Thursday, July 30, 2015

If you want to save lives, become a banker, and exercise at least three hours per week

I have previously argued that if you are committed to an ethic of altruism, you have reason to care about your physical fitness (see Why Be Fit? - Altruism). Here's a summary of that argument in its simplest form, with direct links to support for the premises:

1. If you want to save lives, become a banker (or other high-earning professional), because the more money you earn, the more you can give to life-saving causes (Young, smart and want to save lives? Become a banker, says philosopher).
2. If you want to earn more money, exercise at least three hours per week, since those who do so earn 9% more than those who don't (One More Reason to Hit the Gym: You’ll Make More Money at Work).
3. Therefore, if you want to save lives, exercise at least three hours per week.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Exercycle

A spot-on comic from PHD Comics:

Of course, there are reasons beyond fatigue to be concerned with physical fitness. That's what KineSophy is all about!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

A Brief Argument for Strength

In a previous post (What's Your Fitness Age?) I highlighted research that demonstrates the correlation between longevity and VO2max, an indicator of the body's ability to take in and utilize oxygen. Additional research suggests increased lean muscle mass and leg strength are also strongly linked to longevity. Thus:
1. No matter your value system, you have reason to want to live longer (see my Why Be Fit? - Hedonism and Why Be Fit - Altruism?).
2. If you want to live longer, you should increase your lean muscle mass and leg strength (see Muscle Mass Index As a Predictor of Longevity in Older Adults and Muscle strength as a predictor of long-term survival in severe congestive heart failure).
3. Therefore, no matter your value system, you have reason to increase your lean muscle mass and leg strength.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Real Life Female Nepalese Sisyphuses

There was a fascinating article published in the most recent ESPN The Magazine about a group of Nepalese women who climbed the Seven Summits (the highest peak on each of the seven continents): After the Seven Summits. Many of the women had no previous climbing experience, but after completing their goal, they founded a trekking company, began teaching English, outdoor skills and high-altitude techniques to women, and started a program that empowers survivors of sex trafficking and abuse through climbing and the outdoors. After the recent earthquakes in Nepal, they spearheaded relief efforts by collecting supplies and initiating fundraising efforts.

One of the climbers, Maya, used to dream of marrying a Sherpa who would take her to see Mount Everest. After climbing Everest on her own, Maya and the other climbers became inspirations to women throughout Nepal, not just to climb, but to finish school and aspire to independent lives and careers beyond what prospective husbands could offer. Their story is another example of the power of physical achievement to inspire people in a multitude of pursuits (as in my analysis of The Myth of Sisyphus), and provides further support for the connection between physical and non-physical virtues (see my summary of that argument). Again, you can read the original ESPN article at: After the Seven Summits.