Spoiler: This part tells you why/how you don’t have to ditch all the instant ramen.
First part here.
By the way, in case you are curious, the girl I keep using pictures of at the start of these posts is Akari Kanzaki from Battle Athletes Victory, which is probably my favorite sports’ anime despite its deeply flawed ending. It also strikes me as one of the more motivational sports’ shows since probably the most highlighted sporting event in it is running, something which almost everyone is capable of doing and which doesn’t require much more than a pair of shoes. I will note, though, that hair like Akari’s would be a royal bitch to actually do anything athletic with, especially with the way she wears it.
BAV is also a show that is actually legit when it comes to its fondness for bloomers as athletic wear – if you turn on the TV to any women’s running event, you’ll quickly notice that they’re all wearing those bloomer-style bottoms. So while all those other anime that show high school girls still rolling around in bloomers are ridiculous (Mai-Otome is especially egregious about this), here it actually make sense.
Alright, that aside, this post’s topics are: music, food, assorted tips, and anime/manga that can get you in the mood for working out.
By the way, in case you’ve thought at any point, “Wait – what the fuck, Day? Why the hell should I listen to you?”, here are few reasons:
- I just got back from a thirteen mile bike ride. Not only that, less than halfway through I rammed into a telephone pole, hit my head, and got right back on my bike again to finish.
- After writing part one of this guide I went outside and ran six miles.
- My blood pressure is 111/47. 140/90 is the cut-off for high blood pressure, and the risk of heart disease increases after about 120/70.
- On my monthly military physical fitness test, I average about a 282 on a 300 point scale. Passing is 180, the average score my age group is 263. Two hundred points of my own score comes from perfect scores on push-ups and sit-ups.
- One time I broke a guy’s nose. This actually has no true bearing on my physical fitness/healthiness, but I wanted to remind you of how fucking awesome I am.
While you can certainly listen to music during stationary exercises, the music suggestions here are for biking and running. Before I say anything else, let me state that for safety purposes, you shouldn’t listen to music if you are running after dark. Additionally, if you are biking, you should only have one earphone in or your music turned low enough to allow you to hear what is going on around you. This is especially important if you are in a high-traffic area, although I would honestly advise you to eschew music altogether whilst biking if you are.
I have two sets of music playlists here – the first two are ones intended for anime fans and mainly consist of anime-related tracks with a few regular J-pop songs. The second two playlists are the ones I myself actually use… I was actually a little bit leery of sharing them since I don’t let people look at my mp3 player since that’s like they’re looking inside my brain! but I decided to be nice/decided that people seeing my exercise playlists isn’t the same as them going through my entire music library.
Please be aware that these playlists are a bit on the long side, longer than you will probably be running or biking – it’d really be better for me to describe these as suggested songs as opposed to playlists proper. They include enough songs that you can easily toss out ones you dislike or re-arrange from time to time so your work-out doesn’t get monotonous.
Anime Fan Running Playlist
- Yui Horie – silky heart (Toradora!)
- hide – Pink Spider
- Youko Ishida – Ai no Senshi (Sailor Moon R)
- Yukari Asakura – Tsubasa (Battle Athletes Victory) <—- always used to listen to this at track meets and swim meets before races
- The Hong Kong Knife – LOVE ME (Yami no Matsuei)
- Yumi Luka – Virtual Star Embryology (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
- Girls Dead Monster – Alchemy (Angel Beats!)
- Cheru Watanade – Flaming Ice (Digimon Tamers) <— I just have one question – who thought this was a good title?
- LIA – Toki wo Kizamu Uta (JAKAZiD remix) (Clannad~After Story~ by way of a dance club)
- Mayumi Kojima – Poltergeist (Ghost Hound)
- Takacha – Ame ni mo… Kaze ni mo… (Bleach)
- Dragon Ash – Bring It
- Two Mix – Last Impression (Gundam Wing Endless Waltz) <—- they don’t make awesome J-pop like this any more…
- Asian Kung-Fu Generation – Rewrite (Fullmetal Alchemist) (the good one) (2003)
- Weiβ kreuz – Sora ni Naretara (Weiβ kreuz)
- Okui Masami – Rinbu Revolution (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
- LIA – I REALIZE… (ORIGINAL HARDCORE MIX)
- Ayumi Hamasaki – Fly High
- Shuntaro Okino – Cloud Age Symphony (Last Exile)
- Yuya Matsushita – Trust Me (Durarara!!)
- Dragon Ash – Let Yourself Go, Let Myself Go
- HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR – Ichirin no Hana (Bleach)
- J.A. Seazer – Internal Clock, Municipal Orrery (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
- Asian Kung-Fu Generation – Kimi to Iu Hana
- LIA – Crystal World (teranoid remix)
- 12012 – Cyclone (Romeo x Juliet)
- LM.C – Oh My Juliet (Red Garden)
- Masahiko Aramachi – Through the Night (Outlaw Star)
- LAST ALLIANCE – Shissou (Ouran High Host Club)
- Nightmare – Lost in Blue (Mouryou no Hako)
- LIA – new moon (AI Storm remix)
- AiM – Ashita wa Atashi no kaze ga fuku (Digimon 02)
Anime Fan Biking Playlist
- LIA – Torii no Uta (AIR)
- Ayumi Hamasaki – Daybreak <—- nothing beats blasting this on subwoofers, though
- AiM – Days-Aijou to Nichijou-
- LIA – My Soul, Your Beats! (Angel Beats!)
- SNoW – NightmaRe (Jigoku Shoujo Futakomori)
- Dir en Grey – Rain
- dream – My Will (Inu-Yasha)
- Megumi Hayashibara – I’ll Be There (Saber Marionette J)
- Yuuko Sasaki – Pure Snow (Himiko-den)
- Horie Yui – Orange (Toradora!)
- Naomi Kaitani – Tooi kono machi de (CardCaptor Sakura Movie One)
- Kanon Wakeshima – Suno no Oshiro (Vampire Knight Guilty)
- Yukie Nakama – Tremor (Haunted Junction)
- Mamiko Noto – Ichinuke (Jigoku Shoujo Mitsuganae)
- Weiβ kreuz – The Road (Weiβ kreuz Gluhen)
- Aya – OVER NIGHT (Le Chevalier D’Eon)
- LONG SHOT PARTY – A no hi Time Machine (Zoke Natsume Yuujin-chou)
- LIA – FILIATION (DJ-Technetium Remix)
- Weiβ kreuz – Stone Roses (Weiβ kreuz Gluhen)
- Ayumi Hamasaki – Still Alone (Inu-Yasha… maybe)
- Rie Fu – Life is Like a Boat (Bleach)
- L’arc~en~Ciel – Snow Drop
- Aki Misato – Kimi ga Sora datta (Mai-HiME)
- Porno Graffiti – Winding Road (Tenpou Ibun Ayakashi Ayashi)
- Do As Infinity – Under the Moon
- Shinkichi Mitsumune – Aphrodite of Death: Reminiscence (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
- YUI – LIFE (Bleach)
- Aoi Tada – Brave Song (Angel Beats!)
- Akiko Shikata – VII
If you listen to the tracks of these two lists, you’ll probably notice something – I tend to prefer slower tracks for biking than I do for running. I just feel like it works better rhythm-wise because pedaling is a slower thing than pumping your feet up and down.
Anyway, both of these listings are the orders I used most recently, so they are tested. I recommend putting faster, more intense tracks toward the end of your work-out as they prove to be of more worth there for their motivational aspects. My favorite tracks like this are any of those LIA remix tracks, although, really, if you can get your hands on her enigmatic albums (there are three), you should be basically set for a good work-out album. I also find the Battle Athletes Victory albums to be pretty useful for working out, although they require some picking and choosing since some of the tracks are much slower than others.
Now here are my screen-caps of the actual play-lists I use for running and biking; the ones you see there are the most recent incarnations, although I often switch things around so it doesn’t get boring.
Hmm, that print’s kinda small! Better go find a magnifying glass, huh?
Good news – I love food! I also have a diet that would make an angel cry. So it is possible to be in good physical shape and to not eat like a rabbit. For example, one of my favorite things to do after morning PT when I eat breakfast with other cadets is to make a beeline for the ice cream area, fill a bowl with crushed Twix bars, pour milk in, and treat it like its cereal. This really freaked people out for some reason – and it was delicious. And despite committing what would seem to be sabotage against my body, I still managed to remain in pretty good shape.
What this really means, though, is that portions matter. If I did something like that and wasn’t active, yes, my heart would be straining every second it pumped and my cholesterol would be horrible. But because I do that, at the most, three mornings a week and work out nearly every day, its doable.
So, you don’t need to start chucking all of that easy food like instant ramen and poptarts and oreos. You just need to not eat them for every meal and get off your rear once in a while.
It wouldn’t hurt you, though, to try to liven up your diet a little bit – I force myself to eat a lot of fruit, generally in the form of self-made smoothies, although I also eat approximately over 9000 fifteen bananas a week. Dropping some of your soda intake in favor of real juice (as opposed to the sugary junk) or milk also will help with your overall health. And if you are much of a drinker, trimming down beer intake in particular will help you with that blood pressure and waistline. (Full disclosure: I drink [drank? I graduated, so all my drinking buddies are gone] an appalling amount of alcohol… as in the kind of amount that is impressive to your peers in college but embarrassing in any other situation. But I exercise a LOT.)
Ah – the section for miscellaneous junk. HELPFUL miscellaneous junk. HELPFUL miscellaneous junk that’ll probably get added to over the next few days, so you may want to check back here if you have any interest during that timespan.
- Milk is your friend. After a work-out, milk is the best beverage you can have, since it contains an amino acid that your body cannot make on its own, and which contributes to muscle regeneration – more succinctly, drink milk after working out because it helps heal any damage done to your muscles.
- Tube socks are a great idea for running, as they help hold your lower leg muscles more closely to your bones which helps prevent shin splints and stress fractures. Taping also works well for this.
- ALWAYS stretch before working out. ALWAYS drink water before working out. Both of these lower your risk of injury significantly.
- The best times for outdoor work-outs during the hot months are either early morning or early evening, and the safest times are these times when it is light out. Early morning is preferable, though, as surfaces have not had the opportunity to heat up yet from being in the sun.
- If there is lightning, wait half an hour before venturing outdoors. If you get caught outdoors and there is lightning, try to find shelter indoors somewhere. If you can’t, lie down on the ground in an open area away from trees and anything metallic.
- Masturbation isn’t a good work-out. So, no, all that hentai isn’t gonna help you become more healthy… especially, in fact, if you are a guy – studies indicate that women burn more calories masturbating than do men.
- If you are considering running with small weights in your hands, don’t – it isn’t good for your arms and wrists. If you want to add some weight for running, grab a back-pack and put a bag of sand into it. Then, put the back-pack on and tighten the straps so the back-pack is flush against your back. This will prevent bruising of your back.
- Vertical push-ups are great. However, it is best if you can find a friend to hold your ankles for you as opposed to using a wall to lean against, as you are less likely to fall on your face that way.
- mp3 players are better for running than CD players; as long as your mp3 player utilizes flash memory, it will not skip due to bouncing.
Maybe this is the moment you’ve all been waiting for?
- Battle Athletes Victory – Well, I’ve spoken about this one a bit already. I don’t generally find that sports’ anime makes me feel like actually going outdoors and doing anything, but BAV does, and like I’ve said before, probably because a lot of it is running. There are some ridiculous sports featured in the show (it does take place in the year 4999, after all), but basic sports are the linchpin of the show.
- Black Lagoon – Not a sports show! But it’ll make you want to go outside and kick some ass. Since ass-kicking is potentially illegal, working off those violent feelings through a work-out may be a better idea.
- Shikabane Hime – I always feel like killing reanimated corpses after this. There aren’t a lot of those around. Running works it out somehow.
- Ace wo Nerae! – RAWR HIGH SCHOOL DRAMA AND SPORTS!!! LET’S KICK SOME ASSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!
- Ashita no Joe – RAWR BOXING DRAMA!!!! LET’S KICK SOME ASSSSSSSS!!!!!
- Training with Hinako – I’m sorry, you thought I was above including this? I am a person who considers Kanye West’s The New Workout Plan to be a great song for exercise, and it boasts lines such as “It’s a party tonight and oh she’s so excited, who’s invited? You, your friend, and my dick!” So, no, I’m not above that at all.
- Dash! Kappei – Actually, this show is just plain bizarre. But if you want to learn more about various sports, its not a bad place to look, as every episode introduces a new sport and explains the rules.
- honestly? if you just watch something violent, you’ll feel pretty pumped to go out and be energetic, so if you have a favorite violent show, go for it (hellooooo Kurozuka)