Monday, 13 March 2017

Physical And Mental Activity

"Any cavalier spent his whole life in such physical activity that an Olympic champion would be flabby by comparison." (p. 686) What a thought!
-copied from here.

After a collapse of civilization, the survivors would return to that level of fitness. After SM Stirling's Change, the people in one community:

are no longer fat;
need all the calories that they can consume;
are trained in combat from the earliest age.

"'The best archers start with the bow as a kiddie. They've grown up rough, too...'"
-SM Stirling, The Protector's War (New York, 2006), Chapter Thirteen, p. 368.

Without a collapse, we need a way to combine the benefits of civilization with optimum health and fitness. Gym is necessary to counteract a sedentary lifestyle. What is the lifestyle that would make gym unnecessary without forfeiting intellectual and cultural pursuits? Maybe we need Ythrian bodies pumping oxygen directly into the bloodstream?


Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I agree with what both Anderson and Stirling said about how a very rough life at a low level of technology WILL make for a very fit people. Far fitter than most of us are, I suspect.

The only alternative to using gyms is to exercise at home (which is what I do). And eating less!


S.M. Stirling said...

Human beings are designed to average about four hours of fairly hard work a day (lifting, running, throwing), and a good bit of less intensive activity (walking, etc.) on a diet of lean meat (including organ meats) and high-fiber, minimally processed vegetable foods. This is rather difficult to duplicate today, though one should note that a peasant's life is nearly as "unnatural" as a sedentary 21st-century type's.

I do about 1.5 hours a day at the gym six days a week, and I'm still not nearly as fit as I'd like.

Sean M. Brooks said...

Dear Mr. Stirling,

That does fit in with what I read and observed elsewhere. It seems to me the best anyone can do is live with reasonably temperate habits and make sure to get regular exercise.