Call it a resolution if you like. I prefer to think of it as ratcheting one step closer to aligning my behavior with my genes. MOVE MORE. People aren’t made to sit around.
In a hunter-gatherer world, sitting all day was the fast-track to starvation. Not really an option. You worked first, and rested afterwards — assuming your hunt was successful.
Not so for me. Alas, I am obliged to feed myself and my farm full of animals by warming a chair. I doubt I could get a physical job that pays what my cerebral one does. Of course, this means that if I’m going to catch up with the hunter-gatherers, I have to spend my relaxation time in action.
I already move more than the average American. I mentioned the animals. They like to be fed a couple times daily. And there’s water to haul, horses to ride, horses to train, eggs to gather, fences to build…
And, I work out. Mostly bodyweight and heavy lifting, with some metcon thrown in for good measure. Plus a few sprints.
I’d say I spend about 4 hours per week officially “working out,” and another 20 “moving slowly” (ala Mark Sisson) — double that in summer; halve it in the dead of winter.
Still, what if I could do better? Here’s what I have in mind:
- Get a standing desk at work. I wrote on my other blog about the back problems that have bumped this up my priority queue.
- Walk/run more. Lately, I’ve taken to going for 20-60 minute, evening jaunts with dogs or horses — in the dark and inclement weather if necessary. This is a good thing.
- Stretch. My flexibility could use some improvement. Hamstrings especially.
- Feldenkrais. The benefits are both physical and mental. I’m always glad when I spend 40 minutes on this. I need to stop finding “better” things to do.
Want to know my biggest roadblock to moving more? It’s not laziness or reluctance to do something energetic. It’s that physical activity interferes with reading. I’m not talking about web-surfing, either, but real, geniune, reading of actual books.
My iPod helps. At least I can entertain my brain while walking, running, and stretching. I listen to podcasts on everything from nutrition and fitness to science and psychology to Freakonomics and economics to religion and philosophy to culture and skepticism and more. It isn’t the same as reading, but it helps.
So, that’s it. Reading notwithstanding, in 2012 I will move more.