I recently moved to Taiwan. Since arriving, I have seen noticeable differences in my lifestyle(of course, it’s across the world), one of which is the amount of walking I do on a daily basis. With reliable public transit in Taipei, I find myself walking everywhere, and when things are too far, then I hop on a bus or head to the nearest subway station. Compared to my life in Houston,this is a huge difference.
Back in Houston, and in many other American cities, people drive cars for a majority of their transit needs. Generally, this means you spend a large part of your day sitting down at work, then sitting to go everywhere else.
I consider myself a pretty active person, but since arriving in Taipei, I am reminded about how little physical activity I actually got. I spend several hours a day working and teaching online, so I usually sit. In Houston, this meant sitting at home, sitting in the car on the way to the store, sitting in the car on the way to the park, sitting in the car on the way to the gym, so much damn sitting. Then when I went to the gym, I felt like I had an active lifestyle. Though I realize it was not objectively active, but active compared to other people who prefer to never voluntarily raise their heart rate, unless they are anticipating their next meal.
This situation also reminds me of when I lived in China in a foreign exchange program. At that time, I was in very good shape as I walked everywhere, and still went to the gym several days a week. However, since graduating college and buying a car, I failed to realized how much physical activity I was lacking, and also how much better it feels.
I have noticed my sleep is much better since arriving in Taipei, and part of that is due to my incrased physical activity, I’m simply more tired at the end of each day, because I have put in more work. I believe Joe Rogan is correct about humans beings being like batteries, we build up energy throughout our days, and when we don’t exercise and engage in difficult physical work, our bodies do not feel good. This is one reason I am addicted to working out. When you workout you just feel better. I wonder how many people who suffer from poor sleep and high levels of anxiety would benefit from running, jogging, and lifting weights every day. I imagine many peoples lives would change with the right amount of physical exertion.
There are many things I am looking forward to while being in Taiwan, and more physical exertion is certainly one of them.