Why I Exercise - Health Optimization
I love putting movies on as background noise when I'm doing other things around the house. A consistent pick for me is World War Z starring Brad Pitt. There is a line in that movie that I always seem to hear when I'm not paying attention. The exact line is “Movement is life. I’ve been in dangerous places. Those who survived move.” Hopefully, I never have to move to escape the zombie apocalypse. In reality, a lack of movement (exercise) in a non-zombie environment appears to be just as dangerous for different reasons. Certainly, exercise in and of itself has a health benefit but that's not what I am referring to. One of the greatest dangers we face is social isolation which I believe in correlated with a lack of exercise or adapted movement. I have only recently began to exercise consistently after a three year hiatus As I look back upon this time I've noticed that this three year road ended in reduced engagement and an increase in social isolation. My feedback loop became the following - sitting on the couch watching the news while scrolling through social media. This gave rise to thoughtless feeding frenzies where I gained 30 pounds. This unnecessary weight increase led to more couch time, more TV/Social Media, more snacks, zero movement. My dead end was a self imposed isolation. You don't need zombies to be in mortal danger. I'm not alone, 50 percent of Americans suffer from significant rates of loneliness Research indicates that loneliness increases stress hormones, blood pressure, inflammation and a whole host of other negative symptoms including adverse gene expression at the cellular level. Those who are socially isolated suffer from higher all-cause mortality, and higher rates of cancer, infection and heart disease. The exercise program I began two months ago titled, HOWFARHOWFAST, click on HOWFARHOWFAST to follow my progress on Instagram, had unintended consequences. I started engaging with former players and adventure travelers. I felt confident engaging in nature which gave me this feeling of being alive that I wanted to share with my wife and other people. In my opinion, if you want to reduce loneliness begin exercising. Brad Pitt was right, "Movement is life" because it allows you to engage in activities that you can share with other people. The reason I slipped into St. Mary's falls in Glacier National Park (the video above) is that I had the confidence that I could tolerate the cold, swim out, and greet my wife on the banks of the river. Next year I'll jump into it. More movement, More life!