Technology has made us soft. And lazy.
Seriously, I order EVERYTHING from Amazon Prime.
I have both an AC unit and a space heater in my office so the temperature can always be adjusted to my perfect comfort zone.
If I chose to, I could easily go the rest of my life without ever cooking a single item of food—just pull it out of the package, and I’m good to go.
I pay someone to do the yardwork. And occasionally, to clean my house.
You get the picture, right?
My need to move—our need to move—has been dialed back so far in the last 100 years or so.
I know that some of you don’t like to exercise. I get that.
But the reason we need to exercise is because we do not have to move.
[Most of us, at least…if you have a really active job, you may not need to work out. My partner has a super physical job and he never works out. He’s more active on a “normal” work day than I am on a day I work out for 2 hours.]
While I don’t believe that a person with a sedentary job necessarily needs to work out every day, I do believe that *all of us* need to move every day in order to be healthy.
Exercise is a life hack. It’s a quick, intense substitute for the movement we as a species used to do as a regular part of daily life.
Movement is also an incredible stress reducer and mood enhancer, it is truly essential for our overall well-being.
Burr Leonard is the founder of The Bar Method (a barre-style workout that I was slightly obsessed with about 15 years ago). At age 70, she is amazingly fit and moves like a much younger person. She is the poster child for her own method and healthy living.
When asked to give the best happiness advice that she knew (from this interview with Self magazine), Burr replied:
“I know it sounds corny and like a plug, but I really think that steady exercise is magic for the human being. Our bodies are designed to be extreme athletes and multitaskers—we’re an active animal. And growing up in civilization, it’s removed that athletic element from our lives. Exercise enables us to put it back. Without it, our bodies are deprived. They’re not functioning the way they’re designed to. I really think exercise is a great key to happiness.”
I don’t think that sounds corny at all! Moving our bodies is a way of nourishing our bodies. Our bodies thrive on movement and lots of it.
I don’t agree that we need to be “extreme athletes” to be healthy, but it might be helpful to readjust what our definition of extreme is.
It’s not extreme to exercise every day or at least most days.
It’s not extreme to move your body (walking, running errands, cleaning, etc.) for an hour or more per day.
While it’s true that your great-grandmother probably didn’t go to the gym, she most likely spent hours every single day cooking or doing laundry or milking the cows or hoeing weeds in the vegetable garden.
You could do that instead of going to the gym, but would you want to?
When you think of exercise as a way to offset a sedentary lifestyle, does it become any more appealing?
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