People gain weight primarily because they don’t exercise, eat too much, or both. Rather than aging, people slowly lose their physical capacity because they are less physically active.
Those are immutable Qualler Laws. The sooner you accept them, the better off you’ll be.
I’ve already written about our incorrect definition of diet. Now, I want to address our physical capacity.
- We don’t need to be rail-thin
- We don’t need to have six-pack abs and chiseled chests
- We do need to be able ascend a set of stairs without huffing and puffing
- We do need to be able to fit comfortably in an airline seat (and pay for two if we can’t)
Have you noticed? We’ve lost our physical capacity to the screen. It might be a TV, it might be a computer, a laptop, or a smart phone. (Interestingly, the smaller the screen, the worse the device-induced posture gets.)
As you might suspect, I have some theories for the shape we’re in:
- For the majority, there is no immediate need for any type of physical superiority whatsoever.
- The fitness industry is a convoluted mess.
- Medicine masks our mistakes.
No Need for Physical Superiority
It’s not a jungle out there anymore. I’ve never had to run for my life or defend myself. You probably haven’t either.
Generally speaking, we don’t beat people up because we don’t like them.
Life in first world countries is physically mundane.
The Fitness Industry is a Convoluted Mess
The fact that we pay money to exercise on a treadmill inside when we can run for free outside should be enough to prove that the fitness industry is a convoluted mess.
If that’s not enough, then consider the ThighMaster.
What happened to push ups and sit ups? I’ll tell you what happened—you can’t charge money for them. (Actually, you can—but you have to call it a Bootcamp.)
Medicine Masks Our Mistakes
High cholesterol? There’s a pill for that. High blood pressure. Yep—we got one for that, too.
It’s not a bad thing.
But reaching for a pill should be a last resort—not a first choice. That’s not how we operate in this instant-gratification country where we say, “Just make it go away!”
What Can We Do?
We have to change our minds. Invent your own need for exercise and stick to it.
Fitness isn’t complicated. Push ups and sit ups and an active lifestyle are good enough.
Park your car far away. Take stairs instead of escalators and elevators. Get an outdoor hobby like biking. Associate with people who value health.
Be stubborn about not taking pills until you have tried alternative options. Don’t neglect your body just because you can.
P.S. We’ve come to the time when we have to learn to use our mind and consciousness, rather than bestial physical need, to make choices about our day-to-day actions. It’s a monumental struggle to go from doing something because we can to doing something else because we know we should.