There was a comment on my earlier Blog Post about using Indian clubs. The comment was about exercise having to be natural. The claim was that all the exercise we need should be incorporated into our day to day life.
I agree with the sentiment in principle. I do have a soft corner for that argument, especially because I lost my excess weight using that principle. I switched to a diet that was more natural, by avoiding agricultural era foods like grains, legumes and sugar.
Here’s my driving philosophy when it comes to important matters.
Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
We have to evolve our way towards perfection. Not stay rooted in our past, claiming that the past was perfect. It wasn’t. Anyone who claims that is denying reality. The past*may* have been better. But it was no where near perfect. The humans around us and their ancestors, made choices that brought us to where we are now. They made decisions to solve their own problems, and the problems we face now, are problems we have to solve. These choices we make will end up causing problems for the next generation. That’s life. Change will occur. That is inevitable. Refusing to accept change is a sign of aging. Please note that fighting against unpleasant change is different from refusing to accept inevitable change.
Humans manipulate everything. Everything. Their environment, their society, their food. Everything. That’s not “Bad”. That’s not “Good” either. That just is. There is no morality involved. Atleast, there shouldn’t be. Humans make tools, they manipulate. They solve problems. That’s what humans do. That’s what makes us humans. We adapt to all sorts of situations. That’s what made us the apex Predator on this planet. That’s what made us so successful that we threaten whole ecosystems.
So, when a new method turns up, we explore it and try to turn it to our advantage. That’s the evolutionary imperative. Some methods will fail. Some will succeed. It is up to us, to figure out if the new method is in alignment with our long term success. That is wisdom. Being resistant to change, or unable to change, is how countless species before us, went extinct.
Coming to exercise. Natural movement is what the human body expects. But our context has changed. Most of us are urban cubicle dwellers. Slaves to the machine. We have to adapt to new circumstances. We can’t continue to insist that our exercise should come only from our daily living. We have to compensate for the damage that modern life is doing to us with whatever we have. How far we go in compensating should depend on individual choice.
If someone wants to live in a village and get all their exercise from farm work, that’s fine by me. But wouldn’t living in a forest be better? And if someone is living in a forest hunting with bows and arrows, wouldn’t a spear be better? And if a metal spear is good, wouldn’t a fire hardened stick be even better? You could argue that a rock is the best. Or maybe just teeth and nails? Where do we stop? Where do we draw the line? Answer is individual choice. We have to pick and choose among the options available.