Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Exercise vs. Entertainment

I recently went to Florida to be with my family for my brother's 30th birthday and also my oldest daughter's 6th birthday. After eating one helping of pizza (3 slices) at my daughter's birthday party, I complained to my brother in-law about wanting to go back for more, but choosing to be sensible/disciplined instead.  We both reminisced about "back in the day" when we could eat as much pizza as we wanted to, without any regret or negative repercussions.

I then commented that maybe if we were as consumed by exercising and body building as a friend of ours is (who is also close to our age), then we wouldn't have to be as concerned with restricting our consumption.  Daniel then said something about us having to sacrifice so many other important aspects of our lives (like family, dedication to God, etc).

A few minutes later he was telling me about several TV shows that he and my sister have been enjoying.  The Walking Dead was one of them (that I am now hooked on too).  But as we were talking about this, I connected our previous conversation to this one, and thought about us feeling like it's impossible to dedicate ourselves to exercise, primarily because it seemed like it would require so much sacrifice.  And now here we were talking about spending what sounded like at least an hour per night watching various TV shows.

I know, I know - we all want to just "relax" after a long day of work, or kids, or school, or whatever.  And we already have to get up too early for all of these things as well.  And it's so hard to wake up and exercise when you're tired, and/or it's cold out, and/or we stayed up too late (watching TV or surfing the web).  But with all of these (sometimes valid) excuses, I keep coming back to the idea that we really just can't resist feeding our addiction to entertainment.  It's a habit that we can't break any more than a long time smoker can stop sucking his own life away through the end of a paper roll.

What it really comes down to for most of us, with the exception of a very small percentage of people, is that the incentive to exercise is just not significant enough to get us up off of the couch or out of our desk chairs.  We just aren't motivated enough to sacrifice our entertainment.


Steve said...

It's true and a lot of it coincides with the comfortability factor. When your married, or have a long term girlfriend, you aren't actively searching and thus feel like you don't have to go the extra mile to appeal to others physically or sexually. So, its much easier for you and your partner to hang out, relax, watch a show together and be perfectly content. Also, by exercising, you are sacrificing other things such as time with kids, maybe a sit down dinner with the family at the table due to timing, lack of sleep if you go in the morning etc. On that note, obviously exercise has so many advantages that these things can be sacrificed within reason to keep your appearance up, self confidence up, physical edge, sex drive higher, etc etc. In conclusion, its all within reason. Your a shmuck if you work out 3 hours at night and neglect spending time with your family and friends, relaxing and stimulating your mind. If you never exercise and let your body turn to mush, get fat and take no pride in your appearance, in my opinion that also makes you a shmuck.

michael said...

Good input, approached from several different angles. Thanks Steve.

counter stats