Working Out For Mood, Health And Happiness

I was just back at the gym after a 1.5 week break due to a cold. I’ve now stopped using the 4 hour body protocol by the book. However, I’m evolving it to fit my preferences. I liked the fact that the protocol from the book endorses going to failure in the sets. This is something I’ll keep doing. This in combination with adding more exercises, and a higher frequency of workouts. Examples of exercises I want to add are machine exercises. For example leg curls, leg press, flies, calves and more. For some reason I’ve been avoiding machines for years in the gym. I think it started when I heard that using machines has some downsides compared with using free weight exercises, for example you don’t develop stability in the muscles in the same way as when you’re forced to exert a greater control of the movement with a free weight. However, I want to try this for myself and it seems to me that isolating muscles in machines might be an effective way to make progress where you otherwise might plateau on a compound exercise for example.

So this is for the gym. During this experiment I also did some thinking about why I even bother with going to the gym. It took a lot of effort to follow the program, especially when traveling. I came to the conclusion that I’m not doing this to gain muscle or a more attractive body. I’m doing it to have a better mood and feel more healthy and happier. However, having some goals and making progress can be motivating to me. But I need to strike a balance and not forget why I do this at all. Otherwise there’s a risk that it goes too far in the other direction and it becomes too stressful eventually.

Something I want to add when I have time and as an extra flavor is low intensity cardio in the gym. Using a bike. And running. I will start slow doing like 15-20 minutes on the bike and then 5-10 minutes on the treadmill with mixed walking and running. I do have a pretty high risk of getting injuries when running historically. So it will be crucial that I start slow and don’t push the running too much.

All in all, I’m looking forward to this new, more balanced regime with a focus on improving my mood, health and happiness. This is a clear goal and I need to keep it in mind when I feel like I’m starting to over-do it. It’s not worth it. It’s a long race and I’m aiming to peak in my 70s.

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