The use of automated machinery and the arrival of mass production created a new consumer society in the late 18th Century. Industrialization was a shock to the human system. Developments in Europe moved the population from a largely rural population, that made its livelihood from agriculture, to a town-centered society increasingly engaged in factory manufacturing. Later in the 19th century, similar revolutionary transformations began occurring in the United States.
Homo sapiens evolved to be very fuel-efficient machines. With industrialization, physical expenditure dropped drastically. A typical hunter-gatherer required only 2, to 5, kilocalories of energy a day obtained through direct caloric consumption. Early agricultural societies required the equivalent of 20, kilocalories per person daily to maintain a farm. Early industrial societies required 60, kilocalories worth of energy, and modern post-industrial information societies require the equivalent of , kilocalories.
The impact of this energy consumption on our environment are well known and one reason voluntary simplicity will benefit us all in the long run. Socio-Economic Stratification With industrialization, people moved into cities and began to work in factories. The human relationship to physicality and to nature changed.
Much of the Romantic movements of the 19th century were a reaction to industrialism, by a class of people who could afford to appreciate nature and translate it into art. The Romantics wanted to reconnect with nature for creative and spiritual reasons. They realized that in gaining a command over nature, humans had lost something visceral and mystical that occurred through a connection to nature. How is the disconnect from nature and our own biology impacting our spiritual connectedness today? I decided to embrace voluntary simplicity and live closer to nature a few years ago.
I keep the overhead very low and am able to live by the 7 principles here on a spartan budget. You can, too! One great thing about the digital age is that it allows you to work from anywhere. I have chosen to live closer to nature with visits to the city. I find that it is the perfect balance for optimal creativity and well-being. I feel very lucky to have the best of both worlds.
The socio-economic stratification of those who make a living doing creative jobs and who also exercise regularly is a point of interest to me. When I look at the record number of high-achievers entering local road running races, marathons, triathlons I fear that exercise, obesity, and creativity will become more and more of a class-divider in years to come. Adopting these habits into your daily routine will keep you healthy, happy, and young at heart.
Daily physical activity is ultimately the single most important elixir for staving off the negative impacts of modern life. Just 20 minutes most days of physical activity makes a huge difference in your state of well-being. If you want to be a resilient thought leader or innovator, you need to flex muscles in your mind and your body.
Physical activity clears the cobwebs from your mind and makes you more creative. Almost every successful person I know who has an enduring career and remains prolific with fresh ideas has made the connection that regular physical activity is a requisite for his or her mental, physical, and professional longevity. If you want to stay competitive in a modern world you have to make physical activity a part of your daily routine.
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A generation ago before the digital revolution, in accepting his Nobel Prize in Literature Bertrand Russell—who was a zealot for the power of physical activity—addressed the pitfalls of modern living and offered some advice. I close with a quote from his speech titled: What Desires are Politically Important? Our mental make-up is suited to a life of very severe physical labor.
I used, when I was younger, to take my holidays walking. I would cover twenty-five miles a day, and when the evening came I had no need of anything to keep me from boredom, since the delight of sitting amply sufficed. But modern life cannot be conducted on these physically strenuous principles. A great deal of work is sedentary, and most manual work exercises on a few specialized muscles.
Civilized life has grown altogether too tame, and, if it is to be stable, it must provide the harmless outlets for the impulses which our remote ancestors satisfied by hunting… More seriously, pains should be taken to provide constructive outlets for the love of excitement. Nothing is more exciting than a moment of sudden discovery or invention, and many more people are capable of experiencing such moments than is sometimes thought.
Extremely interesting article, at least for me. It has become increasingly difficult for me to be able to exercise everyday. Work stress is high making me exhausted and my dog's leg is injured. We used to walk together everyday and now we can't. I inherited a lot of stuff not too long ago and it is a nightmare. I am working to get rid of as much unnecessary stuff as possible. Email is bad, but text message are the absolute worst. I hate getting them and would much rather talk on the phone or talk in person. I appreciate your comments CJ. Thank you for sharing your ideas in response to this topic!
Sincerely, Christopher Bergland. For a number of years, I have participated in twelve step programs. Today, I Googled the word sanity as used in step two, a return to sanity. The dictionary said one definition of sanity was sound mind.
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So I Googled sound mind and discovered your article. Your ideas are needed in helping those who deal with depression. I have been plagued by depression since , when I was thirty five and no doctor or therapist ever suggested a daily 20 to 30 minute walk. Your ideas need to be a part of treatment canters for drugs, alcohol, mental health, and from family doctors.
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Great job on the article. I loved how you created a historical background, tying into 7 habits for a healthy mind and body. Excellent work, keep it up. Christopher Bergland is a world-class endurance athlete, coach, author, and political activist. Exercise-induced changes to synaptic function may increase brain connectivity. How do eclectic role models facilitate identity construction during adolescence? Consistent timing of daily exercise is typical among weight loss maintainers.
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Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. Changing Paradigms in International Adoption. Christopher Bergland The Athlete's Way. Follow me on Twitter. Friend me on Faceook. Intellectual Curiosity : Spend some time in focused thought, exploring new ideas every day. Foster Creativity : Challenge your mind to connect unrelated ideas in new and useful ways. Human Unity : Create and maintain close-knit human bonds and a social support network.
Spiritual Connectedness : Identify a Source of inspiration that is bigger than you. Voluntary Simplicity : Embrace the liberty that comes with wanting and needing less.
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The Benefits of Healthy Habits
While reading it, my thoughts went to Dr. John E. Steven H. Taking a healthy breakfast — your body and mind requires strength to keep running. Having regular sex — after food, clothing, and shelter, sex is the fourth human basic need. Drinking green tea — green tea has galore benefits for your body because of its nutritional content. Eating fruits — fruits have a lot of vitamins and water that our bodies need to remain healthy.
Eating enough proteins — proteins are body building foods and they provide materials to build the muscles of your body. Avoid inhaling polluted air — breathing in polluted air is dangerous because the pollutants will harm you. Have enough sleep — sleep deprivation has health hazards not to mention compromising your work output and performance. Keep good company — good company will lighten the burdens of your life by helping, entertaining, and giving you positive things. Eat enough vegetables — just like fruits, vegetables also have high vitamin content and when you take them, they supply your body with enough vitamins.
Avoid drug abuse — drugs are destructive to your body. They do great harm to many organs, and alter the normal functioning of the body. Maintain a good body posture — keeping a good body posture shows confidence. Walk — if you cannot go to the gym to exercise, you can walk and that helps your body to exercise extensively. Change you mindset — having a negative mentality about others and life in general is poisonous.
Take minerals and vitamin supplements — the two do a great favour to your body and you remain healthy. Moreover, they also strengthen your immune system so that your body can resist and fight diseases. Eat natural unprocessed foods — natural foods that are not processed nor have chemicals added to them are very healthy.
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