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#432651 - 06/04/11 09:57 PM Vegetarian?
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Has anyone here ever tried a vegetarian diet?
I was talking to a neighbor the other day, and she mentioned that she was a vegetarian.
Interesting.
I never seriously considered becoming a vegetarian because all of the people that I've ever met that ate that way looked skinny and weak, but I was curious about the opinions or experiences of those who post here on this topic.
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#432653 - 06/05/11 05:25 AM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: choonbee]
Zach_Zinn Offline
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Registered: 12/09/07
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Loc: Olympia, WA
Quote:
I never seriously considered becoming a vegetarian because all of the people that I've ever met that ate that way looked skinny and weak


Well i'd say that speaks to your lack of experience, rather than anything else, no offense.


I ate strictly vegetarian for something like 4 years, it has a lot of plusses going for it health wise.The American diet is usually so terrible that eating vegetarian at least removes a substantial source of overabundant fat in your diet, which combined with way too many starches is a nasty combination. Of course there are plenty of vegetarians that eat awful also.

I weigh about 210 right now, i'm not a little guy. I've known vegetarians who are huge and beefy, it's really a question of whether or not you actually know how to eat right while keeping vegetarian. Protein is not hard to get on a vegetarian diet. Vegan diets are where I see people looking unhealthy, but I am sure there it is also possible to eat healthily, though I imagine it's a bigger challenge.

If I remember right there are a few MMA fighters who are vegan and vegetarian, though I don't follow the scene well enough to be able to name them.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (06/05/11 05:27 AM)

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#432655 - 06/05/11 12:04 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Zach_Zinn]
MattJ Offline
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I was a semi-vegetarian (could go without meat for weeks at a time), and never noticed any problems strength-wise because of it. I probably was at my strongest then, although that speaks more to my injuries now, too.

My former BJJ instructor is a strict vegan, and he is in excellent shape. The only thing I've noticed with him is that he gets sick a lot, but that may not have anything to do with his diet.

Zach is correct, too. Jake Sheilds is a vegetarian.

http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Jake-Shields-502


Edited by MattJ (06/05/11 12:06 PM)
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#432659 - 06/05/11 01:06 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: choonbee]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
Good grief Choonbee... a couple of "skinny and weak" vegetarians for you:

Bill Pearl, Mr Olympia (and yes he was a veggie when he won Mr Olympia):




Pro Bodybuilder Albert Beckles:




Pro Arm Wrestler Rob Bigwood (guy on the right of the image in the black shirt):




My advice is not to change your diet so you'll have something to talk to your neighbour about. Do some research on it first and see if it might offer you any nutritional benefits. Or do it if you have recently developed an interest in animal wellbeing.

But please educate yourself on the subject of nutrition and vegetarianism first.


Edited by Prizewriter (06/05/11 01:07 PM)
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#432661 - 06/05/11 03:31 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Prizewriter]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Judging by that picture of Beckles, I guess it's safe to assume that a boatload of steroids is considered part of a vegetarian diet.
Good grief.


Edited by choonbee (06/05/11 03:34 PM)
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#432663 - 06/05/11 04:15 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: choonbee]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
So he just ate steriods?

Many pro bodybuilders have probably at some point tinkered with roids. However, the body still needs fuel to build and maintain mass. Steroids alone can't do that. No doubt steroids can increase vascularity and aid recovery, but to put on any sort of mass the body needs fuel.

Do you think a vegetarian who consumes an excess of calories (i.e. more calories going in to the body than are being burnt off) aren't going to gain mass in their body?

Here is another example of a strong, athletic vegetarian. His name is Michael Bennett. He was a world amateur boxing champion in the heavyweight division. Here he is as a professional boxer in the red trunks demonstrating his formiddable punching power. Note at the 0:07 mark Bennett's stats are shown, and list him as having weighed in at 201 pounds.



Once more I would implore you to educate yourself on the subject and get rid of any notions that vegetarians are "skinny and weak". The examples I have shown offer proof that this is not the case with all vegetarians. Read up on something before you make a lifestyle choice that could effect your health.
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#432664 - 06/05/11 05:01 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Prizewriter]
trevek Offline
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Registered: 05/15/05
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Loc: Poland


Edited by trevek (06/05/11 05:02 PM)
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#432667 - 06/05/11 08:04 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: trevek]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Wow.
I didn't realize that there were so many vegetarian athletes.
Prizewriter: I wasn't planning on making the switch to being a vegetarian. I simply had a conversation with one, it sounded interesting, and I was curious as to how those on this board felt about it.
If I were going to do it, I would definitely educate myself on it, and speak with a nutritionist about it as well.
Truth is, I'm pretty happy with my diet as it is. I just thought that it would be an interesting topic for discussion here.
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#432672 - 06/06/11 04:47 AM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: choonbee]
Prizewriter Offline
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Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
No worries. Sorry if my tone was alarmist, I thought you were considering a change without reading in to it.

Here is an extreme example of what can happen when people decide to "eat in a healthy" way withouth knowing the full facts about what it is they are doing. The people mention in this articles were raw vegans, meaning they ate uncooked vegan food.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/...ill-848322.html
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#432673 - 06/06/11 06:36 AM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: choonbee]
Cord Offline
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Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Easier to bullet point my responses to various issues raised so far.

1. There are 'degrees' of vegetarianism: Some call themselves vegetarians, whilst still eating fish, eggs, even chicken. Show me a fish-tree or a chicken plant and I'll eat my lifting belt, but the fact remains that someone saying 'I'm vegetarian' does not always imply they live on vegetables alone.

2. Your body can get everything it needs from a vegetarian diet, but its not as easy to accomplish by default, as you find it with an omnivorous diet.

The reasons being that non animal sources of protein tend to be 'incomplete' ie, any one kind of bean, or pulse or fungus, does not contain a broad spectrum of amino acids, so to achieve this you need practice 'protein complimentation', combining sources of vegetable protein that together address your amino acid needs.
In animal protein, that balance exists by default in most flesh.

3. Pro bodybuilders use steroids. All of them. But without training and nutritional support that meets their needs, no muscle tissue will grow. Therefor, a vegetarian pro bodybuilder offers an extreme visual evidence of vegetable protein being utilised successfully by the body.


The more food sources you deprive the body of, the more difficult it becomes to meet the wide ranging nutritional needs of your body, so the more hardline your vegetarianism, the more nutritionaly aware you need to be.
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#432686 - 06/06/11 05:58 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Prizewriter]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Originally Posted By: Prizewriter
No worries. Sorry if my tone was alarmist, I thought you were considering a change without reading in to it.


No problem, my friend.
I appreciate the advice.
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#432687 - 06/06/11 06:07 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Cord]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Originally Posted By: Cord
The more food sources you deprive the body of, the more difficult it becomes to meet the wide ranging nutritional needs of your body, so the more hardline your vegetarianism, the more nutritionaly aware you need to be.


Makes sense.
Sounds like a lot of attention to detail is necessary to do it right.
I wonder if many vegetarians take amino acid supplements and/or protein shakes. That would seem like an easy way to get your protein while avoiding meat by-products and fats.
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#432709 - 06/10/11 05:04 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: choonbee]
Shusha Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 37
Vegetarian or not, its a mistake to equate skinny with weak.

Just as there is a difference between a 300lb person with 10% body fat and a 300lb person with 40% body fat -- there are also 110lb lean, muscular, strong individuals.

(I'm lacto-, ovo- vegetarian and have been all my life)

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#432716 - 06/11/11 09:31 AM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Shusha]
Prizewriter Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 10/23/05
Posts: 2573
I see the point you are trying to make, but strength can be a fairly subjective thing.

For example, a 110lb Yoga practioner who can support their body weight using only there hands (i.e. a handstand) for 5 minutes might think that is strength

A 300lb powerlifter might think being able to deadlift 500lbs is a feat of strength.

One might not be able to do the other.

Also, the laws of physics take over at some point, and this becomes particularly apparent in certain arenas.

Using your example, the 300lb person with 40% bodyfat goes up against your 110lb lean, muscular person in a Judo match. Even if the 110lb person has a higher skill level in Judo, they are going to struggle to do much with a 300lb person (of any bodyweight composition) in a Judo match. Except hope they have a heart attack.
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#432733 - 06/11/11 08:00 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Prizewriter]
Matakiant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 117
Why? What's the point?

I really do not think there is any point to being vegan, vegeterian or anything alike unless you have a medical reason for such a diet.

I believe in eating and doing what feels right. If you get a craving for some kind of meat, fish, dairy product, fruit etc go and get it your body is telling you what you need. If you grew up eating healthy - by healthy I mean eating REAL FOODS and a wide variety you can't go wrong when listening to your body.

I don't think it's a wise idea to cut out any food group from your diet. And at least around here most vegeterians, vegans are pompous [censored] who think their saving the planet - no your not that cow is still going through the slaughter house wether you eat it or not, jackass - I do imagine it is hard to eat healthy in America comparing the country where I live at and Finland where I go to work the difference is huge.

Here modern society hasn't had it's ill effects so heavily on society yet - most food in stores is quite natural and wholesome. While in neighbouring Finland you have for example in stores 20 types of breads, 200 types of sweets and lots and lots of packaged meals pretty much packaged everything and most people buy it eat it and don't even know how to cook anymore no wonder they have an obesity problem.

In my little former Soviet Union country at least 90% of people older than 25 can cook for themselves. But it's starting to root in here as well young men, women who don't know how to cook for themselves so they buy packaged meals order take aways and so on.

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#432736 - 06/11/11 08:59 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Matakiant]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Originally Posted By: Matakiant
Why? What's the point?

I really do not think there is any point to being vegan, vegeterian or anything alike unless you have a medical reason for such a diet.


Good for you, but it sounds like you don't have a whole lot of anything other than your opinion to back it up.

Quote:

I believe in eating and doing what feels right. If you get a craving for some kind of meat, fish, dairy product, fruit etc go and get it your body is telling you what you need. If you grew up eating healthy - by healthy I mean eating REAL FOODS and a wide variety you can't go wrong when listening to your body.


What if someone's body "tells" them not to eat meat? When i went vegetarian it precisely for this reason, for some reason when I ate meat, especially red meat I felt slow and sick.

Aside from that "doing what feels right" isn't a particularly relevant philosophy anyway, if we just went by that conversations like this would be pointless...maybe it feels right to me to drink myself into a stupor and eat nothing but ice cream, some people think it feels right to shoot up heroin.

Quote:

I don't think it's a wise idea to cut out any food group from your diet. And at least around here most vegeterians, vegans are pompous [censored] who think their saving the planet


That's nice, but it sounds like you don't actually know much about nutrition, and are just going again..on your opinions of different "types" of people..totally useless information from a viewpoint of what being a vegetarian actually is. If all the vegetarians you've met are like that you've had some pretty limited life experiences.


Quote:


Here modern society hasn't had it's ill effects so heavily on society yet - most food in stores is quite natural and wholesome. While in neighbouring Finland you have for example in stores 20 types of breads, 200 types of sweets and lots and lots of packaged meals pretty much packaged everything and most people buy it eat it and don't even know how to cook anymore no wonder they have an obesity problem



Sure, processed foods are a part of the problem, again this really has nothing to do with whether or not being a vegetarian is healthy..BTW it's not really in dispute that one CAN be healthy as a vegetarian, nor has it been for some time. The only real issue is protein, which with ovo-lacto vegetarians is barely an issue at all.

Quote:

In my little former Soviet Union country at least 90% of people older than 25 can cook for themselves. But it's starting to root in here as well young men, women who don't know how to cook for themselves so they buy packaged meals order take aways and so on.



Again a good point, but you've managed to make zero points about why you think being vegetarian is bad idea.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (06/11/11 09:04 PM)

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#432829 - 06/16/11 09:38 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Zach_Zinn]
Matakiant Offline
Member

Registered: 02/08/11
Posts: 117
Yep exactly nothing but my own opinion - just like yours.

I didn't claim to be proving in my post anything about vegetarianism being unhealthy I just don't agree with it - unless it is for truly medical reasons and believe it or not I know quite a lot about nutrition.

If I had my way I would add a lot more fresh greens and such to my diet but I just can't afford it, the climate here makes almost all vegetables, green leaves, fruits etc quite expensive compared to a grains, fish, meat heavy diet.

In many ways a vegeterian diet can be great for you dependant where you live and what kind of ''market'' your in - where I live being a vegeterian is a very expensive thing to do.

In somewhere like the US I suppose there isn't much of a difference budget wise?

A lot of vitamins, minerals, macros and so on are much easier to get from a good vegetarian diet than a bad lazy bachelors diet involving many packaged meals, take aways or just 1 sided sources of nutrients i.e guy only being able to cook 5 dishes which mostly are comprised of empty carbs or not full value proteins.

I realize ''doing what feels right'' is kind of a bad suggestion for most people but you could say I'm a hippy with good discipline - I've gotten my knowledge on nutrition well beyond that of average Joe or house wife and coupled that with ''what feels right'' & discipline it works out quite well.

Though I admit if I could I would like to eat on a more strict diet but for the last 10 years all my grocery shopping has very heavily depended on money - buy what is cheap and available or you can't pay the rent.

As I said before thankfully, here, eating junk is a lot more expensive than cooking for yourself, even if you whip up some good dishes from time to time.

You not liking meat is completely fine what I don't agree with at all is excluding all fish & animal products from your diet I believe that was called being a vegan? And as I said in my previous post in a less eloquent way I don't find it sensible to become a vegetarian because of philosophical/political views.

What my personal issue is that I just don't see the point in the hassle of being a vegetarian unless you have a good reason and for me there is really only one - medical reasons and if you felt slow & sick from eating meat then I consider that a medical reason.

Another thing that tickles my dislikes about vegetarianism or paranoias in this case (lol) is that often vegetarians turn to supplements and I do not like supplements very much. It's a very complicated subject science wise but for me simply put I prefer to avoid such things unless necessary.

And to finish with a little question - if the world has fish, meat, fruits, vegetables etc why not eat all of them?


Edited by Matakiant (06/16/11 09:41 PM)

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#432874 - 06/19/11 12:04 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Matakiant]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Many people go vegan because they're horrified by the cruel treatment of the animals that we eat by those who process and sell the meat, and they refuse to support such an industry.
Also, many are concerned about eating meat laced with the antibiotics and growth drugs given to those animals.
I guess people differ in their views as to what a good reason to go vegan would be, and it's an individual, personal decision.
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#432880 - 06/19/11 11:03 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: choonbee]
fileboy2002 Offline
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Registered: 11/13/05
Posts: 999
Loc: Chicago, IL
A well-planned vegetarian diet is probably one of the healthier things you could do for yourself. Just don't be overzealous about. Think of pure vegetarianism as an ideal to strive for, not as a strict do-or-die requirement.

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#432896 - 06/20/11 10:13 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: fileboy2002]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
That's good advice, fileboy.
Although I've been able to drop a lot of weight by eating sensibly (meat included) and regular training, I think that a vegetarian diet would be good for many people if it were well planned.
Personally, if I were to do it, I don't think that I'd go vegan. I'd probably stick with fish and eggs, and maybe some occasional chicken.
Not a very "vegetarian" diet by most standards, but still decent.
At this point, though, I still enjoy a nice steak every now and again.
For some reason, it seems right.


Edited by choonbee (06/20/11 10:18 PM)
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#432897 - 06/21/11 03:10 AM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Cord]
marvin3lev Offline
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Registered: 06/20/11
Posts: 1
Total vegetarian is never suggested.
Doctors also recommend the diet including non-veg. In my opinion both are essential.
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#432904 - 06/21/11 02:38 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: marvin3lev]
Zach_Zinn Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/09/07
Posts: 1031
Loc: Olympia, WA
Different doctors recommend different things, there is no one diet that every single doctor recommends. There are plenty that view the choice of being a vegetarian favorably. My uncle is an MD, and has been a vegetarian for years and years. Nutrition is a pretty complicated field.

My understanding is what gives being a vegetarian a leg up on most American diets is that the typical diet is full of both WAY too many starches, and way too much fat, which together is a truly terrible combination. If you remove one or the other it's a step in the right direction. Combine that with the hugely beneficial effects of eating a diet higher in fiber (which a good vegetarian diet will be), and you can see that the reasoning behind eating more vegetables, less meat is pretty sound.

Not eating meat isn't unhealthy for you, getting protein is the issue. Of course eating meat in reasonable quantities isn't unhealthy at all either, and is an ideal source of protein. Eating too much (especially red) meat though, yeah...among other things it's pretty well known that both your cardio vascular system and your colon health can pay a price for that.


Edited by Zach_Zinn (06/21/11 02:39 PM)

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#433291 - 07/16/11 03:17 AM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: marvin3lev]
Cirus3Fleming Offline
Stranger

Registered: 07/16/11
Posts: 1
Loc: 1905 Willow Ave, Weehawken, NJ...
Originally Posted By: marvin3lev
Total vegetarian is never suggested.
Doctors also recommend the diet including non-veg. In my opinion both are essential.

Many people are having this misconception that vegetarian diets do not provide enough protein or necessary nutrients to fuel an athlete, but in fact this is not true at all. Athletes just have to athletes must make sure that they are consuming enough of the main nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein and fat, while getting enough vitamins and minerals which all are present in the full vegetarian diet.

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#433462 - 07/28/11 10:56 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Cirus3Fleming]
Shusha Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 37
Doctors in general are woefully under-trained in the science of nutrition.


Edited by Shusha (07/28/11 11:08 PM)

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#433463 - 07/28/11 11:08 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Shusha]
Shusha Offline
Member

Registered: 04/30/11
Posts: 37
What gives vegetarianism and veganism a "leg up" is the fact both tend to be very low in calories. Calorie restriction remains the only demonstrably proven method of preventing cancer in studies.

Calorie restriction combined with a diet relatively high in carbohydrates seems to be quite healthy. A diet relatively high in protein and fat seems to be quite healthy as well, especially in the presence of considerable physical exercise. Diets high in refined sugars and flours seem to be not so healthy. Diets high in calories, unless accompanied by significant intense physical exercise, seem to be not so healthy.

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#433478 - 07/30/11 03:52 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Shusha]
Kimo2007 Offline
Veteran

Registered: 03/31/07
Posts: 1057
On the subject of nutrition my fall back has always been, why argue with 40,000 years of evolution. Humans survive on meat and plants, any modern diet that attempts to substitute or change that is playing with fire IMO.

Basically we need to consider food sources that are as close to their natural state as possible, the best choices. People will often say, I can get my protein from other sources, OK but protein is not the only thing in meat that the body needs. Why try and recreate something that already exists in nature? You'd be much wiser to beware of processes used in the distribution of the food you eat, than substituting on a base level. Anyone who has ever had true organic steak vs. most store packaged meat will tell you the difference is significant.

Even that though, the body is quite robust. As long as you stay centered on your diet plan, you don't have to get crazy about trying to eat healthy. The body can take a lot more than I think people realize. (this is not a license to pump poison in btw).

Exercise is key, the benefits to physical exertion are so profound that if it could be put in a pill it would be the prescribed medicine in human history.

Disease has multitudes of factors. Poison (cigerettes for example), genetics (gene that mutate into cancer for example) environmental causes, or just bad luck and we don't know why.

Just my 2cents.
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#433479 - 07/30/11 08:52 PM Re: Vegetarian? [Re: Kimo2007]
choonbee Offline
Member

Registered: 02/26/11
Posts: 195
Originally Posted By: Kimo2007
Exercise is key, the benefits to physical exertion are so profound that if it could be put in a pill it would be the prescribed medicine in human history.


Totally agree.
Exercise can alter your mood for the better as well. I find that if I feel angry or anxious about something, a good workout will have me feeling more relaxed and clear-headed.
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