I’m writing this post here in Silicon Valley. At the present time Google is about 100 yards to my right.
I also checked out the computer history museum this morning.
It’s amazing to see the journey and impact on everyday life computers have made in just the past 50 years. It got me thinking, why the hell hasn’t fitness gone through such a transformation? The more I thought about this question the more I started to notice that our computer culture and our fitness culture have been moving in opposition to on another.
Here are a few comparisons:
– Computers are becoming cheaper by the year. You can even find some for free if they are old enough. Fitness has become more and more expensive. Now getting in shape requires a gym membership, personal trainer, dietitian, cook books, super foods, and a host of pricey gadgets.
– On that note you can do computer work with just a single net-book or even a smart phone. You don’t need a lot of stuff. Walk into any gym and you can find 5 different expensive machines just to exercise your biceps.
– Computers use was once pretty exclusive, used by only a handful of experts and hobbyists. Now even kids and people in third world countries use computers. Exercise used to be done by everyone in some form or another. Just walking around was common. Now exercise is mostly for those who are active because of their profession or a passionate hobby they hold. It’s no longer an everyday occurrence.
– Back in the day, computers were complex and hard to use without training. Early home computer systems required classes just to know how to use them. Now they are so easy to use you don’t even need instructions, just touch on an icon and you’re writing an email. Exercise used to be simple. Kids played tag or ball on a whim. I remember playing games where we didn’t know all the rules, so we just made a few up. But now it seems like only highly educated exercise physiology experts know enough to plan a simple workout.
– Over time, computers have woven their way into our daily lives. They are in everything from our cars, to our TV to even the way we talk to each other (LOL, BRB, WTF?). We used to be active to do everything from getting places to recreation, but now we need special times and places (like a yoga class,or a gym) to squeeze our activity into daily life.
– Computers have become more fun over time. It’s a joy to use a new touch pad or add some cool effects to the family home video. Exercise used to be very much about fun and games. Now it’s about finding motivation to keep working out and sticking to a diet.
In light of these simple, although possibly over generalised, observations it’s hard to say for certain if the general approaches to exercise are advancing. If anything they may be regressing. Every year more people are becoming computer literate and the Internet is spreading. Just the other week I learned about a grandmother who learned to Skype and video chat with family members she hadn’t seen in years.
On the other hand disease and physical illness from a lack of activity and healthy eating is on the rise meaning that our fitness tactics are becoming less popular or are used less as a whole. The success and maturity of computers is growing but our fitness success seems to be going in the opposite direction.
In the next post I’ll draw up some specific fitness plans on how you can reverse this trend and help your fitness lifestyle become just as advanced as the latest computer technology.