of us here can relate to: About being a man/woman and striving to become fitter and stronger as a lifestyle choice.


There are many ways men (and women-alike) may become interested in becoming fitter and stronger as a lifestyle choice.


I'd like to state outright that there are MANY ways to be and look "fit" and "strong", whether you are male or female.


Maybe you like to lift weights, use machines, or maybe you're more like me and you prefer to exercise with minimal equipment to work your way up to being able to do handstand push ups, one-arm push ups, one-leg squats, and more.


Perhaps you prefer to run, sprint, hike, jog, power walk, cycle, climb, swim, dance, do yoga, or something else.


Maybe you like to do all sorts of cool stuff to be healthy! Maybe you just thoroughly enjoy manual labor!


If you're the sort that loves to be active in any way this thread may be for you. I'd love to read about your input and experiences!


How do you enjoy being active? Why? For how long has this been an important part of your life? How are you liking it? Have you persevered and succeeded, or have you started out for a good while and then burned out?


I feel that these are important topics for discussion for those of us here at Mycotopia who value their physical health. After all, physical health = mental/spiritual health!


My own personal experiences with fitness:


I started exercising regularly for the first time in my life when I was 19 years old. I was, at my heaviest, 230 pounds at 5'6" tall. I remember wearing a 42" American pants waist!


Now I've been at a 32" or less pants waist for 4'ish years.


I had to learn how to eat less in order to lose weight, and above all else I had to learn how to eat HEALTHY.


Since then, I've been on-again, off-again with weight-lifting. The longest I was ever able to do it was 1 or 2 years, then I'd stop and become stagnant before picking it up again.


For me, weights were: "Something to do in order to become healthier in life." After a year or more, however, it just got to be so boring I couldn't keep up with it.


It wasn't until I was 33 years old that I decided to try something different. For me, it was bodyweight exercises (calisthenics).


Over the last 4 years I've kept my weight in the range of 150 to 160 pounds.


What is bodyweight exercise (calisthenics)?


  • Pull ups/chin ups
  • Push ups
  • Parallel bar or chair dips
  • Squats/lunges/deep step ups/taking the stairs every-other stair, power walking up hills
  • Handstand push ups against a wall or a pole
  • Rows with odd objects/dumbbells or rowing my own bodyweight (inverted rows, tuck front lever rows)
  • Any "bodyweight/calisthenics" exercises with added weight (weighted vest, backpack full of weights, or improvised weights, barbells, or dumbbells.)

Bodyweight exercises can also be combined with traditional barbells, machines, dumbbells, or weighted exercises.


Since I started bodyweight exercise/calisthenics over the last 1 and 1/2 years I've never been happier! I can work out inside or outside in the woods, at parks with playground equipment, while travelling, and I can always fit in some kind of challenging exercise every day that I find fun and challenging!


Exercise changed my life completely. I became a completely new person. I found that, through regular hard work over time, I increased my energy, my moods, my tolerance of bullshit and stress, it improved my sleep, and made me generally a more centered, content, and open-minded individual.


Most importantly, as a bipolar person, in addition to my two medications (mood stabilizer and anti-psychotic), regular exercise (training to become stronger as well as training for aerobic/cardio exercise) has drastically improved my overall mental health and general stability.


All it takes is 40 to 60'ish minutes 2x or 3x a week to get stronger.


All it takes to have a healthy heart, lungs, and circular system is walking, hiking, jogging, running, cycling, or sprinting 3x a week for 30 minutes.


I'd love to hear about how YOU personally have, over time, implemented regular exercise into your life and how it has made a difference for you!


Every person enjoys doing different physical activities in life to be healthier and happier. There are SO many different ways to be and to look fit. I've tried various things off-and-on since I was 19 (I am now 34 as of the first week of this past June) so I'm curious to learn what has worked for all of you!


For me, personally, I absolutely love doing bodyweight exercise/calisthenics because I can work out with minimal equipment anywhere, any time, whether it be outside at a park in the woods, at a park with playground equipment, in my own back yard, or at home with limited equipment.


Heck, I even kept fit this past April when I was in an inpatient mental hospital environment for a week!


I love doing my wall-supported handstand push ups, my one-legged squats, my one-arm push ups, and my weighted chest dips and chin ups.


It's a LOT harder for me to pack on muscle doing these things, because instead of just moving a barbell or dumbbell with weight, I have to move my ENTIRE bodyweight PLUS the external load. So I'm pretty lean and thin. I look nothing like a bodybuilder but I'm very content with being strong and capable when I need to do physical labor.


So far as I care: If you are active and healthy you will feel amazing even if your frame is diminutive and not anything at all like a bodybuilder.


Have your psychedelic experiences played into this lifestyle choice of yours at all?


For me, my cumulative psychedelic experiences I've had have played a major role in my fitness routine and my ideology. I've realized, through every psychedelic trip, that it's important to have both a healthy mind AND a healthy body, and I just had to experiment a lot to figure out what physical activities I ENJOY that I can STICK WITH over a LONG TIME that will lead to long-term health and mental benefits.


I've typed a lot already, so I'm just hoping that even just one other exercise-lover here will take the time to respond to so we can get a nice conversation going.


I also hope that others will chime in to show other 'Topians what we can all try out to be better healthier versions of ourselves so we can ward off unnecessarily early aging and to feel younger as we age. Hopefully things that most of us can start doing for the long-haul, preferably things that we all enjoy to stay fit, strong, and happy for the rest of our lives!

Edited by niemandgeist, 30 June 2016 - 03:29 PM.

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#2 AwolMind



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Posted 01 July 2016 - 07:16 PM

I grew up in a rural area in Indiana so I've always had a fairly active lifestyle and my parents always encouraged me to eat healthy unprocessed foods. That gave me a great foundation and I've always been in somewhat good shape. I don't weigh myself very often but I've always been very lean and never over 170 since I'm a taller guy.

I did some weight lifting throughout high school and enjoyed it, but I never caught on enough to do it outside of school. I enjoy running and hiking a lot more.

Nowadays, I run about a mile every morning but that's about it, and sometimes I'm a bit of a slacker and skip several days a week. I'm getting better at keeping a consistent routine and I'd like to find some other exercises to do to improve my overall strength and stamina.

I find all of the things you do very interesting and I'll probably give some of them a go very soon!

As far as psychedelics go, I've only had one experience and that was with cubes. It definitely gave me more motivation to make my diet stricter and not slack as much on running! A healthy body makes for a healthy mind, and vice versa.

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#3 niemandgeist


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Posted 02 July 2016 - 08:49 PM

Good to hear that others are doing something to take care of their bodies.


I've got some good free online resources for strength training without the need for weights if you're ever interested.


Just leading an active lifestyle at all and fitting it in wherever you can and never giving that up will go a LONG way. Sometimes consistency isn't always possible. I say do your best to be consistent, but most of all never give up fitting in exercise when you have the time and you should be good.

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#4 SteampunkScientist


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Posted 18 July 2016 - 07:20 PM

I'm 6' but got up to 245, 2.5 years ago. About the time I started on this forum and started using the sacraments and meditation I realized how unhealthy i was. I started walking. Then biking, then power hiking, then I found I started hating the junk food. My body was detoxifying. Then in meditation I started inner as well as outer healing. Now at a healthy 195 lbs, and 3 pants sizes less people think I'm in my thirties.

Yeah, Neim, it works!
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#5 niemandgeist


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Posted 19 July 2016 - 10:03 AM

Congratulations on moving from an unhealthy weight and lifestyle to a more active, healthy one!  :cool:  In my late teens I got up to being 230lbs at my heaviest, but for the most part I was between 190'ish and 200'ish. I'm only 5'6" tall at most so I was HUGE.


Making those big changes can be very daunting, especially with weight loss because it happens very slowly. It's got to be a lifestyle change, but fortunately once you start doing the right things you feel better, look better, become healthier, have more energy, your brain works better, and there are so many other benefits. Our bodies also reward us with endorphins and endocannabinoids for a free natural high.


Learning how to eat better and include regular physical activity in your life can only ever benefit people. The main difficult part is figuring out how to fit that physical activity in while balancing what's going on in the rest of your life: family, work, school, and other obligations can make it tough.


The best way to free up time is to sacrifice some things. People will go on about how they've got no time to exercise, but they still have time to watch TV, play video games, sit in a chair browsing the internet, read, and do other things for hours a day. You can still do that stuff while getting exercise in: You just have to balance them, so instead of watching TV every night for X hours you can watch less TV to fit in more exercise.


For strength training, at most you only really need 3 hours a week. Then you figure 20 to 30 minutes for cardio 3 times a week or more doesn't take up too much more time. You can even dedicate slightly less time to exercise and still do very well for yourself. It's all about finding a healthy balance that you can maintain.


I love to cook simple meals. I occasionally still eat ice cream and go out for fast food, but it's pretty rarely. I save a lot of money buying mostly whole foods and cooking them myself. It's also a fun hobby to get into. Fortunately most healthy tasty cooking doesn't have to be complicated. You can also cook up a lot at once and save leftovers for when you don't have time to cook a full meal!

Edited by niemandgeist, 19 July 2016 - 10:04 AM.

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