Routine is the key to health and fitness. Sitting at a desk all day and then going to the gym for an hour before dinner has been shown to NOT increase your overall health. Loggers, coal miners, small farmers and others who work moving around, have actually been shown to be in better overall health than white-collar workers who work out “regularly”.
If you sit most of the day, that is your routine. To be in better shape we need to not worry so much about the perfect exercise routine, but rather about our life routine. That’s where wilderness comes in.
In wilderness living or travel (whether it be for a day or a week) makes us work out. For example, I heat the house I built with wood. This means that i have to collect, cut, split, and carry it. The great thing about this workout, is that it has it’s own extrinsic motivation built right in. If I don’t get wood, I’m cold all winter.
In the same vein, if I don’t paddle I won’t get anywhere, if I don’t climb I won’t reach the top, if I don’t walk I won’t see the next overlook. Being a wilderness lover and traveler you get to work out with the greatest coach and motivator, Mother Nature.
Cancel your gym subscription and stop spinning someone elses’ wheels. Instead set your sights on building a new stone wall in your yard, or cutting all of your own firewood this winter, or biking to work. Plan a week long canoe trip, or sign up for a wilderness challenge. These routines will give you real fitness, as well as experience beyond the 4 walls and 50 TV screens.