I often think about the movie Wall-E.
More specifically, I think about the humans in Wall-E.
Obese. 100% Sedentary. Lazy. Missing out on life.
What a perfect commentary on the direction that so many people in American society are are moving in. What a detriment. We trade convenience and instant gratification for our health and livelihood.
Think about 100s of years ago… people were not obese… people did not go to the gym or need to watch what they ate. This is because the daily tasks associated with life gave them their workout. Tending fields or flocks. Scrubbing, ringing out, and hanging clothing. Building structures. Walking everywhere.
They didn’t need the gym because they were using their bodies as they were meant to be used (starting out young). They did not sit in the car to get to work. Sit at their desk and work. Sit while food is prepared for you. Sit while dishes and laundry are being washed. Sit and watch television. Sit, sit, sit, sit.
Our bodies were not meant for all of this sitting! They are too dynamic and allow for complex movement! Now that our lifestyle is so radically different, we have to add going to the gym because we not longer utilize our bodies in our everyday living. Our bodies were clearly designed to be active… to run, jump, bear weight, twist, bend… to MOVE.
When we neglect to use our body in the way it was designed to be used, things are bound to go wrong. If something goes unused, it gets stiff or “rusty.” If something is used improperly, its original functionality gets compromised. And I don’t know about you… but I would prefer that my body does not feel stiff, rusty, or compromised! Surely fullness of life cannot occur if we are not utilizing our bodies as they were made to function. Think about when we look at dinosaur bones… predictions about a dinosaur’s top speed of travel and how large of a step it could take. What would our skeletons say about us (beyond just speed of travel)? That is the range of motion and level of activity we should pursue because that is what we were made for.
The condition of our body has such a huge impact on our life. Chronic pain, tiredness, sluggishness, fatigue, difficulty moving, limited mobility… it all decreases our level of happiness. And beyond that, when we know we are mistreating our body, we do not feel good about ourselves. Instead we spend all this time “should-ing” ourselves and feeling guilty, ashamed, or lazy.
That is why I strongly believe that being active, in the way we were made to be, is an essential “Key to Life.” Now, this does not mean having a six pack, or competing in or winning competitions. It does not mean having a super low body fat percentage, obsessing about your appearance, or completely centering your life around getting optimally fit. It just means… your body was created to move and made to handle some exertion… so move it… exert it… and live.
(PS… I have just scratched the surface of what inactivity does to our bodies… if you have questions or comments, please leave them below!!)