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Need testimonials that working out makes you feel better(12 posts)

Need testimonials that working out makes you feel betterPODIUMBOUNDdotCA
Jan 2, 2003 1:12 PM
I'm trying to convince a fairly sedentary person who just quit smoking as a result is low on energy to start working out. Anyone have any stories of how working out helped them?

No question about it. But the BAD news. . .cory
Jan 2, 2003 1:29 PM
How long do you want me to go on? I have a tendency to get into really good shape about once a year, then let things slide gradually until I catch fire again, usually after the first long ride in spring. The difference between the way I feel when I'm in just OK condition and the way I feel when I'm working at it is astonishing.
More relevant, though, is what happened two years ago. A combination of job pressures and a family illness took ALL my time for about six months--I barely worked out at all, and went from about 220 pounds (at 6'4") to 260+.
The weight goes on gradually, so you don't really notice how it drags you down. When I finally got straightened out and took it off, though, I did it fairly quickly, through a LOT of exercise and a moderate diet. I had been coming home and falling into a chair, eating dinner and going to bed. Within a couple of months I was LOOKING for stuff to do, taking the dog for walks at 10 p.m. and squeezing in an afternoon ride even though I'd done one at lunch. My energy level doubled or tripled (I dunno; how do you measure that?). And--not to get too personal--my wife noticed a big difference. Takes me 4-6 weeks to get into the rhythm, but it's well worth the trouble.
But the bad news: I hate lifting weights and enjoy cycling and jogging, but I try to lift two or three times a week anyway. When I have time for only one thing, though, lifting makes me feel much better than riding.
Night and Day!Jon Billheimer
Jan 2, 2003 2:07 PM

Sixteen years ago I was a 2 1/2 pack a day smoker. My health was deteriorating rapidly--as were all other aspects of my life--so I quit cold turkey. Barely six months later my right lung spontaneously collapsed twice in two weeks. The post-surgical diagnosis was chronic, irreversible emphysema.

Against doctors' advice I began running and working out. This was extremely difficult both physically and emotionally, as I was run down and severely clinically depressed. Walking out the door each day and putting one foot in front of the other required a monumental act of will. Weight training was physically difficult and painful, but necessary for my shoulder rehab. However, I persisted.

Five years later I ran my first marathon! I have literally remade myself and been reborn. It was the most difficult, but also, the most rewarding thing I have ever done. Without it, I think I may well have died. But the really positive part is that functionally I reversed the biological clock. At 58 I'm fitter and more athletic than I was at 35.

Overcoming a little inertia seems difficult at the time, but the rewards, both physically and emotionally, are all out of proportion to the effort. If I can be of further help to your client, e-mail me at
Plenty of evidence to support what Jon said....eyebob
Jan 2, 2003 2:54 PM
But that's like telling a smoker to quit because it's bad for them. They know that! Testimonials are a nice effort on your part and I commend you for trying anything but the reality may be deeper than just inertia. In any event, make exercise fun and s/he will most likely do it more often. January in Canada? Skating, xc skiing, or snow shoeing. The latter may just do the trick. Out fit the client for about $200 and just walk into the woods (preferably with a friend or a dog or at the very least a nice camera) And then mix it up. But shoot, you know all of this right?

Good for you for helping.

Great story!Len J
Jan 2, 2003 3:59 PM
Why does it sometimes take extreme adversity to "wake us up"? I know that I am the same way. You would think we would be smarter.

Adversity sure changes your perspective, doesn't it.

Thanks for inspiring me.

The thicker the skull...Jon Billheimer
Jan 2, 2003 9:28 PM
...the bigger the hammer that's required to get one's attention!:)-
LOL Thanks........Len J
Jan 3, 2003 5:12 AM
unfortunatly, I also think it's genetic. I have a son that can't learn anything the easy way.

Now, where did I put that hammer..........

My 69 y/o dad has emphysema, high cholesterol, hepatitis, & Barrett's esophagus, but now rides all the timeTig
Jan 3, 2003 9:34 AM
He was a smoker for decades and has survived melanoma as well. He's always been active (hyper would be more accurate!), but not an athlete of any sort. I can only imagine how much time he'd spend in the hospital these days if he didn't ride and kayak every week. His physical and mental health are much improved by exercising regularly, doing what he loves... riding and paddling. The key is to find something we love to do. Then it won't feel like a chore or that forbidden word, "exercise"!

Getting the ball rolling and overcoming sedentary inertia is the hardest part. It is always painful at first. However, pain is the doorway for growth and improvement.
re: Need testimonials that working out makes you feel betterNewDayNewWay
Jan 2, 2003 5:18 PM
A rule of thumb... Do the opposite of what you think you should do. OK, that sound's kind of corny, but I've found that this rule can sometimes be put to practical use, and exercising is a prime example. If you don't feel like getting off your butt and doing some pushups, that's exactly when you should do it! I always feel better afterwards, even when I didn't feel like working out.

Three aspects to physical exercise, none of which should be sacrificed... strength training (e.g., lifting weights), flexibility (e.g., yoga), and aerobic fitness (e.g., riding a bike). If you focus on all three these consistently, you will probably live a much fuller life as you age and you may live longer.

I haven't always exercised. I was sendantary for the first 35 years of my life, but now I have a passion for exercise. I'm sure this has something to do with clarifying my values, i.e., NOTHING is more important than taking care of yourself. Although that may sound self-serving, nothing is further from the truth.

Anyways, those are some thoughts about exercise.
re: Need testimonials that working out makes you feel bettermaximum15
Jan 2, 2003 5:21 PM
Instead of just saying how much better it makes me feel, I would suggest you put 30, 40, 50 pounds into a backpack and let him/her wear that for a day. That ought to do the trick.
I'll be 50 in July, am presently in the best shape of my life ..Humma Hah
Jan 2, 2003 6:13 PM
... and after four really good rides in the last week, my legs feel superhuman. I've not gotten many "base miles" in for some months, although I've logged a lot of short commutes. Its really amazing how much difference I can feel in just a week.
If he's our age...empacher6seat
Jan 3, 2003 12:01 AM
(you're 19 too right?)
One look at some of the cute girls in the gym should do it :).

Honestly though, being an athlete it's easy to get carried away and force a really hardcore approach on friends who want to start working out. Make it fun at first, like drop in hockey at a rec center, or skiing/snowboarding or something like. Something that's not as monotonous as running on a treadmill for an hour. Once he catches the bug, who knows which direction he'll take excersizing. Just get the ball rolling for him, and make him realize those sore muscles he'll have for the first week or two is a GOOD pain :).