The Exermarket

Surreal BBC report I came across yesterday:

Middle-aged told to walk faster

Middle-aged people are being urged to walk faster to help stay healthy, amid concern high levels of inactivity may be harming their health.

Officials at Public Health England said the amount of activity people did started to tail off from the age of 40.

They are urging those between the ages of 40 and 60 to start doing regular brisk walks.

Just 10 minutes a day could have a major impact, reducing the risk of early death by 15%, they say.

But PHE estimates four out of every 10 40- to 60-year-olds do not even manage a brisk 10-minute walk each month.

It reminded me that in recent times, at nearly the age of 70, I’ve taken to doing a moderate amount of exercise to maintain the strength of my legs. My chosen exercise regime is knee bends. But I hate doing exercise just for the sake of it – like doing 10 or 30 knee bends in rapid succession. So I’ve found a way of fitting the knee bends into my ordinary routine.

For I noticed that whenever I make tea for myself, I have to bend down to lift the milk bottle off the bottom shelf in the refrigerator door. It’s the only place to keep it. So I now do a knee bend  each time I reach down to lift it out. And another one when I put it back in. So I do two knee bends for each cup of tea I make. And with about 12 mugs of tea per day, that’s 24 knee bends per day, which is probably about right. And if I think I need more exercise, I should just make more tea. Or make tea in little teacups rather than big mugs. If I had 24 cups of tea every day, rather than 12 mugs of tea every day, I’d do 48 knee bends every day, and I’d probably have powerfully muscular legs in next to no time.

If anyone asks me now why I drink so much tea, I’ll tell them it’s to keep fit.

Along the same lines, it occurred to me that I do quite a few brisk 10-minute walks, almost every day when I go out shopping, very often for the milk for my tea habit. Well, maybe they’re not “brisk” walks, but they usually entail wandering around a supermarket carrying a shopping basket for 10 or 15 minutes.

And for some reason, in all the supermarkets I visit, the milk is always on the back wall, and you have to walk quite a long way from the entrance to get to it. And the whisky is always on the far end wall, along with the chocolate, and even further away. And if, as periodically happens in supermarkets, they move everything around, it can take twice as long to get everything. So perhaps I get plenty of exercise just by going out and shopping almost every day.

So I was toying this morning with the idea of a supermarket that would exercise its customers. Most supermarkets are on one floor, and you can push trolleys around them. My exercise supermarket – an “exermarket”? – wouldn’t have trolleys, except on the bottom level. For it would ascend fairly steeply from the front entrance to the top back wall. The whisky and chocolate would all be kept there on a sheer rock face that you’d need ropes and crampons to climb, a bit like mount Everest. People would came out of the exermarket sweating profusely. You’d see them gathering their breath on benches around the front entrance. There would probably  need to be medical staff on hand to resuscitate people who were in a state of collapse, much like at marathon runs.

The whole thrust of Healthism is always to make life harder for people. It’s the exact converse of Idle Theory, which aims to make life easier for people. Healthists are trying to keep people busy. Healthists would get rid of cars, trains, buses, trolleys, elevators, escalators. People would have to walk everywhere. Or maybe walk “briskly” everywhere. Or, better still, run everywhere. And once they’d got rid of the trains and cars, they’d get rid of the roads, or allow them to revert to being undulating muddy paths. There’d be lots of good exercise to be had walking along them. The ideal Healthist town would be something like Machu Picchu: going shopping would entail a thousand foot climb.

And all this for the sake of an ideal of “health” as physical fitness.

About Frank Davis

smoker
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6 Responses to The Exermarket

  1. Juliet 46 says:

    “You’d see them gathering their breath on benches around the front entrance.”
    They could smoke there…

  2. beobrigitte says:

    So I was toying this morning with the idea of a supermarket that would exercise its customers. Most supermarkets are on one floor, and you can push trolleys around them. My exercise supermarket – an “exermarket”? – wouldn’t have trolleys, except on the bottom level. For it would ascend fairly steeply from the front entrance to the top back wall. The whisky and chocolate would all be kept there on a sheer rock face that you’d need ropes and crampons to climb, a bit like mount Everest. People would came out of the exermarket sweating profusely.
    Brilliant idea, Frank! I’d have fun at such an exermarket!!!! Climbing a wall for a bottle of brandy/whiskey/beers would be a laugh!!! I’d take friends there to film it. Footage of extreme-shopping is prizeless!!!

    You’d see them gathering their breath on benches around the front entrance. There would probably need to be medical staff on hand to resuscitate people who were in a state of collapse, much like at marathon runs.
    There should be a separate area with medical staff by the exit for the breathless and sweating customers, I’d like to have a cup of coffee (so next to the bench there would be a coffee shop) and a ciggie, whilst watching my alcohol shopping-climb.

    Middle-aged told to walk faster
    Aren’t the middle-aged ADULTS and fully in charge of themselves and their decisions?

  3. mactheknife says:

    Frank, don’t give the filthy bastards any ideas please…

  4. beobrigitte says:

    Just 10 minutes a day could have a major impact, reducing the risk of early death by 15% they say
    The main problem with this is that our individual deaths is a variable, therefore the “reduced risk of early death by 15%” is nonsense.
    We all, regardless of what we do, face daily the risk of early death, be it by falling down the stairs or trying to cross a busy main road, or…. the list of possible early death is long. At least smoking does not enter that list since the anti-smokers insist there is a 20 – 40 year lag phase…

    I do wish all the scared to death healthists and anti-smokers a 50 year longer than hoped for life – all of it in an EMI (elderly mentally infirm) Rest home, nappies and all.

  5. “If anyone asks me now why I drink so much tea, I’ll tell them it’s to keep fit.”
    Now if your bathroom is on the second floor, and you have to do a flight of stairs each time to clear out the old tea to make room for the new… Wowzer Frank! You’ll be a medalist at the 2020 Olympics!

    Actually, here in YankeeLand, the trend seems to be in the opposite direction as far as shopping goes. Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Grocery now deliver just about anything you might want right to your door, including startlingly fresh and one degree above freezing meat and milk products, AT NO EXTRA COST (as long as you’re buying $40 worth at a time.) Azon Fresh does have a bit of a price tag ($15/month) for the service, but if you were really pinching pennies you could probably go for a month on and a month off. I’ve found that their gallons of milk stay quite fresh for over a full month in my fridge (I keep my fridge just above freezing, which helps in that regard.) You can order frozen stuff as well — which is delivered with little packets of dry ice bundled around it! Heh, first time I did that I thought they were just the regular ice-packets and plucked a few out before suddenly starting to wonder why my fingertips were feeling like they’d been burned! LOL!

    :)
    MJM

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