Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health
Grow Youthful: How to Slow Your Aging and Enjoy Extraordinary Health

Do you display infra dig behaviours?

Infra Dig: beneath one, demeaning.

Would you feel infra dig schlepping your grocery bags a kilometre back home from the store? Is it beneath you to carry heavy items, except to your car? Would you feel embarrassed to be seen carrying a heavy suitcase across an airport, rather than fingertip pulling a roller suitcase?

Carrying stuff is seen as low status, and beneath most people's dignity. Vanity and laziness often stop you carrying an item that you could and should carry.

It feels good not having to lift, heave, pull, exert and stretch during the day, but there is an insidious cost to this easy living. When every physical task is light and effortless, your body will adapt.

Strength, fitness, resilience and functionality come from doing the opposite of what most elegant, dignified, stylish, modern people do.

Human beings evolved to carry stuff. For hundreds of thousands of years hunter gatherers carried water and food and weapons every day. Men carried the day's kill and their weapons back to the camp. Women carried small children all day, in addition to digging tools and the day's communal food. Until just a century ago, everyday life meant walking long distances carrying heavy loads.

As we became richer, we became lazier. Do you wash all your laundry by hand, or do you have a washing machine? Sure, you save an hour, but it does nothing to ensure your hands are as strong as they could and should be.

Grip strength. One of the best quick predictors of how long you will live is grip strength. Get hold of a bathroom scale and squeeze it with one hand. 10 kg predicts a shorter life and raised risk of dementia and all other degenerative diseases. 40 kg is a youthful result. Of course these results can vary according to sex and age, but numerous studies confirm how useful this quick test actually is.

Remember that almost every action with your arms and your shoulders begins with your hands gripping something. Competence in almost any physical task requires hand strength. Playing any sport, chopping wood, gardening, lifting a bag of groceries, opening a stiff jar - they all require grip strength.

Continual pulling and lifting doing everyday chores exercises your body exactly the way it is meant to be exercised. Childcare, gardening, collecting, hauling, heavy cleaning - they all enhance your strength, balance and fitness.

The cosmic joke is that our modern lives are designed to eliminate effort and exertion. Those who know they need to exercise end up going to a gym, paying to do artificial exercises while vainly trying to look good.