As humans living in the Information age, we’re winning. We’ve got nature on the ropes. We haven’t quite extricated ourselves from our disgusting physical forms, but that’s only a matter of time. And I think if you take a look around at the splendidly sterile environment we’ve constructed with its flat surfaces, moving staircases, and automobile-friendly streets, you’ll realize that we’re close to never having to lift a physical finger again. But until the robot butlers, maids, and personal assistants have arrived, the threat of physical activity looms and we have the responsibility and duty to outsource it as much as possible.
There are a few holdouts, those radical luddites with their running shorts and their bicycles and their hiking. You may know one, or even be one yourself. If that’s the case, I implore you to consider the negative effects of physical activity before you take another step:
Sweat – I don’t like sweat. It’s wet and salty and smelly and it stings the eyes. Also, sweaty hands are slippery hands; I once witnessed a TV remote control tumble from the sweaty hands of an exerciser and fall to pieces just before The Bachelor aired. The horror!
Increased fitness – Being physically active will increase your fitness levels which will promote even further physical activity. It’s a deadly cycle that’s best avoided.
Realization of one’s mortality – Engaging in physical activity makes you realize you exist inside a fragile physical body, a soft fleshy sack of crumbling bones and pullable muscles. When you run, you’ll come into contact with the hard ground and know you can break upon it. When you try to lift a weight, you’ll realize that your capacity to change the physical world around you is severely limited.
Effort – Physical activity requires effort, the enemy of all that is good. Regularly giving effort has a host of negative health effects, like increased time-to-exhaustion during difficult tasks, improved diligence, and excessive accumulation of grit.
Okay, with that out of the way, hopefully everyone reading this is on board with the importance of physical activity outsourcing. If you’re not, there’s probably no hope. Enjoy your physical fitness, strong muscles, and sweaty hands!
If you are interested in outsourcing your physical activity, this is how you do it:
Never leave your couch. A recent study into the living spaces of lifetime World of Warcraft addicts revealed the recipe for sedentary success. Empty Mountain Dew bottles and KFC chicken buckets to hold urine and feces, respectively, and eliminate bathroom trips; a pinch-style trash grabber and long-handled broom, to extend your arm’s reach and maximize couch time; a muumuu for easy access. Premium setups include catheters, colostomy bags, and manservants, but the WoW addict recipe is far cheaper and works almost as well.
Get the best and biggest HDTV money can buy. TV has always tried to represent reality, and it’s been quite successful. With today’s range of ultra high definition televisions, you can surpass reality. The 4k TVs are bar none the best to get. Yeah, they’re expensive, but so is a lifetime of health maladies caused by physical activity.
Watch nature programs instead of going outside. Experience the crystal clear beauty of an Amazon rainforest from the comfort of your own home without having to walk around and get wet.
Hook up a quality surround sound system. This will make your viewing experience even more realistic. Just try not to turn your head when the rear speakers kick in and you hear a velociraptor sneak up behind you; that’ll only burn more calories.
Sign up for premium sports channels so you don’t have to play them. For whatever reason, humans are drawn to sports. I’m not sure why. They’re dangerous, they involve lots of sweat and dirt, and the whole purpose seems to be to get you to move, jump, run, and throw things. Crazy, right? The good news is that watching other people play sports on television appears to satisfy those sporting urges. Don’t watch sports in person because that involves walking to the venue.
If you have to play a sport, stick to miniature golf. The small courses minimize the amount of movement you do, and the lack of long distance drives eliminates overly intense swings. Golf carts are still advised, of course.
Get everything delivered. Groceries, books, clothing, everything can and should be delivered. You’ll want to sign up for Amazon Prime, of course.
If you have to leave your house for whatever reason…
Get a reliable car. The automobile is the greatest thing that ever happened to humankind. It allows us to travel at high speeds with minimal physical movement of our limbs. We mustn’t squander it. Make sure you get a reliable car that’s less liable to break down and leave you walking. And whatever you do, never change your own tire.
Drive absolutely everywhere. I don’t care if you’re going over to visit the next door neighbors for dinner. Drive there. I don’t care if Google Maps shows a two mile trip will take an hour due to traffic. You drive.
Get a disabled placard. Parking as close as humanly possible to your destination is essential for minimizing physical actvity. You can compete for regular spots all you want, but it’s no guarantee. A placard is.
Utilize valet parking whenever it’s available. Those valets are there for a reason! Keep small bills on hand. If you tip well, they’re usually okay with you pulling up onto the curb to get as close to the doors as possible.
Avoid manual transmissions. Shifting gears may not look like much work, but a study out of the University of Michigan found that people who drive cars with manual transmissions have more developed right forearm musculature than drivers of automatics.
I’m serious. Use your car for everything. Drive your car down the driveway to get your mail; inch close enough that you don’t have to get out to grab it. With the window down, grab your trash can and roll it along as you drive to leave it at the curb. If you insist on walking your dog (they’re honestly better off without the walks, just like us), do so by using a long training lead (15 foot, minimum) sticking out the window and driving slowly down the street, close to the curb. Move furniture by running cables from your car’s bumper to the furniture and driving really, really slowly. People really sell themselves short and do way too much with their own feet that a car could do.
Use drive-throughs. This one’s obvious. Be sure to drive close enough to the window that your mirror comes a hair from scraping it; leaning out to pick up your food is hard work! Another benefit of drive-throughs: the food they typically serve is highly processed and digests very easily, requiring less physical activity from your digestive tract to extract the nutrients.
Use escalators, moving walkways, and elevators whenever possible. The future cityscape was supposed to be nothing but moving sidewalks and escalators and human-sized pneumatic tubes whizzing us around. It still can, I maintain, but we have to show civil engineers and city planners that we want – nay, need – them. Vote with your feet by using them to stand placidly on a moving walkway, escalator, or elevator.
If the escalators and/or elevators are out of order, make do with the first floor. Say you’re a man at Macy’s shopping for a pair of boxer briefs and a new shirt, but the escalator’s out of order and the men’s department is on the second floor. Instead of going home empty handed, grab a lace thong and a billowy blouse. Branch out and be adventurous, why don’t you?
Stairs don’t exist. Okay, stairs do exist, but it’s in your best interest to start training yourself to think they’re a figment of your imagination. Because if you’ve successfully convinced yourself that stairs do not exist, you won’t go near the things. And ignore that nonsense about “using the stairs in the event of a fire.” Where would you rather be in a fire? Exposed to the raging inferno while struggling and huffing and puffing down the stairs, breathing in lungfuls of toxic smoke? Or nestled safely in the warm cocoon of a modern elevator? Exactly. If you’re having trouble developing the delusion, we have an online seminar coming out soon that promises to make stairs invisible to the human visual cortex.
Utilize throngs of humanity. You hear about people getting trampled to death at concerts when everyone rushes the stage or in crowded venues when there’s a fire or a gunshot and people flee. Those are usually called “tragedies,” and I agree that people shouldn’t have to die, but I dunno. It sounds like an opportunity to me. Next time you find yourself forced to walk down a sidewalk, try to weasel your way into the middle of a large group of people moving in one direction and just let yourself be swept away. Gangs, hordes, roving bands of investment bankers in the midday lunch rush – it’s all a throng, and it’ll all usher you along the path while minimizing the amount of physical effort you exert.
If you follow all of these tips, expect good things. You should be able to reduce your daily extracurricular energy expenditure to less than 50 calories. You’ll be free of sweat – forever. Your dangerous muscles will atrophy, your annoyingly heavy bones will lighten, your taut calves will become mercifully shapeless. Your feet will get the lifetime of rest they deserve. You will fuse with your couch. Never again will you squint against a brilliant sunrise blinding you as you crest a treacherously steep summit on a miserable morning hike. Nor will you fear the wave’s painful slap knocking you from the surfboard into the sickeningly warm Kauai water, or feel the torment from grinding out a PR in the deadlift, or bear the piercing chirp of neighborhood birds on an early evening walk.
Yeah, life is way better when you don’t do anything.
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Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.