About mental and physical health

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My working days consist of my sitting behind my computer all day. I’m not sure what the percentages are of people having similar work scenarios, but I’m guessing they’re pretty high. This sedentary work life is something I struggle with. I like being active during the day, but it’s hard to be active when you’re just sitting in your chair all day.

Apart from the obvious health risks of just doing anything actively all day, I started experiencing mental effects as well. I felt locked up in my own mind. I was having trouble unwind at the end of the day and not think about work anymore after work hours.

So, something had to change. I’m a firm believer in symbioses between a healthy body and healthy mind. To compensate for my stationary work life, I started to work out in the gym. This is years ago now.

In the beginning, all I did was just a little bit of fitness, but I quickly started feeling better mentally. And as I progressed in the weights, I physically started feeling better as well. And while I started feeling physically better, I started feeling better mentally as well. It was almost as if one influenced the other 😏.

Why Am I Sharing This?

A few weeks ago I shared an Instagram story of me walking with a Yoke for the first time, as well as doing a Farmers Walk. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, go ahead and go to my Instagram profile and look for the #fitdad stories.

A couple of people commented on that story and started asking questions. Instead of keeping those answers in my Instagram DMs, I thought it’d be good to answer them here. Because there was a common theme in those questions. I’m also including some other questions I get about working out and what it does for me.

My workout frequently asked questions about working out

I wish I could do cool stuff like that, but that looks way too heavy!

You know what? When I started working out properly, I did my bench press, squats, overhead press and deadlifts with an empty bar. So, that’s just 20kg and all I did was incrementally add kilos. As little as 0,5kg per time. I focused on the form only.

Is it even healthy, lifting so heavy?

Not only do you create more muscles and thus burn more calories in rest state, doing heavy lifting actually increases your vascular and nerves system. And, if done correctly, it can be the best cardio exercise you ever did!

What do you do in any given week

I basically have two workout sessions which I alternate. The first starts with Overhead Press and Squats plus some complimentary lifts. The other workout is focused on the Romanian Deadlift and Bench Press and also some complimentary lifts.

Additionally, I do some LISS exercises like outdoor walks or on my indoor bike.

What if I really don’t like working with weights. Are there any alternatives?

So, looking at the end goal for me, which is to live as healthy and strong for as long as possible, lifting weights really is the only option. But, if hauling with weights isn’t your thing, body weight exercises will get you there as well.

What else do you do to feel to empty your mind

My favoriete is lifting weights, but I also like going for an hour long walk, meditate, listen to music loudly. Basically, anything that stops me from thinking 😅.

What are your favorite excercises?

There’s really only one absolute favoriete one and that has to be the deadlift. I’m currently doing the Romanian Deadlift (RDL) and loving it. It the one excercise that absolutely destroys me, depletes and leaves me with no room to think. I mean, there’s really no room to think once you’re going for sets with 10 reps of 200kg.

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23 responses to “About mental and physical health”

  1. Xavier Avatar

    Have you tried having a standing desk? It’s not much more an active, but it opens up the possibility of walking around to think and coming back to the keyboard in nanoseconds.

    (note that I didn’t suggest a walking desk πŸ˜€ )

    1. Remkus Avatar

      I have not tried a standing desk, no. I’m a little hesitant as one of the reasons I started lifting is to get a stronger lower back. And standing for longer periods of time actually hurts my back still. Maybe in a year or so I’ll give it a go.

    2. Marius Kauer Avatar
      Marius Kauer

      A walking desk sound AMAZING πŸ˜€

  2. Marius Kauer Avatar
    Marius Kauer

    Super interesting, Remkus. I feel validated when I hear that people do similar things to keep them from going insane. πŸ˜€ I agree with all of your statements: I had some weeks around WCEU when I wasn’t as strict with my workouts as usual and I IMMEDIATELY felt the consequences. I was weaker (both mentally and physically) and my focus was all over the place just not there where it was needed.

    I have come to the conclusion that my body NEEDS to be exhausted the first thing in the morning to function properly. Any day I don’t go to the gym is far less productive and rewarding.

    And as a quick addition to the point you make about your sedentary lifestyle: I completely changed to a standing desk. Both at work and at home and it has changed my life (no I am not being over dramatic :D). Now the first time when I sit down is after work at home to eat. And the results are amazing. It’s like in this moment my body goes: “All right, NOW the day is done, now it is time to rest.” It’s incredible!

    It’s way easier to relax, sleep and appreciate things. But those were just my two cents on the matter πŸ˜€

    P.S.: This is the desk I use at home. It’s a simple standing desk by IKEA. Probably the best investment I have made in the last couple of years: https://www.ikea.com/de/de/p/skarsta-schreibtisch-sitz-steh-weiss-s49084965/

    1. Remkus Avatar

      Thanks for the validation, Marius! Much appreciate you stopping by and commenting. And thanks for the link to the Standing Desk. If I ever move over to a standing desk, this will most likely the first one I’ll look at.

  3. Simon Avatar

    Hopefully this was the last gentle nudge to boost my drive and head back to my attic to hit those weights again . That weight lifting game needs a reboot! Thanks!

    #NoExcuses

    1. Remkus Avatar

      Future you will thank you!

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