Listening to the Current on CBC radio this week, (which incidentally is in my top 3 fave radio shows…nope actually I’d say its become my most favorite), I heard host Anna Maria Tremonti state the opener: “Hate the gym? History explains why the treadmill feels like torture.” I leaned in. This is actually quite fascinating and I had NO IDEA.
Back in 1817, a British engineer named William Cubitt invented the treadmill (then called the treadwheel) with its purpose: to punish prisoners.
Hard labour was slowly taking place of the death penalty and prisoners such as Oscar Wilde walked the cylindrical wheel for five to six hours a day. UGH. It was thought that prisoners should do something pointless that punished them.
You gotta listen to this episode. I found it really intriguing as I have thought for years that natural movement throughout the day is far better than sitting all day & working out for an hour at the gym, then sitting again.
I mean hey, if it’s really all the time you can afford then don’t stop, but I really like what Dan Buettner from bluezones.com had to say near the end of the podcast – especially about making our daily tasks less convenient so that it creates a necessity of movement as well as getting a dog – he says dog owners have half the rate of obesity as non-dog owners. I’ve always said they are the best and most needy personal trainers you can get! (Obviously don’t get one if you don’t want or can’t look after one. Just come to my house, I have 2.)
So now what? Don’t stop working out folks…but do remember that an active day without a specific dedicated workout (when you are talking general overall health and longevity, not if you want an amazing six-pack and monster biceps) is just a good if not better.
- Walk to the store, to work, wherever you can.
- Shovel the driveway.
- Make your life less convenient.
- Maybe, just maybe, adopt that pup you’ve been thinking about.
Enjoy this day!