Fitness and being Healthy

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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Nikachelle » Sat Jul 07, 2012 5:24 am

He already makes the coffee in the mornings. :)

And yeah I'm a firm believer in not eating anything two hours before I do exercise of any sort. If I do, without fail, I will get stomach cramps and those are just miserable. That being said, I remember during high school, when some kids didn't eat before early morning track practice, they end up vomiting bile up after a strenuous run. Different strokes I guess.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby firstamendme » Sat Jul 07, 2012 6:18 am

Fivelives wrote:Also, eat after you exercise. Eating before can lead to some Bad Things™.


Yeah that's pretty terrible as a blanket statement. I wake up hungry (sometimes before my alarm goes off) and if I don't eat before spending 2 hours at the gym I feel sick and light headed for the most part. I don't think the ~300 calorie high protein breakfast I eat before working out is leading to anything 'Bad'. It just depends on the person.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Sat Jul 07, 2012 8:18 am

It depends on the type of workout, but in general the statement is safe to make.

Eating before a strenuous workout can cause (or contribute to):
- cramps
- vomiting
- dizziness
- acid reflux
- peptic ulcers
- diarrhea
- lethargy

Off the top of my head. The most dangerous of the lot is probably acid reflux, since chronic acid reflux can lead to esophageal tears, and the most counterproductive is probably lethargy. None of them are particularly good, though.

A light snack is fine, but eating a meal? Avoid at all costs.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Jul 07, 2012 12:22 pm

At all costs? That's overstating it by quite a bit. I mean, the list of problems just the workout alone can cause is huge, but that doesn't mean it should be avoided at all costs.

I wouldn't recommend eating before working out either, for several reasons. However, if that's the way it fits your schedule and you aren't experiencing problems, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. Just be mindful the potential problems so you can react if necessary.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby firstamendme » Sun Jul 08, 2012 7:31 am

Exactly. A valid point as a precaution, but an extreme falsehood as 'avoid at all costs'. In my case it is independent of the workout type I'm doing that day as well.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:17 pm

Talking to people here is like slamming my head into a brick wall. Doesn't bother the wall all that much, but gives me a giant fucking headache.

The list of Bad Shit™ that can happen because of eating a meal before a strenuous workout is downright staggering. It's safest to just tell people don't do it - partially because I don't feel like explaining everything that can happen in minute detail, and because it's just downright good goddamn advice.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Jul 08, 2012 12:38 pm

Dude, the problem is you have no concept of degrees...on almost anything. I swear to god, if there was an urban dictionary with the definition of the phrase "Knows enough to be dangerous" it would have your avatar right next to it.

If someone's schedule only allows them to workout after they've eaten, it's generally going to be worse for them to never work out, which is what you're suggesting. Working out after eating is not ideal, but calling it dangerous is too much. It's certainly a manageable situation.

EDIT: I mean honestly, you just rattled off a list of things and then summed it up by saying the worst is heartburn, assuming that it's chronic enough to do damage. Well what if you work out and don't get heartburn? People have been doing strenuous things after eating since we walked the earth, and the tolerance for doing so varies incredibly. Can it make you sick...sure, but can you also do it without problems...of course. So try it out and make adjustments based on the results.

Telling someone not do something that has any risk at all, is always the easiest solution, but it's definitely not always the best.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:57 am

I was under the impression that this thread is to provide advice to people who are just starting an exercise regimen.

You know that saying "Don't go swimming for at least 30 minutes after you've eaten"? Same philosophy. Champion swimmers do it all the time - but someone who's just learning to swim? Hellloooooo cramps. Same philosophy applies here. I'd hardly call my knowledge "just enough to be dangerous" by the way. At least in things medical, anyway. Unless you're one of the people that assume paramedics are just ambulance drivers and all that nurses are good for is changing bedpans that is.

And you ask "Well what if you work out and don't get heartburn?" Fair question. Some people don't. Most people do, especially novices. Most people get cramps, too - and others can get cramps bad enough to shred their tendons. Yes, I said chronic heartburn can be the worst of it, and it can be. I just had a patient a couple of days ago that presented with a torn esophagus from chronic heartburn. It wasn't caused by exercise (they had a history of GERD and a fairly sedentary lifestyle), but it doesn't take a Ph.D. in math to add 2 + 2 and come up with 4.

I'm not telling someone not to do something that has any risk at all. I'm advising people not to do something that has appreciable risk. If I was going to tell someone not to do something that has any risk at all, then I'd tell them never to leave their house. After all, if they go outside, they run the risk of getting struck by lightning or having a piece of space junk land directly on you. That's the difference here - one is infinitesimal, the other (problems due to eating a meal before exercising) is appreciable. I can think of a number of parallels, if this one is too hard for you to wrap your head around - I know you've had issues with understanding

So here you go: in my rather obnoxiously informed opinion you should avoid strenuous exercise after eating meals, at all costs. There's almost never a severe enough scheduling conflict where people can't fit in a workout pretty much anywhere in their day; either by getting up earlier (as Nikachelle is doing), or by bringing bag lunches from home and working out through their lunch break then eating at their desks, or by eating dinner just a little bit later. I've never met someone - even the most neurotic pre-med student - that couldn't juggle something as simple as a 30 minute workout into their days.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby firstamendme » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:23 am

Yes, but when your workout is 1.5-2 hours things are different from a scheduling perspective.

I still think the way you are saying it is horribly incorrect. Why not provide all the information in the context of things that could happen and let people make their own informed decision instead of half truths? Maybe it's the science dork in me, but I've always thought it better to give the information and situation based advice than all encompassing 'THE WORLD WILL END IF YOU DO THIS' statements.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:43 am

Most do get heartburn?  How could you possibly know that?  Cramps that shred their tendons?  Seriously...  Usually food related cramps occur in the stomach.  Also, the whole don't go swimming for 30 minutes after eating...is a myth.  It's been debunked over and over.  Sure you might get a cramp, or feel uncomfortable, but you aren't going to become disabled.  30 minutes isn't going to allow your body to digest a meal anyhow.

I'm sure you're a fine paramedic.  My wife is an RN so I know a bit about what nurses do.  I have no clue how that is relavant though, or what you're getting at.

I'd agree that recommending not eating before working out is a good idea. It's not an "at all costs" dire warning though, it's a recommendation.  I think for people who react badly to it, it'll probably take care of itself, but a lot of people can do it without any significant problems at all whether they are novices or not.  There's no real appreciable risk with trying it out and none of the risks you have mentioned are particularly acute, so it's something that they can work out for themselves.

The time involved with working out is a big barrier for entry for many people, and it is not always a trivial matter to adjust their schedules.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:50 pm

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/healt ... ref=health
http://archinte.jamanetwork.com/article ... eid=485088

The relationship between strenuous exercise and diet as it relates to heartburn is pretty well known, and fairly common.

The not going swimming thing isn't because it causes crippling cramps that will lead you to drown, it's because someone that's not used to the cramping could panic, which is pretty counterproductive to staying afloat while swimming. And yeah, 30 minutes isn't going to do much to digest a meal, that's just the "old wive's tale" that I heard growing up (and for me, it was an hour, not 30 minutes - which makes a bit more sense).

As far as mentioning my credentials, it's like this - would you argue with theckhd about math, or Aergis about website coding? People have areas of expertise. Mine is in the medical field - years in the Army as a combat lifesaver, then an alphabet soup flight paramedic, then a BSN. I've been in the medical profession now for right around 15 years.

Is the situation an "avoid at all costs" dire warning? Yes and no. The worst problems that come from it are chronic, but I didn't really feel like taking the time to explain things. It's fairly well known here that I can get fairly wordy (it's pretty much my natural state), so if I'm posting short snips about a subject that I'm pretty well familiar with, it's more likely than not because for one reason or another I don't have time to explain my position fully.

As far as tendon injuries an cramping, that was a comparison. Some people get heartburn bad enough to rupture their esophagus. Some people get muscle cramps bad enough that it ruptures their tendons. There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to bodies - but some advice is just downright good advice, whether it's "don't eat right before working out" or "don't jaywalk across a busy freeway".

I'll grant that I'm pretty horrible at explaining things. I assume that most people can understand what I'm saying and make the same connections a lot of the time, and what looks understandable to me should be understandable to everyone. That's obviously not the case though.

As far as time involved, yes. It's a barrier, but it's one that can pretty easily be broken down with a bit of willpower. I used to hate exercising in the morning, because I had to get up early. Then I noticed that I had more energy throughout the day and generally just felt better, plus it was easier to get to sleep at night - the bit that sucked about it was adjusting for the first month or so. But then, that's always been the "true" barrier to exercise programs. Not the time involvement, as opening up 30 minutes a day isn't really difficult, but the motivation to continue doing something even when it hurts.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Shyrtandros » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:33 pm

Back to fitness..


I forced my family to walk to and from the resturaunt instead of letting them drive. :)

My siblings are 12 & 14 years younger than me and I always worry that by the time they get to my age they'll look like sumo wrestlers since they never do anything physical..
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Skye1013 » Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:40 pm

I definitely appreciate that having to walk everywhere here in Korea has helped me in losing weight. Not sure what my "official" weight is right now, but unless someone has been tampering with the scale in the bathroom, it's been steadily decreasing. I need to get in the habit of more cardio, but the heat is rather killer in the afternoons/evenings (when combined with humidity) and I've never been a morning person, so that will definitely require some willpower to get going.

Not sure how I've managed to largely avoid being overweight (I think clinically I'm overweight, but I certainly don't look fat.) Most of my family struggles with weight issues, and despite never having had the best eating habits, I think I've only ever broken the 200lb. mark once (I'm 5' 10.5" for reference.) Generally I hover around 185-190. So either I've somehow avoided genetic weight issues, or my limited activity is more than most of my family gets... even prior to my joining the military.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby Fivelives » Mon Jul 09, 2012 5:54 pm

That's not a bad weight for your height, and even 200 isn't super bad. At 70", you should be aiming for a spot somewhere in the range of 160-170, but it depends a lot more on composition than weight. Have you had your body fat checked? Weight Watchers sells a scale that'll measure it pretty accurately. I picked one up at Target for $20.
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Re: Fitness and being Healthy

Postby firstamendme » Mon Jul 09, 2012 7:32 pm

I think it has less to do with your 'credentials' and more to do with your anti-scientific thought process. A history of vehemently defending points of view when presented with contradicting evidence will have that effect. Again you are saying it's better to present people with snippets than full information (since that gets 'wordy').

Its thinks like when you say:

There is no "one size fits all" when it comes to bodies - but some advice is just downright good advice, whether it's "don't eat right before working out" or "don't jaywalk across a busy freeway".


After you apply the one size fits all solution of 'just don't eat first or else you'll die' that evoke problems.

I'd like to think that Theckhd enjoys it when people present opposing thoughts and questions to his area of expertise even though he is almost always right. Re-evaluating your stance is a big part of science and math related disciplines.

I'd say more, but I need to go to bed so I get up in time to make breakfast before my 2 hour workout in the morning.

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