Friday, March 14, 2008

The Simple Things

Today's NY Times featured a Health and Fitness article touting the benefits of push-ups as one of the singular best upper body exercises a man or woman can do. Based on national averages, a 40-year-old woman should be able to do 16 push-ups and a man the same age should be able to do 27. Unfortunately, these standards aren't being met by our less than in-shape US population. Anecdotally, I witness the push-up anxiety that people experience every time I instruct a client to drop down and give me ten at the 92nd Street Y gym, where I work as a physical trainer.

This old-school exercise requires no equipment, merely your own body weight, it involves no strange yoga/pilates/zumba/nia movements, and yet it provides a workout equal or better to any new stuff the gym industry throws at us.

Indeed the notion of simplicity is quite fitting for moving our lives in a sustainable and green direction. At first, simplifying one's daily routine might seem pointless and hella frustrating But, in most instances like walking instead of driving, slowing down while you eat your food, and avoiding cleaning products which contain unpronounceable ingredients, your emotional, physical, and financial health will benefit.

Emotionally simplifying through greening your life might mean bringing your own bags to the grocery store and avoiding adding to the billions of plastic bags that are tossed out yearly, in this country alone. That experience provides a sense a pride in one's actions, and re-affirms the idea of common good. Simple enough, but important feelings for us all to regularly have.

Greening your life yields physical benefits from simple changes like walking more, biking more, turning off the power in your house (TV, computer, Wii) and going outside to garden. Check out's great Calorie Calculator to find out how many calories are burned doing all types of daily exercises ranging from gardening to having sex.

Lastly, simplifying your life in a green way that results in healthier finance means putting your money where your mouth is. By purchasing organic beauty products, home care products, food, bedding, etc. you are investing in your own health and helping prevent future sickness and doctor's bills. Or, considering the oil prices we are currently faced with, simply not riding alone will save you a ton money of money and even strengthen your friendships. Robust finances and less pollution all achieved with simple steps.

Check out this cool article from about simplifying and greening from a "Working Dad's" perspective.

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