Convenient Health

It’s convenient to be healthy, but leading a healthy lifestyle can seem pretty inconvenient. There’s so much food you can’t eat, and all that exercise you have to do. It feels like you have to fight against your nature to be healthy. And you really do. Our bodies’ systems were designed with the expectation that we would be moving a lot in order to survive, instead of moving as a self-induced punishment for surviving with such ease.

I believe we can turn things around so that our lifestyle once again nourishes our bodies and minds the same way it would if we still lived in the wild. We are a far cry from experiencing life the same way hunter-gatherers did, but there are many small steps we can take to transition a bit closer to that picture.

Sometimes the simplest way to make a change is to take away your options. For instance, if you want to stop spending so much time sitting in the same position, you could get rid of your chairs. Another method is to make the healthy option more attractive. For instance, I wanted to hang on monkey bars more often, but I wasn’t making the effort to walk to the park every day. By building a set of monkey bars in my house, I made it much easier to stroll over and hang for a few minutes a day.

If you’ve been wanting to make some health changes in your life but have been struggling to make them a reality, try seeing if there’s a way you can make it more convenient to do. The following are some ways I’ve made it easy on my lazy human brain to get more movement into my daily life.

I built this squat platform for the toilet. Squatting is an important part of your movement diet just like vitamin C is a useful part of your food diet.

Rock mat in the kitchen. This is just a rubber mat with some roundish rocks strewn about. It gives my feet more movement by changing the surface I’m standing on, and helps keep me able to encounter obstacles in my path without tripping.

Open floor. You aren’t obligated to fill empty space with furniture. You might even find that a bit of open space leaves room for more movement.

Floor bed (hung up for the day) allowing for more getting-up-and-down movement.

Indoor monkey bars to provide an easily accessible area for hanging.

Putting things I use daily on high shelves so I get to do more reaching.

Hand tools like this mixer get me using more muscle in the kitchen.

No changing table— by changing diapers on the floor, I get more squatting and crouching built naturally and unavoidably into my day.

I’m still a ways off from meeting all my health goals, but having these and other aspects of my habitat set up in this way takes some of the work out of staying healthy. I’m doing more movement not as an extra activity but as part of my effort to “survive.”