#237 - Social Networks, Fitness

5 minute read

Motto: You Don't Exercise because You Have Energy, You Exercise because it GIVES You Energy

Today's post is about two mostly unrelated things: Social Networking and Fitness. Social Networking: To me, social networking for the longest time meant "Facebook". Since that time a whole crop of things deeming themselves "social networks" have come and gone; and I tried out many of them. Twitter. Path. Tumblr. Google Buzz. Foursquare. LinkedIn. Instagram. Pinterest. Vine. Diaspora. Google+. They have all had their highlights, and their low points. The one thing they all have in common is that they aimed to become a place where you could go and see "what's happening" with your friends. You could hear their opinion on some current event(Twitter), see a picture of their coffee (Instagram), and see what projects they claim to be working on (Pinterest). Enter Google Hangouts. Hangouts is not posed to its users as a "social network". It's the chat service that was born alongside (or as a part of) Google+. Hangouts, for the most part, exists in its own silo. This chat service has become my "social network". It is where I go to see what my friends are doing. I've been in a group hangout with the majority of the groomsmen from my wedding for well over a year now. As a result, we talk all the time. Similarly I have a group hangout with my in-laws and one for the group of friends who live close by. With Hangouts, communication is convenient, picture sharing is easy, and the platform doesn't gum up the works with tons of useless features. It's basically everything I've ever wanted out of a "social network". You don't go there to mindlessly wander around, hoping to find something interesting your friends did or said. Content on Hangouts is 100% relevant to you. Facebook is still terrible, by the way. Fitness: I was originally going to make this a feature post about fitness, but such a post would really REALLY require a lot of work. Also, I'm still not nearly qualified to write anything approaching "authoritative" about the subject. Everything I'm above to say is my opinion based off things I've read/experienced over the past five or so years. I spout broscience at best. With that disclaimer disclaimed, I now begin. "Exercise is a required part of a full & happy life." If I had to give general life advice to someone, that would be one of the first bullet points I hit. Shortly thereafter I'd probably work in the motto from this post. Fitness is a very broad concept. I think fitness can be broken down into 5 mutually orthogonal dimensions: 1. Strength 2. Endurance 3. Coordination 4. Flexibility 5. Power To be truly "fit", one should aim to seek to maximize each of those 5 facets of fitness. Specializing in any one or two of those areas is fine, but doing so at the expense of neglecting others is not. At any given gym, I'd say the "healthiest" person in the room is not the strongest, or the most flexible, or the person that's been on the treadmill for 2 hours... but instead the guy who's half as good as each of those people in their respective specialties. Not as strong as the strongest, but more flexible with better endurance. Not as flexible as the yogii, but able to move heavy objects and traverse long distances quickly. You get the picture. Speaking of pictures, I've been developing a greater appreciation of data visualization techniques. Here's what I'll call the "Fitness Pie":
Sidenote - That's not a pie chart. Pie charts are useful when you're showing several data points that sum to 100%. These data points are independent of one another. It's essentially a radial bar chart. I don't know if this type of chart has a standard name. - End sidenote If I were to rank myself on the 5 dimensions of fitness, I'd probably go Coordination > Flexibility > Power > Strength > Endurance. I'm fairly coordinated & flexible (minus my hips). I'm more "powerful" than outright "strong". The difference here is that strength = force and power = the ability to apply force quickly. Being able to throw a baseball far is not a matter of strength so much as it is a matter of power. Lastly I follow up with endurance, which for me peaks out around "jog a mile and a half". For me, endurance is the least enjoyable dimension to improve (and it doesn't help that running bothers my back). What does your Fitness Pie look like? The last thing I want to talk about is the answer to the question "why exercise?" The standard answer to this question talks about how consistent exercise reduces your risk of obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, osteoporosis, and so on and so forth. Then usually they'll toss in the benefits regular exercise gives to your mental health, athletic performance, and usually add in a tidbit about attractiveness. Those things are all true, but they don't really answer the question for me on a day-to-day basis. Why exercise? I work all day by sitting in a padded chair, moving a mouse, and typing on a keyboard. When I get home, many of my hobbies involve sitting in a padded chair, moving a mouse, and typing on a keyboard (as a matter of fact, I'm doing that right now). While I'll be the first person to tell you just how awesome those things are - there's an itch that they just don't scratch. Something visceral. Something primal. Something you can't quite put your finger on. You may not even know it's there until it's gone. Like the humming of the refrigerator or the air conditioner, you don't really notice it - but when it's gone you realize instantly what you were missing. I scratch that itch by deadlifting.

Completely unrelated - here's a Battlefield video for March:

Top 5: Most Important Aspects of Fitness 10. Consistency 9. Vanity 8. Goal-setting 7. Enjoyment 6. Consistency 5. Variety 4. Rest 3. Diet 2. Knowledge 1. Consistency

Cool down - shirtless flexing in front of a mirror - 5 minutes" - Jon's workout notes -