My friend and I were talking about diet yesterday, and the different ideas out there. Most recently we have both been experimenting with cutting back on wheat products in an effort to keep our bodies healthy and combat the gaining of weight. (She read a book called "Wheat Belly" that had some really interesting viewpoints on our consumption of wheat.)
Both of us have a passion for healthy eating, and she noted her struggle in finding more things to cut out, since neither of our families regularly consume any type of junk or processed foods. Something I read a while ago jumped into my mind:
"We sit in cars all day to go to work, shop, school, etc. Then we pay outrageous fees to go to a gym and sit on a stationary bike to exercise."
I'm pretty sure that is one definition of insanity.
Our world has become so reliant on the car that I'm not sure the old adage of "diet and exercise" will ever really help. Because exercise these days is a specific time set aside in which to use our bodies and muscles. I'm not even talking about a proper gym membership (because who can afford that these days!) Our day to day life has been sucked out of all the natural exercise that the bodies of our ancestors used to get, and that I truly believe our bodies need.
Think of their lives: if you wanted to talk to the neighbour, you walked across the farm fields because you couldn't write and email or even make a phone call. And houses weren't crammed in so close, so it really was a good walk. When you needed water you had to go and draw it from the well. Eating required daily farm chores. The one school was built central to everyone, so that everyone likely had a good walk to get there.
Every single thing involved the use of their body and its different muscles.
I posited, then, that what if we revamped our thinking? Because we both live near to each other, church is about a 7 minute drive for us. Or a 20 minute bike ride. Or a 45 minute walk. "What if we walked to church?" I asked. Our boys are up by 6am, which would give us at least 3 hours before we had to leave. 45 minutes of walking is not unreasonable. And, at one time in history, would not have been thought twice of. But these days, we drive, because 7 minutes is so much faster.
But so what? What am I going to do with that saved 38 minutes? In this day and age, probably not a whole lot of anything that productive. But a walk would mean enjoying the air, using our legs, conversing with my children. I don't want to think about it that way. Instead of feeling like 38 minutes wasted, I want to think about it just another part of our day.
The more I write about it, the better it sounds. My only regret, as pointed out by my friend, is that the walk is not a very lovely one. I might be that much more excited about the prospect if I was wandering through a rolling field or green grove of trees. Sadly the path goes through nothing more than neighbourhoods and industrial buildings. But I won't let it discourage me! Be sure to honk if you see me (or better yet, join me!)