Re: What's in a Name? The Less the Better!--Organic Exercise
- I call it organic exercise, and have written an essay on the subject.
I'll post it below.
John O. Andersen
Counter-Mainstream Thoughts on Living Meaningfully in the 21st Century
----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Risemberg" <rickrise@...>
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2003 3:41 PM
Subject: Re: [carfree_cities] What's in a Name? The Less the Better!
I'd think "ancillary exercise" is the stuff we do because we don't exercise
enough in daily life. How about "circumstantial exercise"?
From: paulparma <info@...>
Sent: 03/06/03 12:15 PM
Subject: [carfree_cities] What's in a Name? The Less the Better!
> Was trying to give a succinct name to that exercise that one gets by
just the things one does over the course of a typical day with no
specific intention of getting such exercise.
I came up with 'Ancillary Exercise'.
Luckily, I had to cut the paragraph with the unsure nomenclature due
to length limits in the report.
Ideas? If it isn't a often spoke of spoke aspect of anthropology I
think it should be especially when comparing car cultures to non-auto
WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT MAKES SENSE
By JOHN O. ANDERSEN
January 25, 2003
Organic exercise involves using human power to accomplish everyday tasks.
It's about the exercise you get while working, or traveling under your own
steam to get somewhere. It's not exercise as an end unto itself, but as a
means to something else.
ORGANIC EXERCISE = TRANSPORTATION, AND PERFORMING DAILY TASKS
It could be walking to the store, and bringing your groceries home in a
cart. It could mean cycling to your friend's house. It might include walking
to school. It could mean mowing your lawn with a push mower instead of a gas
mower. It could involve doing a home project with hand tools instead of
power tools, like hand grinding wheat to make your own bread.
Organic exercise requires no discipline, willpower, motivational tapes,
videos, shinsplints, or New Year's resolutions.
Most of us who are 40 or older may admit that our grandparents would've been
confused and disgusted by today's popularity of morning jogs, gym workouts,
and doing laps inside the mall, before the stores open. Their generation
would've seen this stuff as wasteful, illogical, and somewhat vain.
You see for them, exercise was an inherent part of living. They didn't have
to go out and seek physical fitness: catching the streetcar, walking to
work, pedaling to the store, washing the clothes and more, gave them all the
exercise they needed.
Organic exercise was how they kept fit. Could society rediscover this
I'd like to think so.
The good news is that regardless of our current habits, degree of car
addiction, or life situation, if we're able-bodied, we can make the switch
to organic exercise today. Below are four examples of how we might do that:
Conventional exercise: Jog around the neighborhood for an hour three times a
week, and then hop in the car to drive to work.
Organic replacement: Walk to work and back year round. Enjoy spring and
summer evenings tending your home garden.
Conventional exercise: Ride a stationary bike while watching the TV morning
Organic replacement: Ride a real bike to the store for a loaf of bread or
bag of apples. If you eat out a lot, ride your bike to the restaurant.
Conventional exercise: Squeeze in time after work to go to the gym.
Organic replacement: Move to a walkable neighborhood, then walk to all of
your doctor appointments, PTA meetings, and post office visits. In your
spare time plant and tend a mini fruit orchard.
Conventional exercise: Drive to the mall in the morning, then walk around
inside for an hour.
Organic replacement: Leave the car in the garage, take a push scooter to
your friend's home, and enjoy a leisurely afternoon chat.
Why organic exercise makes sense
It's cheaper than a gym membership.
It's a great time to think, ponder, and meditate.
It frees you from the need for expensive weight reduction shakes, slimming
pills, and techno-treadmills.
It takes cars off the road, thus reducing traffic congestion and air
It reconnects you with your immediate neighborhood, the soil, the seasons,
and nature--ample opportunity to notice birds, trees, flowers, and even
It can save you a lot of time. For instance, if your work is five miles
away, but you often sit in traffic trying to get there, you may arrive
quicker by bike.
Fresh air anyone?
Let's go organic!
If this makes logical sense to you, and you're tired of trying to drum up
the motivation to get the exercise you need, then organic exercise may be
your simplest, quickest, and wisest road to fitness.
And you'll probably discover lots of other great reasons to stick with it
once you get your toes wet!
So, c'mon, why not give it a try?
>I'd think "ancillary exercise" is the stuff we do because we don'texercise
>enough in daily life. How about "circumstantial exercise"?he:-) circumstantial originally meant 'standing around'...:-) the exercise
you get waiting for a bus! How about 'reluctant''? :-)
Circumstantial is nice because it implies the interaction with your
environment, which is what you're after. Incidental would imply the lack of
Never argue with reality. You will only encourage it.
"Trains of all sizes dominate. Streetcars spin down streets
in a national web of reliable rail. Bikes offer transit for
over ten percent of commuters. Half of all Amsterdam traffic
is two-wheeled, moving on safe lanes that bypass car traffic."
--Jane Holtz Kay, New Colonist January 2003
- These words are too big, and sadly, concomitant will probably send many
scurrying for a dictionary. Seriously, I like the mantra of our local
group here in Chapel hill which is tying urban form to public health:
"Active Living By Design"
On Fri, 7 Mar 2003, Robert J. Matter wrote:
> -Bob Matter
> "Trains of all sizes dominate. Streetcars spin down streets
> in a national web of reliable rail. Bikes offer transit for
> over ten percent of commuters. Half of all Amsterdam traffic
> is two-wheeled, moving on safe lanes that bypass car traffic."
> --Jane Holtz Kay, New Colonist January 2003
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