Been thinking quite a bit lately about the role of exercise in relation to leading a good life and philosophy. Others have pontificated quite well on the Stoic view of exercise. Here are my thoughts.
Senaca probably commented the most in detail about the relationship between the developing the mind and developing the body. In summary, he wrote:
“There are short and simple exercises which will tire the body without undue delay and save what needs especially close accounting for, time. There is running, swinging weights about and jumping — either high-jumping or long-jumping … pick out any of these for ease and straightforwardness. But whatever you do, return from body to mind very soon.”
His main concern was that time spent on the body was time taken away from the mind. Development of the mind is the primary Stoic goal in life. While I tend to agree that one should “return from the body to the mind very soon,” without a sufficiently healthy body, development of the mind can be severely hindered. Today we have many more efficient ways to develop the body in less time than were available to Seneca. At Bulletproof Labs, we have a couple of those technologies including a machine that gives the hormonal response of a 3 hour work out in 21 minutes, a computer controlled weight machine that gives a week’s worth of strength training in 12 minutes, and a water vapor machine that increases cardio capacity by 20% in three 15 minute sessions sitting in a chair. Man’s mind has been focused on making the body development more efficient and we now have some amazing hacks.
So my summary. Take advantage of modern body development technologies to minimize the time spend on body development while keeping a strong and healthy infrastructure for mind development.