Author Topic: Being physically active vs being mentally active  (Read 9511 times)

Alex

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Being physically active vs being mentally active
« on: November 28, 2010, 04:36:33 AM »
Ever wondered why there is more prestige in say going for a jog, doing aerobics, playing some kind of sport vs staying in researching a subject of interest or reading a book(even watching a good movie). Society seems to evaluate being physically active as better or more worthy than being mentally active - in my view reading a book is much more enjoyable than say working out and I think all of those people who are very physically active/living in their bodies simply are not capable of sitting down and reading for very long.

My main concern though goes out to those children whose parents force them to get out of the house and doing some physical activity rather than letting stay in and peacefully do some reading(in the process expanding their minds and giving them a chance to recover from too much extrovert activity). My point is, I get my kick out of using my brain, others by using their body - but, according to conventional wisdom this is frowned more upon than doing some kind of physical activity. It seems like doing the 'introvert' thing is seen as some kind of innate laziness/lack of personal development - I don't think that the outside world(in general) understands that introverts minds are highly active and that say staying in reading a book is much more energizing(interesting ;-)) than doing some brainless physical activity - nevertheless, many introverts are undoubtedly either by others or themselves willed into doing such activities, resulting in a need for much more recovery later on. Rant over, lol

secretmoonglow

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2010, 06:32:54 PM »
Doesn't have to be either-or.  A pinch of physical activity and a gallon of mental activity seems to be the right mix for me.

All physical actitity would bore me out of my mind and I would have to find something to work my brain.

All mental activity well, would be terribly lonely and I could see myself getting paranoid.

Like Goldilocks we have to find, and encourage in others, what is "just right" for a given personality type.

Alex

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2010, 12:02:46 AM »
You are right - physical activity is positive. My point was more that society seems to devalue intellectual pursuits and value physical activities higher. As an introvert it is refreshing to say go for a long walk, but whilst introvert do that, it seems rare (for many) extroverts to sit by themselves for a prolonged period of time and read a book for example. Extroverts seem to have 'Ants in their pants' always. 
So, what I meant to say was  there are some people who are very 'brainy' and some who are very 'bodily'. I get the feeling though that being 'bodily'(and you can say 'empty headed') is celebrated much more than being brainy. Eg. somebody who says does a Triathlon race or does a lot of outdoors activity has higher prestige than say somebody who is a college professor or somebody who likes to participate in bookclubs. Eg. being 'bodily' is cool, being smart is not. Just go to any high school class, is the smartest girl/gal in the room considered the coolest?

I imagine these kind of innate differences can provide huge conflicts in intro/extrovert relationships. Especially when the extrovert part does not want to do something alone and likely due to conventional societal wisdom implicity assumes that physical activities somehow are more normal and superior than say staying in with a cup of tea and reading a good book)

pyro13g

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2010, 07:39:43 AM »
I think you are describing a very small percentage of Extroverts.  I'm really finding it hard to put my finger on one Extrovert that is physically active on a regular basis and has expressed what you describe.  I've never even heard an extrovert push the physical activity agenda, only the socializing, outgoing, etc.. agenda.

Sedentary is not good for you.  And yes, children should be physically playing about an hour a day.  There is plenty of time for it and plenty of time to pursue other interests.whatever they may be, as well.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 07:42:14 AM by pyro13g »

JanZ

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2010, 03:26:19 PM »
Alex,

I agree that society places a higher value on professional athletes than researchers trying to find a cure.  And I agree that reading a book or watching a movie is considered being lazy and running a race is more respectable.  But I know plenty of extroverts who are not physically active.  And I am very introverted but enjoy physical activity.  When I was younger playing sports was the best part of my life.  Yes, I had to be a little bit social, but during the game or practice I was focused on doing my best.  I worked with my teammates but it didn't have to be social.  When I gave up sports there was a void in my life that I have filled by working out and joining an outdoor group that goes hiking, skiing, biking...  When you're skiing of biking you really don't have to talk a lot.  I also enjoy reading a good book and doing puzzles (crossword, jigsaw, logic, sudoku...).  I think it's healthy to exercise your entire body, including your brain.

Jan

secretmoonglow

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2010, 06:54:19 PM »
Reading over these messages gets me to thinking. . .physical activity is very diverse itself.  For instance, in baseball only the pitcher decides what he is going to do (more I and J), whereas all the other positions and the batters are reacting based on where the ball is and where the other players are (More E and P).  Hence, there would tend to be a different personality profile for the pitcher versus all the other baseball players.

Also, there would tend to be different personality profiles for say Yoga or Bowling or Golf or each different Hockey position or each different football position, etc.

Alex

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2010, 10:44:57 AM »
Just in case anybody's wondering - I am not obese, lol

JanZ

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2010, 03:51:25 PM »
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Hence, there would tend to be a different personality profile for the pitcher versus all the other baseball players.

Interesting, I never really thought about different positions being more suited to different personalities.  A goalie needs to direct the team so an extrovert might be best.  But I've known people who are  introverted who have done a great job because I think they are better at focusing and don't lose the focus if there is no action for a period of time.

Quote
Just in case anybody's wondering - I am not obese, lol

lol, I've never envisioned you as overweight.

elsebet

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2010, 09:45:55 AM »
Outside world, in general, is extroverted (introverts are minority and this minority is rather withdrawn). So it?s obvious (in my opinion) that, in general, the world prefers and appreciates extrovert-friendly activities.
I consider all those physical activities as boring and sometimes have to explain why I don?t fancy them (for example my friends at work constantly invite me to attend different activities and I constantly say ?No thanks?. They think I?m kind of weird; they are not able to understand that I?m just different.
I can?t find the way to explain this issue to them (that I?m introverted and my needs are different), but I would like to. 

Alex

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2010, 12:07:50 PM »
Hi Elsebet,

Well, I just think (in general) that introverts are (much) more stimulated by mental activities than physical ones to extroverts. I still think introverts live more 'in the mind' than 'in the body'. I like to move about too on occasion, eg. when I was younger I used to love playing soccer, but the idea of doing a workout on a daily basis fills me with horror. Apparently many extroverts though get a kick out of this - you wonder where they get the energy to get on the threadmill(and I know you get more energy by exercising, yes), but I can only deduct there is some kind of intrinsic joy linked to the activity - an intrinsic pleasure that I do not get out of it. I like to read online newspapers as one of the first thing in the morning - the thought of working out at this hour would seem like some kind of punishment to me

/Alex

davidflower7782

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2012, 10:25:45 AM »
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Liz Rosales

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2012, 09:59:01 PM »
yea, I was one of those kids... go outside and play! Ugh.
 
Altho I admit that a bit of exercise is healthy and fresh air too, apart from walks (alone or wiht friends on 2 or 4 legs) it's just another chore to do...
These days I have found my own antidote:  audio books!  Pod-casts!  Interesting talks and lectures.  plop a few on the mp3 player and off I go!  Mental stimulation and entertainment on the go, be that on a treadmill in a gym or whatever. 

Do take care if you're in traffic tho to not become a statistic. 

ravij

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 01:35:38 AM »
In my view one need to be Physically and mentally active to Survive!

ilkar

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2013, 02:39:36 AM »
Hi people! I am facing problem of being overstimulated. While i am reading, i analyze the plots, the layout etc because i am trying to publish and also I am bombarded by opinions. Even after a bad episode, i am still trying unsuccessfully to forget how an idiot boss was rude to me.
I came across this board during a google search. shall try the relaxation techniques, sadly can't always sleep. I love to sleep but mom will nag and not understand my needs. of course i have explained but she would be sarcastic  :-\ i find i need more sleep coz i think a lot!
And as one topic i have seen, people accuse me of not contributing during work meetings. I just don't have anything to say, or have no energy, or bored by the talking so i zone out. This has caused problems, and I tried to reason with them, but they still made it hard for me to continue working there.
Elves are my fortress and my refuge, so brave and noble

evolutionzm

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Re: Being physically active vs being mentally active
« Reply #14 on: February 08, 2014, 02:36:48 PM »
I'm an introvert that growing up was deprived of a mentally stimulating environment. The energy went to physical activity and now as a adult and a Black belt in Martial Arts, which is both mentally and physically challenging, comes another realization. Not having the option to bust a move when mentally bored in a meeting. All kinds of mental distortions can come up. The answer - I plug in to social interactions at a much higher level than the subject at hand, and observe the subjects themselves to find their triggers. We can find our own too. This makes it easier to socially interact. BUT, it is taxing and draining as I prefer not to interact at all as most of it is futile and repetitious, but I guess that's what they're paying me at work as it's certainly not to think, AND, sometimes I learn it is such a joy.

I move towards balancing mental and physical activities on a daily basis, as it was not required till recent and the tendency was to deprive one activity over the other which caused a sense of oppression.