Putting gym time to better use

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    Sep 16, 2009 11:55 AM GMT
    Most of us spend a lot of time working out and I've been wondering if gym time could be put to better use, while still getting the health benefits we all desire.

    Take construction workers, for example. They often have great physiques and they're actually building something. When we spend an average of say, 5 - 10 hours per week, working out at the gym, we're not really contributing anything to the world (except for eye candy... icon_smile.gif ).

    So, I've been trying to figure out if typical gym workouts could be replaced by real world activities that benefit other people, the planet, etc.
    Imagine what the world would look like, if we all volunteered 5 - 10 hours per week doing something physical, yet beneficial.

    For example, building a house through Habitat for Humanity, planting a forest, taking an old lady's dog for a run or delivering groceries on bicycles to needy people (weight lifting and cardio, all in one).

    Basically, are there activities that can provide a gym-level workout and actually benefit the world around us?
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 16, 2009 12:15 PM GMT
    I understand what you are saying, but you have to remember that gym workouts involve more than just physical activity, it can provide a variety of benefits, not just physical ones. A mental release after a long day, social activity in a different venue from work.. the need for "you time".

    Productivity and assistance to others is certainly important and I would be
    supportive of anyone that would want to combine the two in some means, but the gym can be about more than simple exercise.
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    Sep 16, 2009 3:22 PM GMT
    The OP has a really bright idea that people should think about. Wasting calories like wasting any resource I think is passe. We're in the green age now, burn your calories for something useful.

    HndsmKansan saidI understand what you are saying, but you have to remember that gym workouts involve more than just physical activity, it can provide a variety of benefits, not just physical ones. A mental release after a long day, social activity in a different venue from work.. the need for "you time".

    Productivity and assistance to others is certainly important and I would be
    supportive of anyone that would want to combine the two in some means, but the gym can be about more than simple exercise.


    Volunteering and physical labor can also be a mental release, I would argue it can be better release some times. For some being absolutely alone is the best mental release, landscaping/gardening work is good for that; for others being with people provides the best mental release, these guys can be working on projects with other people.

    A lack of volunteering opportunities is to blame also for lack of awareness in this, but it's improving as we speak. For example my bf works for a non-profit that organizes volunteer projects.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Sep 16, 2009 3:25 PM GMT
    MtndudeSF saidThe OP has a really bright idea that people should think about. Wasting calories like wasting any resource I think is passe. We're in the green age now, burn your calories for something useful.

    Volunteering and physical labor can also be a mental release, I would argue it can be better release some times. For some being absolutely alone is the best mental release, landscaping/gardening work is good for that; for others being with people provides the best mental release, these guys can be working on projects with other people.

    A lack of volunteering opportunities is to blame also for lack of awareness in this, but it's improving as we speak. For example my bf works for a non-profit that organizes volunteer projects.




    I don't think we are in disagreement, except different people use their "workout time" for to satisfy differing needs. I garden and landscape and it fulfills a need beyond the desire to "fiddle in the yard with plants". Its restful and satisfying.
    Making an effort to volunteer certainly can provide the same result.
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    Sep 16, 2009 3:34 PM GMT
    The problem with "work" activities, is that they aren't designed to be a balanced workout. During my school years, I went home and did farm work after school every day while other kids played sports. It didn't do anything for my physique, except for back muscles. Doing a construction project or pruning fruit trees builds up arms a bit while it lasts. Except there's none of that "day of rest" stuff. You work until you cramp up, then you go back and do some more.
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    Sep 16, 2009 3:35 PM GMT
    Lord knows I like to be mentally violated.

    But seriously, I'm sure every single activity I do on a daily basis could be modified to be greener, more sustainable, more socially conscious, less wasteful and more efficient.

    But eh icon_neutral.gif I'm human and do what I can.
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    Sep 16, 2009 3:44 PM GMT
    SeaSon saidTake construction workers, for example. They often have great physiques and they're actually building something.

    For example, building a house through Habitat for Humanity, planting a forest, taking an old lady's dog for a run or delivering groceries on bicycles to needy people (weight lifting and cardio, all in one).

    Basically, are there activities that can provide a gym-level workout and actually benefit the world around us?


    1. Most construction workers that I know with a great physique actually workout.
    2. How many houses are in your local area to build with HFH? How many trees could you actually plant within a reasonable distance that you could do for an hour a day? The old lady needs to walk her own dog for personal health if she is able. If you wanted to help as many needy people as possible then you should really deliver those groceries in a car.
    3. NO, there are not many activities you could do to equal a true muscle building, fat burning workout in a hour or two each day. Hit the gym so you are able to do these things for other people in your left over time lol.
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    Sep 16, 2009 5:34 PM GMT
    We could wire all the cardio machines to electrical generators and send the electricity back into the grid. .... icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 16, 2009 5:46 PM GMT
    I am in complete agreement, comrade. The wasting of valuable energy is an activity of the enemy proletariat. Hence, the 11th Congress of the People's Personal Trainers announced The Glorious Treadmill to the Future. By which we shall collectivize our energy to build the future.

    Do you oppose the chairman's most perfect plan? Then to the camps with you, Trotskyite!
  • JP85257

    Posts: 3284

    Sep 16, 2009 5:54 PM GMT
    Uh because I dont want to. People can do for themselves like I have to.
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    Sep 16, 2009 6:07 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidI am in complete agreement, comrade. The wasting of valuable energy is an activity of the enemy proletariat. Hence, the 11th Congress of the People's Personal Trainers announced The Glorious Treadmill to the Future. By which we shall collectivize our energy to build the future.

    Do you oppose the chairman's most perfect plan? Then to the camps with you, Trotskyite!


    All this communist talk is making me swoon icon_redface.gif*fans self*
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    Sep 16, 2009 6:14 PM GMT
    Ciarsolo7 saidLord knows I like to be mentally violated.


    Oh honey, you have been. icon_rolleyes.gif

    OP is nice idea but wouldn´t work. No balance in the work out.
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    Sep 16, 2009 6:37 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    Ciarsolo7 saidLord knows I like to be mentally violated.


    Oh honey, you have been. icon_rolleyes.gif


    In Miss Manners' Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Freshly Updated (Hardcover), author Judith Martin clearly states that when mentally violating your fellow RJ members it is of rigurous and polite necessity to send an electronic thank you note. Oh the improprietyicon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gificon_exclaim.gif
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    Sep 16, 2009 6:45 PM GMT
    Caslon12000 saidWe could wire all the cardio machines to electrical generators and send the electricity back into the grid. .... icon_biggrin.gif

    They do that at a local college around here..

    http://topics.healthvideo.com/m/26166908/fitness-electricity.htm
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    Sep 16, 2009 7:43 PM GMT
    After a week of hell at work the last thing I feel like doing is building a house. I feel more like a dropping a house on somebody, But it is a lovely idea.

    Oh, and maybe I'm in the wrong area but all the contruction workers I see look pretty out of shape - a lot of them have very unhealthy lifestyles (KFC for lunch and copious amounts of beers before bed) - all the physical work can't overcome that.
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    Sep 16, 2009 8:11 PM GMT
    People are right that physical labor doesn't produce a balanced workout; however in terms of cardio it can replace a large percentage.

    The idea to produce electricity from cardio machines is a nice one.
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    Sep 16, 2009 9:35 PM GMT
    Tonyvoyager saidAfter a week of hell at work the last thing I feel like doing is building a house. I feel more like a dropping a house on somebody


    Judy Garland reference, I called it.
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    Sep 16, 2009 9:42 PM GMT
    Yes, altruism is good and we woud be better off if more people practiced it. However each of us needs to take care of ourselves first in order to do useful stuff for other people. Working out has countless health benefits and is important for the individual.
    No, I am not an Ayn Rand follower, I think her "philosophy" is crap.