Why Old Fitness Methods Work Well in Modern Times

I love how technology is making life easier. For example, not too long ago I needed to make a 15 minute video for a class presentation. To make the video I had to haul a 50 pound camera around, stage the lighting and get the focus settings just right. Once I had the footage I spent 5 hours editing the tape on a massive editing deck.

Now I just whip out my pocket camera, push a button and I’m Steven Spielberg. Once I have the footage, I can edit the video and burn it to a disk within 10 minutes on my desktop computer.

Yep no doubt about it, all of the new toys and gizmos are making my life much easier and productive in more ways than I can count.

Ironically, I’m finding the opposite to be the case when it comes to getting in shape. While technology is also providing some benefits in the world of fitness, I’m finding that the old school diet and exercise methods work best in these modern times.

Here are a few reasons why this may be:

-         New exercise devices and workouts can require a substantial cost in space, time and money. However old school methods like body weight training, Yoga, running and simple weight lifting are far more efficient. This is refreshing considering we find ourselves increasingly strapped for time, space and money.

-         New exercise machines can involve a lot of sitting or lying down. Over the past few years the dangers of excessive sitting are becoming well known and are even believed to exist for those with regular exercise routines. However traditional exercises are often done standing and can be some of the best options to help reverse the weakness and loss of flexibility that plagues our sit-down culture.

-         Our food supply is becoming more diverse, abundant and efficient. For the first time in history we humans have to make a far more conscious choice over what we are eating rather than having to eating whatever we can find. This means that we are not used to taking control over our food choices in the way strict diets tell us to. We simply are not built to resist food, in any way, for long periods of time. This is why healthy eating styles that are based on a foundation of smart satisfying and nutritious choices will always provide better results than a modern eating style that preaches long term food abstinence and deprivation.

-         Activity was never an isolated event in the daily life of our ancestors. It was integrated into the things they did. These days lots of modern day exercise programs require that you put your day on hold while you go and exercise. Using old methods like commuting to work, and having the ability to be active at the drop of a hat will help you integrate activity into your daily life rather than make it a separate event from everything else.

Using old methods doesn’t mean shunning our modern day society and it doesn’t mean that the new fintess trends don’t have their value. I really do beleive that the older methods that predate our fitness culture are a perfect fit for our satellite dish watching, processed food eating, car driving, cubical working lives that are clearly here to stay.

As they say, if you can’t beat’em join’em.

 

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