Here’s a new paradigm that may help someone one out there with health/fitness New Year’s resolutions:
It’s natural to do physically demanding things. It’s part of being a human. Or at least it’s supposed to be part of being a human.
All of human history people have done physical work on a daily basis. Hunting, gathering, building stuff, playing, whatever. It’s only in the last 100 years, and mostly the last 20 or 30 years that people have been increasingly living sedentary lives with no physical demand placed on their body whatsoever.
All of human evolution vs. the last 30 years….hmmmmm.
Clearly being sedentary is not a natural way to live. When I say natural, what I mean is what our bodies are literally programmed for. Our bodies aren’t programmed to live a life where there isn’t physically demanding activity on a regular basis. We need it!
And we already know the results aren’t pretty if we don’t get it. 1 in 3 are getting cancer. 1 in 2 heart disease. Diabetes is growing exponentially. And this is just a very small sample of the suffering that is happening as a result. Obviously diet and other factors come into play too, but it seems to me that the lack of physical demand may be primary.
The BIG Challenge
The challenge is that physically demanding activity is no longer built into our life anymore. But our bodies clearly still need it. Because of this, we have to concentrate it into sessions and do it consciously. In order to simply live in a natural way, what our bodies are built for, we have to choose to build it into our lifestyles either via the gym, a sport, or some sort of regular recreational activity that requires movement and creates a demand.
So my advise to someone is not to ‘workout.’ Simply live a natural life. Listen to your body! It wants physically demanding activities. That’s why there’s a dopamine reward at the end. That’s the bodies ‘thank you.’
There’s a pretty big emotional shift between these 2 paradigms: ‘working out’ vs. living naturally. Working out is a pain in the ass chore. It’s not necessary either so it’s very easy to rationalize skipping. Living naturally is fun. It represents vibrance and aliveness. And it’s definitely a must because it’s your well-being that’s on the line.
In other words, if you look at working out as a chore, you’ll find plenty of reasons not to do it. If you look at accurately, without that distortion, it’s nothing but the natural way to live and it’s not at all hard to stick to it.