Is Comfort Killing Us?
Looking back just a few generations, perhaps just back as far as the frontier days, everything was about survival. Hunting and fishing were for eating, not a hobby; manual labor was a necessity, not a choice. There were very few if any medications – one doctor in town (if you lived in town), and predators were still a threat. Self-sufficiency was the only option, and some limit in life was naturally pushed everyday. Exertion, days with no food, hot and cold temperatures, threats to our survival, limited resources, and, I argue, a clearly defined “why” were all just a part of life. There WAS some suffering and difficulty in life, like it or not. They were busy with survival without much “time or space” to spare.
Every generation since is making things easier, more comfortable, requiring less work, and more convenient – with great success. These beautiful innovations, systems, tools, and resources are our world today. Our present world has copious amounts of “time/space.” Now, we fill the time/space with stuff of our choice. Examples of our fillers: “I want more so I will work more”, TV, movies, video games, youtube, social media, sports, books, skiing, hunting, fishing, home remodels, landscaping, and the wopper for many, especially our youth…..the search for our “why.”
The natural pushing of limits has eroded. The mental, physical, and spiritual effects of our limitless world are only now beginning to be studied and talked about in the mainstream threads of our culture. We need the solutions to the new problems that our comfortable and convenient world has created.
The glaring example of our new age problems? Obesity. Obesity was a non issue when exertion, fasting, temperature adaptations, the threat of predators and limited food was just a way of life.
It doesn’t take a PHD or scientist to figure out the solution to obesity and many more problems like it (although their work IS helpful and is fascinating.)
We have to create the world we were designed to live in. It’s not this current one. It’s a world of exertion (exercise), clean and portioned food (minimal process and less), hot and cold (sauna and ice bath), threat (adrenaline sports), creativity (push some limits that will need your specific solution).
Immense amounts of studies have been done on the effects of exercise. All pointing to – WE NEED IT! We need to be uncomfortable and pushed to exertional limits. Major physical, mental, and emotional issues are looming in the shadows of a sedentary lifestyle. The more comfort and convenience, the less physical health.
Clean food? – duh. The more comfort food, the more squishy the mid line. The more squishy we are, the worse we perform. Food and exercise compliment each other; whichever you choose to tackle first will lead to the other.
Too busy with fillers?
So busy you choose, heart attack, diabetes, back injury, depression or……?
No one is too busy for 3-4 hrs a week.
Can’t afford it? Google the cost of any of the above mentioned issues. I’m here to tell you it’s more than any gym or program in town.
Would love to hear your thoughts, is comfort killing us?
Lani Bangay is Owner/Coach at Palo Cedro CrossFit -with 16 + years as a firefighter, SWAT EMT, and CrossFit Athlete.
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