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[personaldev] Breaking and fixing healthy routines
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 I've been spending the last couple of weeks working out of our new office in Mountain View.  Despite the fact that a couple of friends are generously offering me places to sleep in the south bay, the commute from SF is driving me crazy.  I'm going to need to move down to Mountain View soon.

It's taken me two weeks to realize that this has broken a lot of the healthy life routines that I'm used to.
- I used to take morning hill-walks up Bernal Hill, which is next to my house.  I had recently been using the hill-walks for walking meditation experiments.
- I've been using a makeshift sit/stand desk at home; I modified a cheap IKEA desk to let me switch from sitting to standing in a couple of minutes.  About a month and a half ago, I started developing pain from sitting too long, and this became very motivating.  
- I have been making most of my own meals, and I've found a range of ingredients that is very healthy yet easy to prepare.  
- I have been going to the gym regularly.  It's very near my house, so going there has been very convenient.  In addition to the rock climbing, I have been following the protocols from Body By Science, which is deserving of its own post.  In any case, I have continued to build a modest amount of muscle despite only going to the gym once a week.

Anyway, all of these routines are now broken because I'm rarely home now, and I've realized just how much this is affecting me.

I've been working on fixing them:
- Hill-walks -- Morning hill-walks are still feasible if I get up earlier.  Once I move to the south bay, this will be more difficult.  I've found walking on flat ground isn't physically invigorating enough, and running doesn't have the same meditative aspects.
- Sit/stand desks -- I'm about to drop $600 on the frame for a GeekDesk.  It's the cheapest motorized sit/stand desk I can find, and the option to buy just the base is not linked to from the rest of their site.  http://www.geekdesk.com/default.asp?contentID=629
- Food -- I've worked with the people at our startup incubator office space to set up the components of a real kitchen.  The social pressure to go out to eat with others is strong though.  :-)
- Gym -- I work from home one day a week, so that's giving me some time to get to the rock gym.  Otherwise the gym is usually closed by the time I get home from work.  There is a rock gym in the south bay, but it's way down in Sunnyvale, which is 15-20 minutes from work (more during rush hour).  

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I like the GeekDesk. Ordering it without a top is a good money saver too. It cuts the product cost by $250 and shipping by $40. You can get a good replacement top for it at Ikea for <$70.

I like the GeekDesk. Ordering it without a top is a good money saver too. It cuts the product cost by $250 and shipping by $40. You can get a good replacement top for it at Ikea for <$70.

I think it's great that you've noticed all this so soon. It's so easy to let the healthy habits / things that keep us sane fall by the wayside when work passion strikes.

Hill running alternative: get some jumping stilts. Ok, ok, even less meditative than running, but a better workout and SO MUCH FUN and that way all the people at your new local park will come over and talk to you, and bam. Insta-community.

One other fun walking meditation I've tried is walking veerrrrrryyyy sllloooowwllyyy. Feel the balance in each step as you take 15 seconds to shift your weight from one foot to the next. There's some fascinating shit happening in there, yo.

Ah, that reminds me of this very old video from the dawn of YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MutvUfQcmMg

I found it while making a video collection of people doing amazing things.

LOL - pretty impressive jumping/running. Looks like fun - and a little scary. Helmet, please :D

FUN!!! Now I'm all inspired. Where are some stairs?

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Re: strength training?

yup! Body by Science is all about strength training... they advocate one set to failure, with slow reps, over 90 seconds. It seems to work well in that I'm as sore after 90 seconds of leg presses to exhaustion as I am from running for several miles.

I find that strength training does not impact the pain of sitting though.

I really dislike training to failure protocols. Check out Grease the Groove.

BTW, if you can, and I realize space can get in the way: try to encourage people not to eat at their desks; it's a real wasted opportunity to connect with others, and drives a minority insane...

Re: strength training?

I don't see how Grease the Groove and training to failure would necessarily be incompatible -- I could easily manage a few pullups from time to time even on days when I've done it to failure. Training to failure has worked for me in that I've continued to build a modest amount of muscle mass despite having less time to get to the gym lately.

Re: eating -- I do like the social and context-shifting aspects of eating out as well, but I want to have my own food most days. If others do not bring their own food, I have to convince them to get take-out if I'm going to eat with them.

Depending on how much time you have in the mornings, there are plenty of hills with nice trails at Rancho San Antonio once you are living down here.

I know what you mean about the social pressure to go eat, fortunately one of my coworkers likes to exercise at lunch (we go for runs), so that avoids many eating out situations. Today I have no prepped food, however, so lunch out it is.

PG Sunnyvale is nice, but yes, rush hour could make that moderately unpleasant to get to.

Unless I pick a place near 280, RSA would end up being a significant trip if I went there every day.

Walks, adjusting, "The Move", food, gym

A word of encouragement: walks may not be so much more difficult. As I mentioned in my email earlier this evening, I prefer to choose a place in Mountain View -- one reason being that Open Spaces (or Shoreline Park) are only ~10-15 mins away. These are great for very hilly walks (not Shoreline for hills, but Rancho San Antonio is only 11 mins from the SENS lab where I work in Mountain View near downtown).

Re food: the people you live with can really affect this. In particular, I'm knowledgeable (scientifically), experienced, and have made a habit of preparing healthy meals -- scaling it up for multiple people actually tends to make this more efficient.

Re gym: your gym must be in southern Sunnyvale? 'Cause I'm in northern Sunnyvale and I'm 8 mins from downtown Mountain View. I know of a good gym in northern Sunnyvale (no rocks, though). If it's encouraging, I have some weights I intend to bring with me to the new place to share with all.

In summary: it seems like in my comments above, I'm elaborating on our shared interests.....Cool! ;)

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