Why Exercise Really? (Part 2)

A few articles ago I wrote about some statistics that should confirm in one’s mind that exercise should be a part of everyone’s life and why. In this article, looking back at how active we used to be years ago compared to now should also prove to be another convincing factor as to why we should exercise.

Let’s have a look back over the past 50 years. I’m about to turn 60 in a few months and I have a great memory of all that I and all others used to do years ago compared to how we do those same things today. Much has changed. Depending on how you look at these changes or advancements, they can be regarded as good or bad, but I wanted to list a bunch of these changes I’ve seen over the past 50 years just to drive home a point.

I remember……

1. …my dad and then even me after I got my driver’s license, putting the car in the garage. Stop the car, get out, open up the garage door, get back in the car, pull the car in the garage, get out of the car, exit the garage and then shut the garage door. This took place several times a day. Today, push a button to open the garage door, push a button to close it. NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

2. …getting up from the couch to change the channel on the television, or turning the volume up or down, or adjusting the picture quality, turning it on and turning it off. Today, sit on the couch and push buttons, or even just “say a command”! NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

3. …adjusting the reception on the television by climbing up on the roof of the house and physically turning the antenna in a different direction. It’s true! Today, satellites and cable do it all for us. NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

4. …dialing the telephone with a rotary dial. If it was long distance, it was 11 numbers. Today, tap or voice command. NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

5. …running to the phone every time it rang so as not to miss the call. Today, we carry the phone with us at all times. NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

6. …as a young driver, driving vehicles with no power steering, no power brakes, no power windows, no cruise control, nothing. Today, we press a button to start the vehicle, press another button to lock or unlock our vehicles, push another button to roll windows up and down, push another button to open doors and trunks, hatches and tailgates, we don’t have to keep our foot on the gas pedal if we have cruise control, we don’t even have to brake or steer anymore because the new vehicles do it all for us! NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

7. …nailing. We didn’t screw woodwork together; it was all nailed manually with a hammer. If a screw was required, your forearms, your grip and a screwdriver did the job. Today, we have nail guns to drive nails or cordless drills to drive in screws. NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

8. …learning to type in high school. Actually “pecking” at the keys on the manual typewriters and physically returning the carriage at the end of each and every line! Today, tap or voice. NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

9. …heating up leftovers. There were no microwaves when I was a young boy. Anything that needed to be heated was done on the stove top. Today, push a few buttons, and voila, it’s heated. NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

10. …watching my parents defrost the freezer manually. They emptied the entire fridge, boiled water in several pots, placed them in the freezer and splashed the hot water all over the inside of the freezer. Eventually they were able to break the ice free of the sides of the freezer box and remove it. Once done, reload the fridge and freezer. Today, the appliance does it for us. NO PHYSICAL EXERTION WHATSOEVER.

You get the picture, right? The requirement for physical exertion in our society today is literally gone. Moving sidewalks, wheels on our luggage and sports bags, elevators, escalators, and so on. The easier we can make something happen, the better. Years ago, joining a health club was like joining soccer, hockey, dance, or any other recreational activity. Today my friends, joining a health club is no longer for recreation (unless you are like me and actually enjoy lifting weights). As I allude to in my strength training seminars, a health club is nothing more than a simulator. It simulates hard work. The health club membership today strives to re-introduce to your body the physical demands that the human body was created to experience each day and endure. We are built to work, and work hard. Because we don’t physically challenge ourselves anymore like we should, we are aging prematurely. We may be living longer, thanks to modern medicine, but research confirms that the quality of our lives during the last ten years we live is very poor for most, and it shouldn’t be.

The difference between what happens in your life outside our gym walls and inside our gym walls is that outside, in today’s society, very little physical exertion is required to do anything anymore, and it’s only going to get worse, but inside our walls, physical exertion is required at all times to do all things.

So work, and work hard, and reap the reward of a great quality of life. See you at the gym!