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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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October 08 2014

How to Outsource Your Physical Activity

By Mark Sisson
93 Comments

OutsourceAs 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.

Protein requirements – The more physically active you are, the more protein you’ll want to eat. Protein will give you cancer, heart disease, and impotence, so the less physical activity the better.

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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TAGS:  humor

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93 thoughts on “How to Outsource Your Physical Activity”

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  1. Haha reminds me of people who don’t try things like CrossFit because they are “too dangerous”. On a side note – I tell all my patients who ask what the best exercise is for them is “whatever they love to do!”

  2. That remind me of the people on the cruise ship in the WALL-E movie who were just floating their massive bodies on anti-gravity beds like hi-tech Rascal scooters.

  3. You made my day:) Humor delivers much more quickly than pages and pages of evidence! Thank you.

    1. The only thing that worries me about this is how long did it take Mark to remove his tongue from his cheek? Well done!

  4. The most pathetic thing in my neighborhood is the line of mini-vans waiting for the school buses to drop off/pick up the kids when they rarely have to walk more than one block to get to the bus stop. Whats up with that?

    1. Paranoid people who believe their kid can’t walk a block without risking getting grabbed by some pervert. Or the ex. That actually might be more realistic than paranoid, though.

      1. +1 It’s a shame, though. My son takes his 10-yo on bike rides on weekends and throws the football and walks to the park after school. Good for both of them.

      2. It IS more realistic than paranoid. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Kids are naive. You can tell them a hundred times not to have anything to do with strangers, but unscrupulous people with a little patience–and not necessarily even strangers–can still wiggle their way into a child’s trust.

        Not far from where I live, this exact thing was done with an 11-year-old girl a couple of years ago. The boy was 17, a wannabe serial killer as it turns out. He did grab and kill the little girl. (It made the national news, so I’m sure most of you heard about it.)

        I walked to school from the time I was in kindergarten. So did my kids, who are adults now. But if I had young children in school at present, I would definitely accompany them to the bus or drive them to and from school. It’s too bad it has to be this way, but it is what it is.

      3. Well, then WALK with them, rather than picking them up in a auto–that’s the whole point of this post. That’s what my father did. (I’m sure you agree with me on this, Wildrose. Just wanted to speak up.)

        I go to Parkour classes, and I’m amazed by the tiny number of parents who join their children in class, choosing to sit on the sidelines and stare blankly into their smart-phones, even though a family membership is something like $10 more a month. Sadly, most of these parents are 10 years younger and 50#s heavier than me.

    2. The biggest shame, I wish I didn’t have to drive my minivan three block to pick my kid up from school. The school doesn’t allow walk up pickups! I think it is absurd.

      1. Just about anything is allowed these days if you get a note from a doctor. I would give it a try.

        In some schools, a doctor’s note can even get you permission to bring nutritious food from home rather than eating the industrial poison served by the cafeteria.

      2. What are they going to do? Keep your kid for the whole semester? If your car is in the shop, do they call Family Services? I don’t get it.

      3. WTF??? Sorry, did i got it right? you can’t walk with kid out of school?

      4. Wow that is really weird. Here in the Netherlands, during pick up hours, cars are even not allowed to park near the school, to force parents not to use their car. Most kids walk or cycle to school 🙂

      5. That is absolutely horrifying. I’d be tempted to picket the school! Or maybe threaten to take them to court? They probably have some bizarre legal paranoia driving this decision (no pun intended).

        I walked my kids to elementary school every day (about a half mile each way) & it was great for all of us. When they moved on to middle school, I drove them most of the way, & they walked the remaining few blocks. Alas, I missed out on the walk part as they couldn’t be seen with a mommy escort at that age. 🙁

      6. Be a rebel and say ‘screw you’. No “walk up pick-ups?” Wow. I’ve never heard of this? Is it common in America (I assume though you could be anywhere I guess).

      7. That is absurd. Because, you know, child abductors NEVER kidnap children in automobiles. Sheesh.

      8. Hey Jacqueline, what would they do if you walked up? Would they have the child spend the night there? Try it! I’m sick of schools RULING the lives of families. It wasn’t like that when I was a kid (55 now). We had to respect the teachers but they didn’t rule life outside the classroom…

    3. Well, in my area, bus drivers have been known to forget to make stops, drop dead behind the wheel (happened twice so far), have heart attacks and/or drop into diabetic comas behind the wheel (once while driving across a river bridge–the guardrail stopped them from going over). Makes you wonder how rigorous the standards are for getting that job, doesn’t it? Doesn’t anybody have to pass a physical or mental exam? I guess not!

      And in some areas, they are now charging the parents a fee for kids to ride the bus.

      If I had kids, I’d walk them to and from school each and every day. But some parents drop their kids off on the way to work.

      1. Yes. My kid gets dropped off on the way to work, except they walk on Wednesdays.

      2. They need to introduce “standing” drive stations for bus driving.

    4. agreed……..and the whining abt how it’s ‘too darn cold’ for their child to be standing outside.

      reminds me of a car I saw abt 3 years ago trolling the local Walmart parking lot, went around 6 times before finally finding a spot close to the door (4th spot down IIRC). Two ladies got out, both obese, and on the way in one was complaining to the other abt how she couldn’t seem to lose any weight……oh, and she had a bag of Doritos she was eating out of as well. My wife came out a few minutes later and couldn’t understand why I was chuckling to myself all the way home.

      I could go on all day abt the diet-activity-weight (or overweight) connection, but I think all points have been severely beaten by Mark and others on this site.

    5. Wow. I live in Germany, I’m 24, and I pretty much walked/biked to school all my life, starting in first grade. That includes days with rain- or snowstorms. Very few of my classmates got dropped off by their parents. If I had a kid, I would still feel completely comfortable letting it walk or bike to school. I don’t know if the rate of child abductions etc. is that much higher in the US or people (on average, not generalizing) are just that much more paranoid. It might be a combination of both.

    6. Every day on my way home from work (yes, I drive.. love my life in the country but work near the city) we are behind a school bus that stops to let a very obese middle schooler off at the end of HER OWN DRIVEWAY, where her mother is waiting in the car to drive her up to the house. Nuff said? Let the girl at least get 3 min of walking in a day!

      1. We live on a large acreage. All of the rural kids in our school division, including mine, get picked up and dropped off at their driveways – that’s the bus company’s protocol with rural kids. My driveway is six city blocks long. We are in canada, so there are winter days with severe cold (-30 degrees Celsius, or about -20 Fahrenheit) when I drive my six year old to the end of the driveway in the morning – while it’s pitch black out. In addition, my driveway comes out onto a secondary highway with a fair amount of fast-moving traffic, so I’m uncomfortable with her being on the side of the road alone while she’s still this young. The rest of the time, when the weather is not terribly bad, she and I walk together, with the dog and our pot bellied pig, to the end of the driveway, where the bus stop is. At the end of each day, I’m waiting there for her when she gets off of the bus, and we walk home together. These are my most cherished moments of the day, and I’m sad on the days we drive because it’s just a minute or two together, instead of 15.

        Anyways, my main point is, some factors are out of our control, but it sure is a pity that more of us don’t choose to model better behaviours for our kids.

  5. Missed out Mental Activity.

    Oh wait, where’s that bottle…

    Cheers,

    Luis.

  6. Oh man, did you have to do that post.

    I raise my own beef. Last month I had them deliver the hay for the first time. Man was that nice. It took 10 minutes for the nice young man to unload and stack 12 bales. It would have taken me an hour to drive to the feed store and back, then another half hour to stack it (I’m old and slow). Only cost $35.

    Maybe I need to rethink this…

    1. As a farmer, I hardly think you were the target audience of this post. Still, it could have been a good exercise. All depends on how you think of it, I suppose.

      1. Nice to be called a farmer, but I’m really a hobby farmer. I make money as a software designer (sitting all day).

  7. Ha ha ha. Oh wait, isn’t laughing bad … because it exercises your innards.

  8. In a way it is sad that many people actually feel this satire is reality. Living in pampered comfort is not the key to happiness. Yet countless Americans seek to do just that and often at the expense of those who enable them to do so. In the past it was only the wealthy that had servants. Now the unproductive and spiritually deprived have the state to provide the “blissful” existence you described today.

  9. Oh crap! I just realized I have TOTALLY been forgetting about the mail. Guess I should take the car!

    1. When I lived in Texas, my coworker did that. Granted, her driveway was a couple hundred feet long, so I guess it makes sense to spend twice as long opening the car door, closing it, starting the car, etc, than a quick sprint. LOL

  10. I know this piece is lighthearted, but I would gently suggest that the self-congratulatory, “aren’t we superior!” impulse is not us at our best.

    1. Indeed, I think I’ve been inured to it ever since reading a sarcastic post on yogurt a long time ago, but it did turn me off at first. It’s just Mark’s humor, and it’s hard to deny that it is a little funny to consider how absurd our culture would come off to aliens with no previous knowledge of our species.

    2. Might slip into inferior. Sometimes you have to blow your own trumpet. Also, Mark does have an international audience. We don’t all laugh at ourselves through cartoons.

  11. As a runner I’m not terrible about all things involving movement, BUT am a suburban mom I’m certainly guilty of driving everywhere and parking as close as humanly possible to my destination! Great post.

  12. A manual transmission is great for the left calf muscle, too. Especially in Los Angeles.

  13. Slow day in the ideas department, ha, but a potent title that sadly drew me 😉 Time for exercise 😀

  14. Nice to see the short overview of how ridiculous a modern lifestyle can get. It is exactly why the healthspan doesn’t keep up with the lifespan. Viva la revolution! ;D

  15. Possibly OT, but on an economic note, ‘exercise’ has never computed, in my mind. Spend $ to buy food to convert to calories; spend $ for a machine to convert calories to healthy muscles. Why not burn calories growing food to convert to calories to convert to muscle exertion in growing food…a complete circle ?? I think even doing ‘manual labor’ is healthier than paying for a machine… outside of the dubious ‘perks’ of gym attendance. Social perks could be found in doing charitable work, which includes an attitude adjustment benefit 🙂

  16. Haha!!! That is truly absurd. I especially like the tip about utilizing throngs. I’ve done this before in Tokyo. I also found it was a great way of experiencing intimacy with people without all the work and commitment and without having to expose the fragile, unworthy person you really are inside. What a great time to be alive!

  17. Oh, You were just kidding? 😉 Thanks for the laughs, Mark!

  18. When I walked my terrrier and watched the lunar eclipse this morning at 5 AM on the open space of the golf course,all I could see was the brilliant stars and a blood red moon,and the glimmer in the distance of a guy sitting in his shiny Bimmer looking at his Ipad-never got out of his car to look.The eclipse was awesome-the Bimmer guy missed out.

    i could see was a blood red moon and bright stars,and a guy in his shiny Bimmer looking at his Ipad-he didn’t even know.

    1. Bimmer guy didn’t miss out on the eclipse. He was streaming a video of it from CNN.

  19. I would totally use a golf cart at minigolf if such an option was available. At least once, because that’d be *hilarious*.

    I have a feeling I’d probably have to carry it over the obstacles, which would defeat the sedentary point. (o:

  20. I get the humor in this, and I love the article, and it made me laugh, but I think it’s important to remember to balance. The only section I think may have been carried a bit far is the about never leaving the couch. I’m not a fan of gaming and never played WoW, but keep in mind I believe you may have quite a few fans lurking around who have spilled over from Nerd Fitness. We all have a great sense of humor, but it would be heartbreaking to see parts of this group accidentally hurt by the painting of a broad stereotypical image.

    That said, I think it is very important to keep this sense of humor. It reminds us to not take things to the extreme, to keep in mind how we must look to the outsider.

    The funny thing about convenience is it isn’t *all* bad. I’m a fan of taking the physically demanding things I don’t enjoy and making them convenient so I can focus my energy on the physical endeavors I find most rewarding to my health and wellbeing.

    Everything has it’s tradeoff. Every last thing made convenient leaves little satisfaction in life. Absolutely no conveniences makes for a difficult work/life/leisure balance.

    That’s what I feel you’re trying to get across here, if I’ve completely missed the point I apologize, but I did appreciate you provoking these thoughts in me.

    Loved the article, though! Long time lurker here, but I’ve loved the overall positive attitude around here. This is a great group of people I’m proud to count myself among!

    1. Well said, Alex (re: gaming). While it’s true that games (usually) carry the same health pitfalls (in overuse) as other digital media, it’s far too easy and prevalent to dismiss it as a whole when it’s actually a valuable and important pastime, art and (increasingly) livelihood for many.

  21. This is gold, Mark. I could be a complete ass and email this to some of my lazy friends who do some of these things, but I think I will take the passive-aggressive route and post it on facebook. Thanks for the laugh in the middle of this hectic day.

  22. Wow!! This is all too funny, and I did laugh out loud; but it is also too sad if people actually would think about ways to get out of moving even a little bit.
    Even if it is just parking a little bit farther from the entrance of the grocery store. Get Out and Move People. We don’t want our bodies to suffer from atropy.
    Baby steps people. Baby steps. Slow and steady wins the race. 🙂
    Take Care Everyone.
    Shelly

  23. Wall-E is one of the most powerful anti-obesity movies of all time. Not sure if this was intentional or not.

    But it made me reflect a lot. Not change at the time. But at least reflect.

  24. Ha! I’ve actually seen several people in our neighborhood doing the mailbox/car thing on a regular basis They may be coming home from work/store and they drive up to the mailbox, get the mail then go into their driveway. Some of them have to turn the car going the wrong way on the street so they can get the driver’s side close to the mailbox.

    Also, I have a family relative who parks his car as close as physically possible to the front entrance of a store – he’d park inside the store if he could. His favorite saying? why walk 2 miles when you can walk 2 feet—-

  25. Ouch… too late, I just finished the evening workout (yes, there has been a morning one, too).
    It’s never too late, I’ll start the cure tomorrow early morning with a bowl of cereals in soy milk 😛

  26. Sometimes our lives get so busy we forget to take time for us. I know until a year ago when I started doing kickboxing I did a lot of the things you mention above, out of what felt like necessity. I’ve since discovered that I can make time for more movement, but it has been a slow learning process. I think if we stop making it easier to do things faster and stop expecting everyone to get more done in less time we would all move more.

    And the first turn off to most people trying to add movement to their daily lives is hearing people that are already doing it talk about how much better they are because they do it. You can help others by doing things with them and not telling them the things to do. Go ahead and take the elevator up with them then have them walk down the stairs with you….baby steps.

    And one last thing, being someone who avoided exercise at all cost for over a half century – the first three months were brutal – I did NOT feel better and it was exhausting. So please remember when you are talking to folks about being healthier and doing more for themselves that change is hard and it doesn’t matter if it’s logical we are talking about emotional changes too.

    Thanks for listening! And thanks for your posts!

  27. Yada, yada, yada…..why spend time doing all this reading myself when I can just wait for somebody to narrate it to me on the podcast 😉

  28. Brilliant! Whilst most here know this is Mark’s humour, please remember that there really are people who believe this – just as some of us used to fear fat!

  29. “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 swear it’s from shifting gears!!! lol

    1. Avoid them? How about FINDING THEM FIRST, then avoiding them. Not many vehicles come with them these days.

  30. Absolutely hysterical. Don’t forget to have remote controls for everything from ceiling fans, mini-blinds, EVERYTHING! Just so you don’t ever have to leave that chair!

  31. This post has really opened my eyes. Clearly the best way to become primal is to watch survivor over and over again. It would be strongly preferable to be sitting down in my recliner and have all my food with me. I just wish I hadn’t wasted my time reading the primal blueprint. Might it be better on TV?

  32. Haha great post-and the Bimmer guy was probably streaming CNN and the eclipse!

  33. If it weren’t for all those promoting the primal/paleo lifestyle the world would reach this ‘eutopia’ a lot faster. Awesome post! Will share with all I know….

  34. Watch Idiocracy.

    Exercise for exercise sake is better than being sedentary, but wouldn’t the world be a better place if people used their energy for productivity. Connect a bike up to the grid, do some conservation work, dig your own holes, you know what I mean.

  35. Great stuff, LOL, and so very true! Especially love the “being swept along with the hoards of people” scene.
    One of my pet peeves – even though it has nothing to do with me directly – is hearing of parents who have to interrupt their daily schedules to drive their 18+ year olds to COLLEGE! I have one acquaintance whose daughter is 20+ years old and the young lady insists that her mother spare her the “horror” of having to walk to a bus stop to take a bus that stops directly in front of the college. The return trip is the same in reverse. But, my acquaintance has to stop what she is doing to drive her daughter to-and-from college!
    When my acquaintance told me this I told her that, beginning from when I was 14-year-old and a vocational high school student, I got up at 6:30 am every week day for the academic year and traveled, using public transport, for one-and-a-half hours into Manhattan, in NYC. Then, after a full school day which sometimes ended at 4 pm, I traveled with buses and trains for one-and-a-half hours to return home. This was in fair and foul weather for the entire four years of my high school education.
    My parents both worked full-time jobs and my mother also kept house. We did lots of activities together, including sports, on the weekends and then, come Monday, back to our respective work/school schedules. I think I benefited tremendously from this kind of regimen, and it’s probably one of the reasons I can still play racquetball competitively, along with doing other sports/activities, although I’m no spring chicken.
    I just don’t get the reasoning behind instilling values of laziness and inertia in young people and why parents think they are being caring parents by promoting such.

  36. Well.. Sadly, that post reminded me of way too many people who are simply way too lazy. What’s worse is that most of them don’t even know it and those that do could care less. Funny in a sickening way..

  37. You are one awesome dude and this is the best thing you have ever written. Good stuff sweetheart

  38. When I walked to university instead of waiting the same amount of time for the bus, everyone thought I was crazy.

  39. Well, for thousands or even millions of years, our primary concern has been to conserve energy and obtain any new kind of energy, regardless of quality. With the industrial revolution, our concerns have flipped 180 degrees. Not surprising that we act as we do.

  40. For my mother who has been obese her entire adult life, this is reality. Lately she told me certain movements are not good for her, because she starts to sweat. She thinks, sweat is a bad sign and should be avoided at all costs. She wanted to tone her big arms and I said she should start to use dumbells and lift them. She argued, she can’t do that, because then her big arms would become even bigger because the muscles would grow immensly. Off lately she developed arhtrosis in her shoulders and she seems to be relieved that she now has an excuse that she can’t even swim animore. She can’t understand that her fitness has disappeard although she used to walk a lot in her childhood and youth (her argument). This is 55 years ago – I told her that you have to work for your fitness every day in your entire life – she didn’t understand what I meant. No role model or good example will reach her because she thinks she and her body are unique in this world. It is hopeless and if it wasn’t so sad, it would be truly funny.

  41. Oh my gosh, I didn’t know half of this stuff!!

    I knew that turning my head quickly was dangerous…

    Do you think it’s OK to go outside if someone carries me?

  42. For people like myself I find this article annoying. I eat the Paleo way and have done for 5 years, but I have chronic ill health. I am exhausted and in pain all day. I cant exercise, I can only go out if someone drives me and I need a wheelchair or scooter outside the house. And yes I have a disabled badge.
    I know this article was tongue in cheek but you know there are some of us who arnt lazy and couch potatoes but have genuine disabilities. I feel that this type of article lumps us all in the same boat and gives a poor image with folks.

    It is never, ever acknowledged on your blog Mark that there are people who cant train, do crossfit, play extreme frisby because of chronic ill health.

    Perhaps Mark an article helping those of us with disabilities would be helpful!!

  43. At our school (catholic), we got a tongue-lashing because it’s a school rule that if your home address is more than a mile from school, your kid can’t be a “walker.” It’s probably for the kids’ safety – with the amount of homework they assign, little kids wouldn’t get far with a 50lb backpack without damaging their spines. Once, my daughter fell down in school with her backpack on and couldn’t get back up!

    And HEY, we love mini-golf! We always ride our bikes 5 miles around the lake before we play, however. Guess we’ve been doing it wrong.

  44. Fantastic. We spend money so that we don’t have to walk, carry things etc… And then we spend more money to go to a private gym and run on a machine that takes us nowhere… Can’t get more sensible than that 😛

  45. If you DO have to go to the store (heaven forbid)… Make sure you can park as close as possible. Those extra steps will really ruin an afternoon…

  46. I walk to work pretty much every day… takes about 25 minutes… the only other person who does hasn’t got her license yet. Was amused there was a rumour going round I had been done for drunk driving… I mean why else would a middle aged woman be walking

  47. Sadly this isn’t far off from our culture. When I get home in the afternoons, there is a line of cars waiting to get access to the mailbox center…their homes and parking spots are less than a football field away.

  48. You make some really valid points! Exercise is very important and its true when they say that it’s all in your mind so we ave to push ourselves to overcome that fear of our own physical inability.

  49. God! Please allow me to let others leave their lives the way they choose to, and do my best to be the example that may help them on their journey.

  50. I even got rid of the dog door in my bathroom so I have to get up and let them in and out more often and I have to leave the window open so they can get out of the bathroom if I don’t want to let them in and out repeatedly. And that goes against my energy-efficient compulsion so I only leave it open if we are gone.