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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: BOP Mustache on October 30, 2018, 10:44:11 PM

Title: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: BOP Mustache on October 30, 2018, 10:44:11 PM
Iíve been going to the gym now for around 9 months and recently have started to wonder what the point of it is? I joined a crossfit gym a few weeks ago to spice it up also.

The classes I go to are making me run down to the point where outside of the gym Iíve become very lazy and Iíve come to the conclusion I was only going to the gym so I could look a bit better in pure vanity stakes.

Iím only 29 so just wondering for those a bit older, what is the point? Should I be thinking of it in a different way? My goals are to enjoy it and be able to play with kids and grandkids and explore via hiking, cycling, etc when Iím older. Squatting 5kg more than I did last week or having slightly bigger arm muscles seems pointless in the big scheme of things.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Zikoris on October 30, 2018, 11:10:12 PM
I stay fit for two reasons - to keep my weight under control (my family seem to be genetically very overweight and I am not interested in joining those ranks), and to be able to do the stuff I want to do, like do a cool hike, spend a whole day walking around, or go ballroom dancing for several hours. But I don't go to a gym, because I don't enjoy that or care about that type of fitness.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Abe on October 30, 2018, 11:15:08 PM
I focus more on the long-term benefits:

1. Stronger when doing outdoor activities I like
2. Reduces my risk of developing diabetes and other life-threatening diseases
3. My back hurts less at work (I stand for most of the work day).
4. Time for me to focus on something other than work.

I think you need a new gym routine, and maybe a friend to go to the gym with.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Villanelle on October 31, 2018, 12:19:13 AM
Perhaps you just need to find a different fitness outlet.  Try different classes at your gym, for starters.  If that doesn't do it, find a hiking club.  Take up tennis (and use the money that was going to the gym membership to pay for lessons).  Find a pool and swim (taking lessons to give you goals and things on which to focus).  Or train for a specific run.  Take a dance class (ballroom, ballet, hip hop, whatever interests you) or a martial arts class.   

Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Radagast on October 31, 2018, 01:06:58 AM
A couple tips based solely on my own experience.
1. Make sure you get lots of sleep. For me, exercising without sleeping 8 hours makes the entire rest of the day nap time or low energy slouch time.
2. It might take awhile. I started standing up at work about 5 years ago, but that basically just made me very tired from about 2pm on, and I'd have to sit down in the afternoon and then crash into the couch at home. For four years. Then one day I was like "really? am I a spineless jelly fish?" and I ejected the chair from my office. I have been standing up ever since, with no problems for 12 or any number of hours. I think that for the first couple years my muscles really were not able to stand for so long, and for the next couple I had developed bad habits. In the fifth year, I feel more energetic than ever. So it can take time, just because it seems like it is not working doesn't mean it actually isn't.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: elliha on October 31, 2018, 01:41:36 AM
Do you go to the gym very often and do very high impact trainging? I am a mom of small kids now and I have chosen not to go to the gym right now but when I was younger I used to go to the gym a lot and was quite fit. One thing I noticed though was that I could not do more than 3 of the more high impact classes or I would feel sluggish and 2 was actually more ideal. If I wanted to exercise more than 2-3 a week I could do one lower impact class like water aerobics or go swimming or go for a long brisk walk perhaps with some running mixed in. My ideal routine then was 1 high impact session, 2-3 medium sessions like water aerobics or faster swimming one week and 2-3 high impact ones the following week which I worked out after a while. Any extra exercise would be brisk walks or slow swimming. Nowadays I would be glad to go back to 2 classes of any intensity level a week.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: mies on October 31, 2018, 03:48:33 AM
The point of staying in shape is so you can continue to move normally without pain or getting tired. If you have a desk job, this will become crucial as you age. Sedentary jobs donít destroy your body the same way a physically demanding job will, but they will destroy you in more subtle ways. Your neck will hurt from not moving your head while staring at computer monitors all day. Youíll hike up a hill and be winded by the time you get to the top. Youíll accidentally injure yourself moving something heavy.

I think the point of exercising is to feel some voluntary discomfort now so you donít have to feel involuntary discomfort in the future.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Freedomin5 on October 31, 2018, 04:32:55 AM
I think there is a point in staying fit, but not necessarily in going to a gym. Actually, gyms are completely unmotivating for me. I see no point in running on a treadmill to absolutely nowhere. But being fit by hiking in nature, biking to the grocery store or to work/school, etc. works for me because there is a destination, or the exercise is for another purpose other than simply ďmoving muscles aroundĒ. I think itís about finding what works for you.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Cranky on October 31, 2018, 05:53:27 AM
The point is to get some exercise. I go to the gym in the winter because it's too crummy out to enjoy doing much outdoors.

I feel better when I get plenty of exercise, but many of the things that people do at the gym seem pretty boring to me. I like to walk and swim, so those are the things I do.

I really enjoyed tai chi, but the teacher was kind of nuts.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: SilveradoBojangles on October 31, 2018, 06:05:25 AM
I exercise merely to maintain this corporeal shell of mine, much in the same way I take my car in for regular maintenance. I want it to run smoothly for a long time so that I get my money's worth.

In all seriousness, it sounds like you are working out too hard. At the moment I'm in a routine where I do 4 workouts classes a week, each between 45 and 60 min long. 2 are cardio, 2 are more strength+flexibility. Occasionally some muscle group might be a little sore after a work out, but I am not regularly fatigued. In fact, I feel energized after most of my workouts and I generally look forward to them. There have been times in my life where I have done hiking, biking, walking, swimming, and running to get my movement in, but at this point exercise classes are the most efficient/most consistent way to get some movement in each day.

I think regular physical activity has mental health benefits as well (at least for me).
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: nereo on October 31, 2018, 06:12:11 AM
I think there is a point in staying fit, but not necessarily in going to a gym.
+1.  OP - find what works for you, what you find enjoyable. Yes you should be thinking about this in a different way.  Broad strokes - you should be doing something that involves getting your heart rate up for 30-60 minutes at least 3-4x per week.  Maybe its cycling or going on hikes or playing tennis (or a combination).  Lifting weights at the gym is good, but if you don't enjoy it find something you look forward to doing every day.

As to why I stay fit...
1) It makes me feel better. 
2) my productivity energy & concentration increases
3) I can eat a lot more of whatever I want
4) There's a ton of very long term benefits which I hope to reap in the decades to come

Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: BikeFanatic on October 31, 2018, 06:17:45 AM
Quote
The classes I go to are making me run down to the point where outside of the gym Iíve become very lazy and Iíve come to the conclusion I was only going to the gym so I could look a bit better in pure vanity stakes.

It seems obvious to me that you are overdoing it.  Can you cut back to 2 days a week? Exercise should not make you feel run down. I bet you look great, you don't have to look like thor.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: jim555 on October 31, 2018, 06:25:00 AM
I found loosing weight made me feel much better.  Working out not so much.  Got the BMI down from overweight to middle of normal and even walking is easier.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Zola. on October 31, 2018, 06:39:24 AM
- To protect your bine density
- To look hot as f**k
- To be strong as f**k
- To live longer (hopefully)
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Askel on October 31, 2018, 06:45:53 AM
I go to the gym to swim every morning because:
1. If I don't, it'll take an elite team of chiropractors to straighten me out after sitting on my ass behind a computer all day.
2. Swimming keeps grad students clean. 

It's one of those things I have to do because I work a straight job. If I could ski and bike everyday like I want to, I would not drag my ass out of bed at 5am every morning to do it.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: nereo on October 31, 2018, 07:11:52 AM
I go to the gym to swim every morning because:
1. If I don't, it'll take an elite team of chiropractors to straighten me out after sitting on my ass behind a computer all day.
2. Swimming keeps grad students clean. 

It's one of those things I have to do because I work a straight job. If I could ski and bike everyday like I want to, I would not drag my ass out of bed at 5am every morning to do it.
ha!  You sound just like me Askel.  If I don't swim I'm crooked as a question mark. When I do swim (regularly) I'm spry and energetic.  Others may laugh but I also like how I almost never have to clean my shower at home, b/c i almost never use it...
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: rdaneel0 on October 31, 2018, 07:18:48 AM
It sounds like you don't enjoy your workout, so my first advice would be to shop around! There are a million ways to get fit and if you find something you really like it'll be much easier. I'm not a lot older than you (31) but I think there are a ton of benefits to being really fit:

1. Age affects you less, physically and emotionally. I see no difference in how my body looks at 31 vs. 22.
2. Confidence. I guess this is vanity, but it's true.
3. Increase bone density. This is pretty huge.
4. Maintain a high level of energy.
5. Bounce back from injury. Maybe you've never had a major injury, but at some point you will likely have something (injury, illness, minor procedure, etc.) and you bounce back way faster if you're fit.
6. Prevent injury. When you're both flexible and strong you are less prone to injury. Again, at 29 and able bodied you probably haven't worried about this yet, but it will become a thing when you're older.
7. No outgrowing clothing! Money savings!
8. You sleep better.
9. Endorphines!
10. An expression of gratitude. I think using the incredible body you were given is the best way to show appreciation for it. Enjoying the things your body does for you can really be a boost!
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Spud on October 31, 2018, 08:21:19 AM
Sarcopenia.

Once men reach about the age of 35 to 40, they start to lose muscle. The rate of muscle loss varies between individuals, but itís very slow. Weíre talking about half a pound of muscle per year, maybe a little less. This is nothing to worry about on the surface. The rate is so slow that itís irrelevant.

Over time however, it adds up. At the other end of your life when youíre 70+ (maybe even 90+) years old, you will feel the effects. You will lack the strength to perform basic physical tasks like bending down to pick up a coin that you dropped. Getting out of a chair unaided. Carrying some moderately heavy grocery bags. Pushing the vacuum cleaner around.

Itís not just muscles though. Bone turnover slows down and eventually stops. What this ultimately means is that you very gradually lose bone mass and welcome in sarcopeniaís better known cousin, osteoporosis.

My maternal grandmother died when she fractured her hip in a fall. You know the scary thing. Her hip fractured Ė and then she fell. Not the other way around.

Society has been conditioned to believe that becoming weak and frail in old age is just how it is. You just have to live with it and suck it up.

The number one weapon against this is resistance training. It comes in many guises, like bodybuilding, powerlifting, Olympic lifting, Crossfit, bodyweight workouts or just plain old, training with weights at home or in a gym.

The earlier you start training, the better. If you do start training at the age of 50 or younger, you could wind up being a 70 year old with physical capabilities that are still superior to that of untrained sedentary people around half your age. That may not sound like superhero level stuff, but when you compare it to 70 year olds that are untrained, the difference is night and day.

Itís not about 6 pack abs, sex appeal and massive muscles. Itís not about setting some world record in the squat or deadlift. Itís about training for a couple of hours a week, consistently over the long term to make yourself far stronger and more physically resilient than you need to be. In short, a surplus of strength and muscle will make life physically easier as you age.

Itís estimated that most back pain stems from loss of strength and muscle in the lower back. Muscular weakness is the root cause, but once it leads to other problems, the medical profession just treats those symptoms and remains virtually unaware of sarcopenia.

Of course all this is exacerbated to a great extent by obesity, or when the two combine, sarcopenic obesity i.e. little muscle but loads of fat. Itís a double whammy. Huge bellies pulling on an already weak lower back is a recipe for disaster.

Resistance training works just like saving for retirement. You wouldnít wait until you were 70 years old and completely broke in order to start saving and investing.

Equally, you donít want to wait until youíre 70 and fairly withered before you start resistance get into this stuff (although it will still work wonders at that age).

You want to build up your stash (muscle/strength) so that compounding can take effect over the long term so by the time you get to old age, youíre ready to face it head on and kick it in the nuts, rather than sheeplishly and pitifully struggle with basic physical tasks and moaning and being stiff, tight and in pain, but having nothing to blame other than yourself or the damn government no providing you with healthcare etc.

Iím 36 and have trained in gyms for about 14 years on an off. I now train at home. Pushups, rows on gymnastics ring, pullups and parallel bar dips along with back extensions, a variety of squats, overhead presses and a bunch of other stuff. 3 days a week for about an hour.

Itís obvious that I already have more muscle mass, better posture, a smaller waistline and generally more spring in my step than my close friends who are between 34 and 40. This gap will continue to widen. My aim is to be just as lean, and a lot stronger and more flexible by the time Iím 50. By then my friends will look aged and overweight. Iíll be the fitness equivalent of an early retiree in a sea of high spending salary slaves.

Iíve coupled my resistance training with stretching (check out Kit Laughlin) and Iím learning to do handstands. I realise that this is my hobby and I have been interested in it for many years which is a massive advantage over someone who has never been interested and doesnít see the point.

I think the worst thing about resistance training is that to learn about it you have to navigate a veritable minefield of hucksters, scam artists and nonsense online before you get a handle on what is sensible practical information and what is marketing driven lies. With something simple like running, you can just start running. The problem is, running doesnít address sarcopenia or osteoporosis, and in excess, it can actually speed up both processes.

I should make it clear that losing weight is almost entirely a dietary issue. Neither ďcardioĒ nor resistance training will do much if anything. They are like coupon clipping. Reducing your caloric intake is like flat out cutting your expenses.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: sjc0816 on October 31, 2018, 08:34:33 AM
Several reasons.

My mother AND my MIL are both very sedentary and although they are not overweight, they have a hard time getting around (hobbling, holding their hips, etc) at barely 70. On the other hand, my dad has been a weight lifter his entire life and at 70 moves better and has more energy than most 25 year olds.

I am 41 and have two kids that I want to be a good example for. Nutrition and exercise are crucial for stress relief and health...so there's that.

I have a tendency to overdo it, though, and have also been extremely tired lately even though I only work part-time. I've been doing 4 heavy-lifting gym sessions per week and I think I need to dial it back some (probably intensity rather than frequency). Today is a rest day and I feel like I need to sleep all day. SO, my opinion is to listen to your body. Even take a week off. Crossfit or any heavy/olympic type lifting is very taxing on your body so rest/recovery and proper nutrition are crucial.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: soccerluvof4 on October 31, 2018, 08:36:54 AM
If you don't enjoy it most of the time , you wont stick with it. Also exercise doesn't just have to be at a gym. And i say most of the time because anyone that says they love it all the time is imo bs. BUT , I could say i always feel better having done it then not. There are so many proven benefits from exercise for Mental Health to physical Health that it should be part of your life. Eveyones life. People say , "so and so exercised all the time and died at ...." but how much younger would they have passed if they didnt.

Bottom line mix it up! some indoor some outdoor. Find what you like and keep things fresh. If you belong to a gym that has more than one location that helps to go to a different place. Its healthier to not do the same thing all the time anyhow.

Good Luck ! but find a way to have exercise in your life. Dont need to workout for the perfect bod but get the heart rate up and some weights for bone density etc..........
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: WalkaboutStache on October 31, 2018, 07:31:26 PM
Gym + Crossfit = No Recovery

No wonder you feel run down.  Just remember that more is not always more.  Your body needs to have a chance to recover in order to build muscle (if that is the reason) or not to go into a cortisol-induced panic and start packing fat (because obviously you are under stress and it needs to prepare for when mammoths and the cattle die out).

Fitness works best when it makes you feel good.  It may have to do with how you look, or with mastering technical aspects of whatever activities you like (oly lifts, for instance), or the social aspect of your fitness community, or any combination of those and other motivations. If you like it, you can still acknowledge the silly aspect of it but still enjoy the thing you like about it ("this is vain, but Dang! I look goooood!" or "Throwing a spear is a particularly pointless thing to do, but I finally got my release just right and that baby just flew!").
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Awesomeness on October 31, 2018, 09:29:56 PM
I stumbled onto an article on resistance training and had a lightbulb moment.  The colder weather was approaching and I go to the gym when the weather is basically bad for the next six months. So I read a bunch and decided to try the machines instead of walking. Surprisingly I was pretty nervous but decided to follow my own advice I give my kids when trying something new. I took my time and read the instructions and ignored the heavy weights near me, put on some music and zoned them out. I got used to it decently fast.  I go 2-3 times a week for at least 30 minutes. Stay pretty active the rest of the week w walking etc.

Iím 47 and already I feel the benefits. I think itís a good fit for me and I plan to keep this going forever. The benefits as others have mentioned are too great to be ignored. I already see that widenig gap w others my age. It really really shows if you donít take care of yourself from now on. Iím newly single as of a year ago and I just want this better option for myself so Iím going for it.

I was surprised how much it does make you tired if you overdo it. I already slept pretty good but sometimes I can now log a 10 hour night which in turn can mess me up for a few days.

Iím adjusting and I do like the other benefits. TMI but my back and arms jiggle less which is great since that was my number one dislike about my body. My core already felt decently strong but itís definitely improved. I walk my dog a lot and sometimes Iíll jump a ditch or take off in a short run and it feels pretty easy. All this is basically after being consistent for 6 weeks. And in that time I skipped a few days because of a cold and another time I was just plain tired. But I jumped right back into it ASAP. 

So this is why I do it.  Sounds like you just need some balance.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: mm1970 on November 01, 2018, 09:28:21 AM
I stay fit for two reasons - to keep my weight under control (my family seem to be genetically very overweight and I am not interested in joining those ranks), and to be able to do the stuff I want to do, like do a cool hike, spend a whole day walking around, or go ballroom dancing for several hours. But I don't go to a gym, because I don't enjoy that or care about that type of fitness.
+1

I'm 48, and I have two young kids.  If you aren't motivated or are tired, try something else.

To be "fit for life", you need to do things that don't involve sitting behind a computer all day.  Flexibility/ mobility, cardio, and weights.

You can get too much of a good thing.  I've been running a lot lately, with a paid coach and running groups.  I really can't do much more than 3 days a week.  It's pretty high intensity.  When I was only running 1-2x and swimming 1-2x, I could do things on my off days like walking.  Can't do that now.

For me, it burns off stress.  I'm never going to be a supermodel, but I want to be fit and healthy.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Schaefer Light on November 01, 2018, 10:36:41 AM
7. No outgrowing clothing! Money savings!
If you lose too much weight, you'll need smaller clothes.  And if you're doing strength training and up your caloric intake to go along with it, you may outgrow your clothing.  There's definitely a sweet spot where you can just maintain your size and shape, though (if that's what you want to do).
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Lady SA on November 01, 2018, 10:52:37 AM
I use the gym for cross-training activities for the sports/activities that I enjoy doing during the various seasons. For example, in the winter I primarily do cross-country skiing (which works your full body, plus it is both anaerobic and aerobic exercise), but I simultaneously cross-train at the gym for strength, flexibility, cardio, and balance that directly impacts and improves my skiing, in a way that skiing for hours and hours and hours simply cannot do.
In the summer, I race human-powered watercraft (rowing, paddling, etc). So all year, I have really fun outdoor activities that keep me occupied. As a bonus, these activities are low-impact so there are a lot of elderly athletes still competing. That means I can keep improving my technique and still be extremely competitive even into my 50s and 60s, and still racing even into my 80's (but much slower, obviously lol). That motivates me to do the necessary cross-training to make those activities even more enjoyable and easy to do, all throughout the year. I am a pretty competitive person, so when I'm suffering through a gym workout, I'm thinking about how doing this will make me faster/stronger in my upcoming races and for years to come.

I would never be interested in going to the gym for just the gym's sake. That would be beyond boring. The only thing that motivates me to go to the gym is I can see the huge improvements in my non-gym skills and activities.

Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: PeteD01 on November 01, 2018, 11:20:13 AM
Iíve been going to the gym now for around 9 months and recently have started to wonder what the point of it is? I joined a crossfit gym a few weeks ago to spice it up also.

The classes I go to are making me run down to the point where outside of the gym Iíve become very lazy and Iíve come to the conclusion I was only going to the gym so I could look a bit better in pure vanity stakes.

Iím only 29 so just wondering for those a bit older, what is the point? Should I be thinking of it in a different way? My goals are to enjoy it and be able to play with kids and grandkids and explore via hiking, cycling, etc when Iím older. Squatting 5kg more than I did last week or having slightly bigger arm muscles seems pointless in the big scheme of things.

These are some excellent questions. Iím 27 years older than you and happen to like the same things you mention: cycling and hiking. You also have a long term outlook and you are asking this on a website dedicated to lifestyle change.
I think you should probably start thinking of it in a different way.

Letís first break it up into health and fitness, these are related but absolutely not the same.

When it comes to health, you really want to eliminate the long term effects of a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet. There are three major issues to address:

1: Poor diet - there is nothing what can do more for your long term health than to learn to cook. It is the best way to learn about real foods and gain control of your diet. There are numerous threads about that on this very site. With this out of the way letís move on to number

2: Non-exercise physical activity - the best way to escape the consequences of sedentariness is not to be sedentary. One can try to mitigate the effects of sedentariness by engaging in compensatory behavior by exercising 150 minutes a week, but that doesnít even come close to the time non-sedentary people move on a regular basis, which is more like 120+ minutes PER DAY. Doing this in a gym or even as scheduled activity is simply ridiculous as a long term plan.
One has to approach this as the lifestyle change it is: commuting by foot or bicycle, walk whenever possible, chosing the place you live with these activities in mind. If you break a sweat a few times a week, there is not much to gain from further aerobic activity in terms of health. This site is full of resources and people who embrace an active lifestyle. If one likes a more tangible or measurable goal, the ten thousand steps a day approach is one option.

3. Weight lifting/resistance training: muscle loss with aging is something almost everyone, who does not perform hard physical work, faces. When this is not addressed, one may end up with sarcopenia (inappropriately low muscle mass, officially recognized as a disorder only a couple of years ago). Sarcopenia causes serious quality of life and health issues.
That said, effective weight lifting/resistance training are unfortunately not as simple as getting on a treadmill or elliptical trainer. On the other hand, once one has learned the proper way to do it and identified what works for oneself, it takes very little time and the improvement in quality of life is almost immediate. It is also incredibly inexpensive, provided one uses free weights or kettlebells etc.
I believe everybody should receive some form of instruction by a trainer or truly knowledgeable individual. I also think that everybody should attempt to build muscle for at least a couple of years at some time in their life, the earlier the better because after age 30 it may become a little harder to gain muscle with every year going by. The reason for serious weight training for some time is the memory the muscles retain after a period of induced hypertrophy - it is so much easier to become strong again if one has been strong before.


Now to fitness:

The above captures really most of the health benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle because thatís what it is. If one has additional goals and an athleteís attitude, one can easily add exercise to oneís life. But, with the basics squared away, itís not going to be no load elliptical trainer workouts or walking on a treadmill, but higher intensity stuff. With an active lifestyle, recovery from higher intensity training is better and basic conditioning is already taken care of.
Letís just take cycling as an example, because I know a little bit about that.

I like mountain biking. The trouble with mountain biking is that it is not much fun if one doesnít have a decent level of cardiorespiratory conditioning; and mountain biking itself is not ideal to train that. I found out, by accident, that road biking is ideal to build athletic depth, which in turn makes mountain biking much more enjoyable.
I was living in NYC at the time and getting to trails was a two or three times a month opportunity. Then I found out about the NY Cycle Club, but the group I wanted to ride with, fast paced pack rides, was out of my league. So I got a home trainer and a heart rate monitor and, after roughly figuring out what my heart rate was at the anaerobic threshold, I started doing two 45 minutes sessions per week riding at the anaerobic threshold. It is hard exercise but not as psychologically hard as interval training. To my surprise, I was able to join the group within a few weeks of doing that.
What Iím trying to say is that it is relatively easy to achieve a relatively high level of conditioning when one starts with an active lifestyle in place. Conversely, it would be absurd to suggest to a sedentary person to work towards participating in fast club rides if all that person is doing is 150 minutes a week of light exercise on a treadmill.

In conclusion: Yes, there may be no point in going to the gym and doing crossfit training on top of that if thatís not what you want to do. On the other hand, adopting an active lifestyle with some weight training may be all what one needs to do and any athletic pursuit can be easily added on if one is so inclined.
 

Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: PeteD01 on November 01, 2018, 11:21:00 AM
I forgot to address the OPís question regarding exercising because of ďvanityĒ and ďlooking goodĒ.
I think it is perfectly fine to value appearance to others to some degree.
As long as it doesnít devolve into obsession and stays centered on body composition instead of mere thinness, it is perfectly ok to enjoy feeling better about oneís looks as a perk coming with the territory.

Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: jim555 on November 01, 2018, 01:28:28 PM
Jack LaLanne lived to 96 and he was super fit.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: LittleWanderer on November 01, 2018, 03:23:51 PM
I don't go to the gym and I'm pretty darn fit.  I do active things because they make me happy.  I run, bike, mountain bike, hike, backpack, rock climb, snowshoe, and snowboard.  I like being outside.  You don't have go to the gym to be fit. 
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: rdaneel0 on November 01, 2018, 04:14:07 PM
7. No outgrowing clothing! Money savings!
If you lose too much weight, you'll need smaller clothes.  And if you're doing strength training and up your caloric intake to go along with it, you may outgrow your clothing.  There's definitely a sweet spot where you can just maintain your size and shape, though (if that's what you want to do).

That's true! I guess I was thinking more about stories I've heard where people have all these different sets of clothes in various sizes because they yo-yo so much.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: robartsd on November 01, 2018, 05:20:36 PM
Sarcopenia.

Ö

Resistance training works just like saving for retirement. You wouldnít wait until you were 70 years old and completely broke in order to start saving and investing.

Ö

I think the worst thing about resistance training is that to learn about it you have to navigate a veritable minefield of hucksters, scam artists and nonsense online before you get a handle on what is sensible practical information and what is marketing driven lies. With something simple like running, you can just start running. The problem is, running doesnít address sarcopenia or osteoporosis, and in excess, it can actually speed up both processes.

I should make it clear that losing weight is almost entirely a dietary issue. Neither ďcardioĒ nor resistance training will do much if anything. They are like coupon clipping. Reducing your caloric intake is like flat out cutting your expenses.
Thanks for your input. I'm active - love cycling, but have never enjoyed any resistance training. Hopefully I'll figure out a resistance routine to add to by cycling to balance things out better; your sharing of knowledge just might give me the long term vision I need to look for something that will work for me.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: kpd905 on November 01, 2018, 06:31:36 PM
Sarcopenia.

Ö

Resistance training works just like saving for retirement. You wouldnít wait until you were 70 years old and completely broke in order to start saving and investing.

Ö

I think the worst thing about resistance training is that to learn about it you have to navigate a veritable minefield of hucksters, scam artists and nonsense online before you get a handle on what is sensible practical information and what is marketing driven lies. With something simple like running, you can just start running. The problem is, running doesnít address sarcopenia or osteoporosis, and in excess, it can actually speed up both processes.

I should make it clear that losing weight is almost entirely a dietary issue. Neither ďcardioĒ nor resistance training will do much if anything. They are like coupon clipping. Reducing your caloric intake is like flat out cutting your expenses.
Thanks for your input. I'm active - love cycling, but have never enjoyed any resistance training. Hopefully I'll figure out a resistance routine to add to by cycling to balance things out better; your sharing of knowledge just might give me the long term vision I need to look for something that will work for me.

Weight training and running can both be good for cyclists.  Cyclists can suffer from low bone density because the exercise is not weight bearing.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: use2betrix on November 01, 2018, 08:52:17 PM
Like everything in life, itís not for everyone. People have such an insanely wide range of hobbies, and itís fantastic we have all those options.

I have been lifting weights very regularly over half my life. Iím 30, and out of the last 16 years Iíve probabky averaged lifting weights 3-5x a week for around 14 of those years.

Itís just something ďIĒ have always loved. I know why I love it, but can understand why other might not.

Whatís most important is you find something YOU love and stay active. Some forms of exercise are better, and cross training amongst numerous forms is absolutely more beneficial than one singular form of exercise.

The last 6-7 years I am on a good 3x/wk lifting schedule. I have my training and diet down to such a science that I can maximize everything. Iím to the point that coworkers and even strangers make comments about my physique, ask fitness questions, etc.

Iíve always hated running but somehow in June got hooked on it. Iím 5í10 and 185 lbs and around 6-8% BF so Iím pretty ďbigĒ for being a runner. Iíve somehow got in my head I want to run a 20 minute 5k, so having a goal to work towards is fun. Iíd like to hit that 5k time while still being able to squat 350 and bench 275.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: PeteD01 on November 02, 2018, 01:23:16 AM
Sarcopenia.

Ö

Resistance training works just like saving for retirement. You wouldnít wait until you were 70 years old and completely broke in order to start saving and investing.

Ö

I think the worst thing about resistance training is that to learn about it you have to navigate a veritable minefield of hucksters, scam artists and nonsense online before you get a handle on what is sensible practical information and what is marketing driven lies. With something simple like running, you can just start running. The problem is, running doesnít address sarcopenia or osteoporosis, and in excess, it can actually speed up both processes.

I should make it clear that losing weight is almost entirely a dietary issue. Neither ďcardioĒ nor resistance training will do much if anything. They are like coupon clipping. Reducing your caloric intake is like flat out cutting your expenses.
Thanks for your input. I'm active - love cycling, but have never enjoyed any resistance training. Hopefully I'll figure out a resistance routine to add to by cycling to balance things out better; your sharing of knowledge just might give me the long term vision I need to look for something that will work for me.
I think kettlebell workouts are hard to beat as crosstraining for cyclists. Itís certainly not the best way to build lots of muscle but you donít want that as a cyclist anyway. It addresses the weak core many cyclists deal with and improves upper body pulling strength tremendously. The effects of kettlebell training translate well into cycling performance and that might keep motivation up. It also takes up relatively little time compared to other types of training.
You might want to check this out early on in your quest for a suitable routine.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: herbgeek on November 02, 2018, 04:30:43 AM
I'm 58 and I work out for an hour a day in my basement (bicycle on stand, rowing machine, treadmill), plus sometimes hikes on the weekend.  My workout is the equivalent of about 4 cups of coffee in terms of energy, but without the buzz of too much caffeine.  I feel good, my joints ache way less than other people my age, I rarely get sick, I have good posture (not hunched over old lady).  I originally did it for weight control and vanity and now its just to prolong my good health as long as I can.

You may not need exercise in your 20's and 30's, but you'll be happy you picked up the habit when you're my age.  :D
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: nereo on November 02, 2018, 05:41:45 AM

I think kettlebell workouts are hard to beat as crosstraining for cyclists. Itís certainly not the best way to build lots of muscle but you donít want that as a cyclist anyway. It addresses the weak core many cyclists deal with and improves upper body pulling strength tremendously. The effects of kettlebell training translate well into cycling performance and that might keep motivation up. It also takes up relatively little time compared to other types of training.
You might want to check this out early on in your quest for a suitable routine.

I'd be curious to learn what a good core kettleball workout is.  My own coaches and trainers never really utilized kettleballs (we did a lot more circuit training) so the kettleballs have been one thing in the gym I've never really picked up.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: foghorn on November 02, 2018, 05:42:20 AM
I am 51 and have been working out since I was about 25.  I make it to the gym 4 to 5 days a week and my workouts include weight training and cardio (running).  You asked those of use that are a bit older for our perspective on why we work out and is it worth it. 

I think as you age you will definitely see the upside of staying in shape (however you choose to go about it - it does not need to be at the gym).  I now look at many of my friends of similar age and they are are starting to deal with the health issues that go with not taking care for themselves. From simple things like aches and pains to high blood pressure and cholesterol issues.  So much of what they deal with is self inflicted due to lack of activity. 

Every year when I get my annual physical my doctor always tells me that he does not know what to do with me.  He tells me that he needs to lecture most guys my age because they are a group of self abusers that are starting down long roads of health issues.  With me, there is nothing to tell me.  Just keep it up.

Lastly, the energy I get a from a good workout is a bit of a high - and I think I am addicted to it.  A good addiction to have, I guess.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: PeteD01 on November 02, 2018, 05:56:04 AM

I think kettlebell workouts are hard to beat as crosstraining for cyclists. Itís certainly not the best way to build lots of muscle but you donít want that as a cyclist anyway. It addresses the weak core many cyclists deal with and improves upper body pulling strength tremendously. The effects of kettlebell training translate well into cycling performance and that might keep motivation up. It also takes up relatively little time compared to other types of training.
You might want to check this out early on in your quest for a suitable routine.

I'd be curious to learn what a good core kettleball workout is.  My own coaches and trainers never really utilized kettleballs (we did a lot more circuit training) so the kettleballs have been one thing in the gym I've never really picked up.

The central kettlebell exercise is the kettlebell swing - double handed and single handed. It is a dynamic exercise and hits the core hard. If I had to pick one kettlebell exercise it would be the swing.

I do three exercises: swing, double and single handed (dynamic), clean + overhead press (dynamic/grind), hack squat (grind).
I used to do the turkish getup, which is a great exercise, but I currently do not have enough space to safely do it.
I used to have a bunch of kettlebells of different weights but downsized to a single standard 53lbs kettlebell and itís been fine for my purpose.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: nereo on November 02, 2018, 06:00:57 AM

I think kettlebell workouts are hard to beat as crosstraining for cyclists. Itís certainly not the best way to build lots of muscle but you donít want that as a cyclist anyway. It addresses the weak core many cyclists deal with and improves upper body pulling strength tremendously. The effects of kettlebell training translate well into cycling performance and that might keep motivation up. It also takes up relatively little time compared to other types of training.
You might want to check this out early on in your quest for a suitable routine.

I'd be curious to learn what a good core kettleball workout is.  My own coaches and trainers never really utilized kettleballs (we did a lot more circuit training) so the kettleballs have been one thing in the gym I've never really picked up.

The central kettlebell exercise is the kettlebell swing - double handed and single handed. It is a dynamic exercise and hits the core hard. If I had to pick one kettlebell exercise it would be the swing.

I do three exercises: swing, double and single handed (dynamic), clean + military press (dynamic/grind), hack squat (grind).
I used to do the turkish getup, which is a great exercise, but I currently do not have enough space to do it.

THanks.  Watched a couple videos on the kettleball swing; i'm kinda scared of letting go mid-swing (slipping) and sending a metal object across room and through the opposite wall.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: PeteD01 on November 02, 2018, 06:18:20 AM

I think kettlebell workouts are hard to beat as crosstraining for cyclists. Itís certainly not the best way to build lots of muscle but you donít want that as a cyclist anyway. It addresses the weak core many cyclists deal with and improves upper body pulling strength tremendously. The effects of kettlebell training translate well into cycling performance and that might keep motivation up. It also takes up relatively little time compared to other types of training.
You might want to check this out early on in your quest for a suitable routine.

I'd be curious to learn what a good core kettleball workout is.  My own coaches and trainers never really utilized kettleballs (we did a lot more circuit training) so the kettleballs have been one thing in the gym I've never really picked up.

The central kettlebell exercise is the kettlebell swing - double handed and single handed. It is a dynamic exercise and hits the core hard. If I had to pick one kettlebell exercise it would be the swing.

I do three exercises: swing, double and single handed (dynamic), clean + military press (dynamic/grind), hack squat (grind).
I used to do the turkish getup, which is a great exercise, but I currently do not have enough space to do it.

THanks.  Watched a couple videos on the kettleball swing; i'm kinda scared of letting go mid-swing (slipping) and sending a metal object across room and through the opposite wall.

I hear you. Keep the flight path clear and give it some time - eventually your hands will become like clamps.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: nereo on November 02, 2018, 06:24:08 AM

I think kettlebell workouts are hard to beat as crosstraining for cyclists. Itís certainly not the best way to build lots of muscle but you donít want that as a cyclist anyway. It addresses the weak core many cyclists deal with and improves upper body pulling strength tremendously. The effects of kettlebell training translate well into cycling performance and that might keep motivation up. It also takes up relatively little time compared to other types of training.
You might want to check this out early on in your quest for a suitable routine.

I'd be curious to learn what a good core kettleball workout is.  My own coaches and trainers never really utilized kettleballs (we did a lot more circuit training) so the kettleballs have been one thing in the gym I've never really picked up.

The central kettlebell exercise is the kettlebell swing - double handed and single handed. It is a dynamic exercise and hits the core hard. If I had to pick one kettlebell exercise it would be the swing.

I do three exercises: swing, double and single handed (dynamic), clean + military press (dynamic/grind), hack squat (grind).
I used to do the turkish getup, which is a great exercise, but I currently do not have enough space to do it.

THanks.  Watched a couple videos on the kettleball swing; i'm kinda scared of letting go mid-swing (slipping) and sending a metal object across room and through the opposite wall.

I hear you. Keep the flight path clear and give it some time - eventually your hands will become like clamps.

My siblings joked that I became a competitive swimmer because I had too much athletic talent but not enough hand-coordination to safely swing a bat, racquet, or club.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: wenchsenior on November 02, 2018, 07:08:23 AM

I think kettlebell workouts are hard to beat as crosstraining for cyclists. Itís certainly not the best way to build lots of muscle but you donít want that as a cyclist anyway. It addresses the weak core many cyclists deal with and improves upper body pulling strength tremendously. The effects of kettlebell training translate well into cycling performance and that might keep motivation up. It also takes up relatively little time compared to other types of training.
You might want to check this out early on in your quest for a suitable routine.

I'd be curious to learn what a good core kettleball workout is.  My own coaches and trainers never really utilized kettleballs (we did a lot more circuit training) so the kettleballs have been one thing in the gym I've never really picked up.

The central kettlebell exercise is the kettlebell swing - double handed and single handed. It is a dynamic exercise and hits the core hard. If I had to pick one kettlebell exercise it would be the swing.

I do three exercises: swing, double and single handed (dynamic), clean + military press (dynamic/grind), hack squat (grind).
I used to do the turkish getup, which is a great exercise, but I currently do not have enough space to do it.

THanks.  Watched a couple videos on the kettleball swing; i'm kinda scared of letting go mid-swing (slipping) and sending a metal object across room and through the opposite wall.

I hear you. Keep the flight path clear and give it some time - eventually your hands will become like clamps.

My siblings joked that I became a competitive swimmer because I had too much athletic talent but not enough hand-coordination to safely swing a bat, racquet, or club.

Heh, this is me, as well.  I had/have very specialized athletic talents that involve NO team sports (too many variables to concentrate on with other people involved...I inevitably suck) and relatively little hand-eye coordination.  Swimming, downhill skiing, and hunt-seat horseback show-riding/jumping...I was good to excellent at those.  Lately, I've been thinking of trying some form of dance. Or much harder yoga.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: mm1970 on November 02, 2018, 11:20:17 AM

I think kettlebell workouts are hard to beat as crosstraining for cyclists. Itís certainly not the best way to build lots of muscle but you donít want that as a cyclist anyway. It addresses the weak core many cyclists deal with and improves upper body pulling strength tremendously. The effects of kettlebell training translate well into cycling performance and that might keep motivation up. It also takes up relatively little time compared to other types of training.
You might want to check this out early on in your quest for a suitable routine.

I'd be curious to learn what a good core kettleball workout is.  My own coaches and trainers never really utilized kettleballs (we did a lot more circuit training) so the kettleballs have been one thing in the gym I've never really picked up.
So many things! 

I started working with a running coach over a year ago.  She also owns her own small kettlebell gym.  Starting this year, for two of my training cycles, she added a hip/core workout at the gym to be included.  She always had this class, but you had to pay for it.  She added a "once/week" to the training cycle.

I love it and it is awesome.  Every single week is different, and every week there are new exercises added that I'd never seen before.  Different types of planks, various bridges, turkish get ups, deadlifts, squats, lunges...so many things.  I started writing a bunch of them down in a notebook.  Now that the training cycles are over, I am probably just going to get a punch card and keep going.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: robartsd on November 02, 2018, 12:33:37 PM
I think kettlebell workouts are hard to beat as crosstraining for cyclists. Itís certainly not the best way to build lots of muscle but you donít want that as a cyclist anyway. It addresses the weak core many cyclists deal with and improves upper body pulling strength tremendously. The effects of kettlebell training translate well into cycling performance and that might keep motivation up. It also takes up relatively little time compared to other types of training.
You might want to check this out early on in your quest for a suitable routine.
Thanks. I was thinking it would be some combination of free weights, resistance bands, and body weight exercises (advantage for resistance bands and body weight exercises is that they're easy to do at a park as part of a bike ride - free weights would be at home only).
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Mr. Green on November 02, 2018, 08:56:18 PM
Your body is like any other machine. It has capacity limits, and a machine that runs best is some times run close to its limits and is well maintained. If you stop exercising, your capacity decreases, and over the long haul your machine becomes weaker. Maybe that adds up to a heart attack at 45, maybe it doesn't. You can probably get a lot of miles out of your car by only ever adding oil and never changing it. But that's not a smart thing to do and it's highly likely it won't last as long as a properly maintained car. Take care of your body machine. It's the only one you get for your entire life.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Brother Esau on November 03, 2018, 07:48:49 AM
I don't go to the gym and I'm pretty darn fit.  I do active things because they make me happy.  I run, bike, mountain bike, hike, backpack, rock climb, snowshoe, and snowboard.  I like being outside.  You don't have go to the gym to be fit.

Exactly this. I hate gyms. We're lucky to have all these fun activities that just happen to keep us in great shape. Maybe the OP could try some of these.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: FIRE 20/20 on November 03, 2018, 10:26:51 AM
Iíve been going to the gym now for around 9 months and recently have started to wonder what the point of it is? I joined a crossfit gym a few weeks ago to spice it up also.

The classes I go to are making me run down to the point where outside of the gym Iíve become very lazy and Iíve come to the conclusion I was only going to the gym so I could look a bit better in pure vanity stakes.

Iím only 29 so just wondering for those a bit older, what is the point? Should I be thinking of it in a different way? My goals are to enjoy it and be able to play with kids and grandkids and explore via hiking, cycling, etc when Iím older. Squatting 5kg more than I did last week or having slightly bigger arm muscles seems pointless in the big scheme of things.

This has been mentioned elsewhere, but it sounds like you might be overtraining.  I have found that if my workouts make me feel run-down outside of the gym then one of a few things might be wrong.  In order from most to least likely, it sounds like you might be overtraining, not getting enough sleep (more exercise means more sleep), not getting enough or the right nutrients, or might not be getting enough water.  I'd try to look at each of those potential causes to see if they're causing the feeling of being run down.

Also, I would second the recommendation that the most critical thing is doing something active that you enjoy.  Most of my workouts are in a team sport that I love.  My other workouts are necessary to stay in shape to play.  If it weren't for the sport I play, I wouldn't work out - or I would but I would hate it. 
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: thesis on November 03, 2018, 10:58:48 AM
For me, the reason I used to go to the gym was to lose weight. This probably isn't the best reason overall. Since my diet wasn't changing, I really never lost weight. I did have a very healthy blood pressure and all that, so that was a good benefit, but I also enjoy walking around the neighborhood and hiking. The gym was this giant weight on my shoulders where every night was "I should be going to the gym!"

My biggest issue with gyms, and this is just me, is that if you are using them for highly specialized training, you may look good or be in great shape, but there's really only one way to maintain that: continue going to the gym. So, as Jacob Fisker from Early Retirement Extreme would say, your fitness is tightly coupled to your 1) gym membership, 2) your ability to make use of the gym membership, and 3) your time availability to visit the gym. Being a young single guy, I imagined that some day I would like to have a wife and kids, where especially #3 would be in question, and if my fitness is wholly dependent on my visiting a gym, this was not a robust decision, whereas the ability to control my weight through calorie intake is always within my control.

Ultimately, I learned to eat less and have had success losing weight, so I met my goal. I have a few weights I keep around just to keep the muscles fresh, but I otherwise, like I said, enjoy hiking and walking around. Also, I am close to a grocery store, so sometimes I actually buy my groceries there and carry them home. It's not that there aren't some great benefits to gym membership, but I was never trying to have specialized training, I was just going for regular fitness. Plus I hate paying a monthly gym fee, it dds to the pressure to use it, and it's just one more thing that I can't do if my car is temporarily out of commission (no gyms nearby here). Also also, I'm still burnt out on gyms and really never enjoyed going, though shooting hoops was fun for a time.

But this is just my situations, and for some people it will make a lot of sense :). As mentioned, going to the gym still did great things for my health
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: wenchsenior on November 03, 2018, 12:00:58 PM
I don't go to the gym and I'm pretty darn fit.  I do active things because they make me happy.  I run, bike, mountain bike, hike, backpack, rock climb, snowshoe, and snowboard.  I like being outside.  You don't have go to the gym to be fit.

Exactly this. I hate gyms. We're lucky to have all these fun activities that just happen to keep us in great shape. Maybe the OP could try some of these.

Keep in mind, though, that there are some places in the U.S. where one or more of these activities is not really an option at all, or certainly not an attractive option.  I LOVE outdoor activities; and when I was young I couldn't imagine living in a place that didn't have all the opportunities that you describe, but ended up (for reasons of specialized employment) living much of my adult life in a place that had almost none.  The terrain is pancake flat and brutally, eye-gougeing-ly ugly (so much so that it is actively depressing to look at it), there is no water, there is almost no public land to speak of, and there are frequent dust and windstorms.  Luckily, it has moderate temps most of the year, so I do walk around my neighborhood regularly, but that gets old.  In places like this, a gym can be a very preferable alternative.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: YttriumNitrate on November 03, 2018, 12:17:09 PM
On Thursday of last week, I rode the elevator up to the office with a heavier 50-something guy who was wheezing due to his walk from the train to the building. I go to the gym because I don't want to be that guy in 20 years.

I mainly do cardio on the elliptical machines, and I think the key is coupling it with something else to keep yourself entertained. Recently, I've been strapping my laptop onto the elliptical machine so that I can play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time during my cardio routine.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Hula Hoop on November 03, 2018, 04:25:55 PM
I do pilates and I'm in my 40s.  I also walk to and from work a lot of the time. What motivates me is the fact that I'm getting older and I don't want to lose muscle mass.  Also weight bearing exercise is meant to be good for avoiding osteoporosis.  I also just feel a lot better when I exercise.
Title: Re: What is the point in getting fit and going to gym?
Post by: Plugra on November 03, 2018, 09:57:07 PM
I am 51 and have been working out since I was about 25.  I make it to the gym 4 to 5 days a week and my workouts include weight training and cardio (running).  You asked those of use that are a bit older for our perspective on why we work out and is it worth it. 

I think as you age you will definitely see the upside of staying in shape (however you choose to go about it - it does not need to be at the gym).  I now look at many of my friends of similar age and they are are starting to deal with the health issues that go with not taking care for themselves. From simple things like aches and pains to high blood pressure and cholesterol issues.  So much of what they deal with is self inflicted due to lack of activity. 

Every year when I get my annual physical my doctor always tells me that he does not know what to do with me.  He tells me that he needs to lecture most guys my age because they are a group of self abusers that are starting down long roads of health issues.  With me, there is nothing to tell me.  Just keep it up.

Lastly, the energy I get a from a good workout is a bit of a high - and I think I am addicted to it.  A good addiction to have, I guess.

My experience exactly. 

Tons of research shows that people who exercise age MUCH better than people who don't.  No question about it.  If you work with the same group of people for a couple of decades (as I have) you'll start to see who exercises and who doesn't.  The ones who don't exercise look older, fatter, slower, more worn out, with more medical problems.  Going to the gym isn't necessary but you have to do something to stay in shape.