Nice article, Samuel. I’ve been training to keep myself as near as possible in operational condition since my early twenties and today, at 61, I’m still more functional than most people half my age — because I focused on capability, not appearance. But as only 3% of people in the West have gym memberships, and as the vast majority of people are indolent and fat, it’s clear that it will take a great deal to turn things around.

We’re fighting our hardwired instinct to do as little as possible because for most of our evolutionary history that was the best way to conserve precious and scarce calories. Today, with an over-abundance of calories (but sadly a lack of adequate nutrition) it’s too easy for people to become sedentary and obese. I suspect a whole series of steps would be necessary to rectify this, but no politician hoping for re-election is ever going to do anything to upset the vast majority who seem perfectly content to be weak, unhealthy, fat, and incapable of meaningful activity. People want to watch lithe active folk on a screen, not attempt to become those people themselves. Alas.

Anyone who enjoys my articles here on Medium may be interested in my books Why Democracy Failed and The Praying Ape, both available from Amazon.

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