If you want to learn how to get fit you’ve come to the right place. I’ve been fit enough to escape a charging anteater, and unfit enough to fall prey to a charging tortoise (luckily I didn’t, but I easily could have). Even more helpfully, I’ve figured out what causes the difference.
It’s mostly about how you set up your life.
Does your everyday routine motivate you to stay fit? Does it require you to stay fit?
If you just answered no to both questions, you’re probably not fit. But don’t fear! With just a few tweaks to your life, you can become the meal that got away.
Good and bad ways to set up your life to get fit
The first step to ensuring you get fit is to evaluate your current situation. Take the quiz to determine whether your current lifestyle is setting you up to be peacock chow. For each question, pick the response that best matches your life, and add up your points.
1. What era do you live in?
a) The Stone Age: I catch my dinner by chasing it down and stabbing it with fire-hardened sticks. If I don’t run faster than my dinner I don’t eat. 5 points
b) The Modern Era: I live a comfortable modern lifestyle in a developed country where I can go to a shop and buy food that has been pre-grown, caught, and killed. However, sometimes I am forced to walk several blocks to work when I can’t find a closer park. 1 point
c) The Future: I was frozen in stasis for a thousand years and woke to a world where humanity has evolved from having bodies, and thus no one takes the stairs. Ever. -2 points
2. What is your occupation?
a) Accessible office job: I have an office job on the ground floor of a building with a working elevator. 0 points
b) Inaccessible office job: I have an office job on the 50th floor of a building without a working elevator. 2 points
c) Dragon slayer: My job is to kill the dragons that threaten my village. If I’m not always in top condition I’m liable to get eaten or incinerated. 7 points
3. What are your hobbies?
a) Playing video games: I spend all day on the couch surrounded by packets of chocolate and popcorn, with beer in a bucket of ice at my feet so I don’t have to walk to the fridge when I run out. My thumbs are very strong from working the game controls. -2 points (No one cares about your thumbs.)
b) Being in a video game: I run around carrying two broadswords and four complete sets of plate armour. Slaying five ogres, two wolves, and a kraken and running halfway across the world is a slow day. 5 points
c) Cocktails on the beach: I spend all day on the beach drinking cocktails with tiny umbrellas. That doesn’t mean I never exercise. Every hour the shade moves and I have to reposition myself so I don’t get sunburned. At sunset I swim in the ocean. 1 point (only because I’m feeling generous–I know the sort of swimming you have in mind)
4. What kind of people are in your social group?
a) Couch potatoes and actual potatoes: Sometimes it’s difficult to tell the difference until the actual potatoes sprout green leaves, which the couch potatoes never do. 0 points
b) Tarzan and Genghis Khan: A good night out for us is swinging from jungle vines or ravaging Europe. (Riding a horse might look like sitting down, but it’s actually a lot of effort.) 4 points
5. Who are your neighbours?
a) Wildlife: I live in a dangerous neighbourhood. On my way to collect the newspaper I am habitually chased by zombies, bears, zombie bears, and baby dragons. 3 points
b) Puppies, kittens, and fawns: They’re pleasant to look at and don’t require much attention except when the puppies start chewing on the kittens and the kittens start chewing on the fawns. 1 point
c) Housekeeping droids: Once they’ve cleaned their own house, they come over and clean mine. Then they cook my meals and fetch me the sequel to the book I’ve just finished. -3 points
How many points did you score?
Negative points: You seem to have set up your life so you never need to do anything physical. Great effort, but not so great for escaping that hungry tortoise.
Positive points, but not many: Occasionally you have to stand up and fetch things for yourself. You’ll probably escape the tortoise, but a suitably hungry porcupine will catch and devour you.
Lots and lots of positive points: Liar.
At this point you might be saying, “Hey, Lucy, I scored negative points but I don’t know how to fix my life so I won’t be devoured by a porcupine.”
To which I’ll reply, “Go away, my name’s not Lucy.”
Before I go, I do have some suggestions on how you can transform your life.
How to tweak your life to get fit
No matter how bad your life appears, you can fix it. Just pick the solution that matches the number of additional points you need, and you’ll be fighting fit in no time (or you might be someone’s dinner).
You’re only a few points short: Elevate your house to the top of five-storey high stilts and build a staircase up to the front door. For best results, always leave your cellphone at the bottom of the stairs.
You’re quite a few points short: Import a family of dragons to take up residence near your home (but don’t forget to keep the cat inside).
It would take a miracle to get you off the couch: Start the zombie apocalypse (or pay a friend to). There’s nothing like having creatures shambling after you trying to eat your brains to get you up and running. And zombies are better than dragons at doors. No, they won’t wait while you just finish this quest.
Now you know all the secrets to getting fit without noticing. You’re welcome. I accept payment in pies.
While you’re getting active, why not grab a horse and join my posse? It’s free, it gets you five extra points, and I promise I’ll only send you one email a month.