Minimum-Effort Exercise



Physical exercise is complicated by many unnecessary obsessions. People exercise for several reasons:

  • To socialize with other people during exercise.
  • To enjoy nature while exercising.
  • To improve one's figure, fit into more clothes, impress other people ...
  • To find a partner.
  • To win a race/contest/bet, boost one's ego, or waste one's time.
  • To protect one's health, out of fear and a sense of duty.
  • For pleasure: only few appreciate and enjoy movement as such.

The pleasure of exercising is mainly caused by body tension and speed, i.e. inward and outward motion, each having different effects on our mood.


There is no need to leave your home and find a place to exercise, surrounded by people and hearing music, conversations and an instructor you don't like, sharing objects used by tens of others like you, only to risk your health more. No need to search for an empty peaceful street where you can safely walk, jog or run, without getting hit by strangers, or cars, Heaven forbid.

You can reap the physical, emotional and mental benefits of exercise by repeating simple in-place movements at any time or speed you prefer, of hands, head, feet ... Physical movement is psychologically important to increase one's sense of time and appreciation of life, that is too short to see just with the mind's eye.

While at home, by "safely" using an equipment (weights, treadmill, bike, exercise ball, punching bag, rowing machine, etc.) one can maintain their health and change their mood instantly and dramatically. Having one's personal home gym spares oneself the troubles with outdoor "shared" gyms: sacrificing safety, time, money, privacy, and temper occasionally.

Even without any gym equipment, one can use everyday objects (boxes, furniture, etc.) instead: lifting/pushing/pulling "slowly & tensely." Slowness saves energy and spares us accidents, whereas tension maximizes the benefit gained even from a light object.

One can use their own body as a gym, benefiting from gravity and natural body weight: doing pushups, walking/standing on hands/all four/bent knees, etc. Mere "slow & tense" stretching can make one sweat bullets, while watching and honing their muscles.

The simplest "universal" exercise of fidgeting helps one overcome boredom, apathy and laziness; it improves short-term memory; and it burns calories at a harmlessly low but persistent rate. (Fidgeting is personal, like sex. On one hand, you have no right to pass your fidgeting to others, if you physically touch them, even by accident, as in a shared bench or public transport. On the other, they have no right to criticize you for visually disturbing them. In backward societies people confuse and encroach on both rights.)

Head-banging, shadowboxing, or jumping in place is not as weird as it seems. Any of the above, to the unsuspecting eye, esp. when done in public, is mere neurotic spasms; but to a wise man's eyes, they are "calculated partial on-demand" spasms, that can be simultaneously used with other still/slow parts in the same body of him having such good spasms. It's a type of "safe madness" that gets your whole energy out.

Additionally, using the vocal cords and facial muscles helps free one's energy as they are genetically designed to give a quick response, faster than the rest of the body. That's why both animals and humans, as in martial arts, use them to equally encourage oneself and scare one's enemy. They are the fastest signals to yourself and others to show strength or strength in disguise (pretended weakness):

  • making long loud high-pitch and low-pitch sounds;
  • ruffling feathers/clothes, strutting, flexing muscles or showing big sharp teeth;
  • making unexpected/perplexing movements;
  • fixing/widening/tightening eyes, gritting teeth, or even staying silently still and playing DEAD, temporarily, for re-CHARGE.

It's fine to refine such primitive movements with some artistic tweak, through dance and other arts. Some music automatically sets us on a "mobile mode," burning calories with minimum effort or even consciousness, thanks to the "instinctive" reflexive jerk we give when hearing loud immediate alternations between "low & high" notes. Art or music is less costly compared to other physical pleasures, and to mix it with exercise you get even more pleasure and benefit, while giving meaning to those animal movements. But to "prudishly" mock and discard them altogether is to miss a millennia-old therapy and mood-boosting technique.

Make movement an integral part of everything. Just MOVE—comfortably, slowly, and happily, as long as you can:

  • doing daily chores;
  • stretching anywhere at any time, to relieve tension (that is always building up, somehow, somewhere), hone senses, and prepare for other types of movement;
  • using body rather than technology (car, elevator, escalator, etc.), replacing machine work with physical work, as long as time doesn't matter.

Some lifestyles, conventional or not, make healthy exercise effortless and natural:

  • Floor Living: Freedom from furniture and house obstacles, to ease indoor movement anywhere any time.
  • Barefoot Living: Freedom from footwear, to ease walking, running, dancing ...
  • Crawling: Walking on all four, without torso touching the floor, resting only by alternating pressure between arms, or between upside and downside crawling (facing the ground or the sky).
  • Upside-Down Living: With practice, gradually standing and walking on hands, which increases blood flow to the brain, strengthens upper body, and counterbalances gravity's negative effects on inner organs, muscles, skin, etc.


Good Body Tension   |    Relaxation Techniques     |    Benefits of Physical Slowness    |     Speed up Life