Teddy Roosevelt on the Strenuous Life

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On April 10, 1899, Teddy Roosevelt delivered his speech, The Strenuous Life:

"I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph. A life of slothful ease, a life of that peace which springs merely from lack either of desire or of power to strive after great things, is as little worthy of a nation as of an individual. It is hard to fail, but is worse never to have tried to succeed. In this life we get nothing save by effort.”

The backdrop of the speech was a time when most Americans did work that was physically demanding. Good health and fitness came from a vigorous life.  Today, for most of us work is not physically demanding.

At the turn of the last century the average work week was 53 hours; today it is 42 hours. The average life span was less than 50 years; for most there was no retirement. Today, many of us have the luxury of free time.

For many that free time is spent every day with hours in front of electronic devices. The body adapts to this physical inactivity; our bodies become weaker, and our energy levels drop, and we are more prone to sickness and depression. This can create a negative cycle leading to more inactivity.  Over the years, the negative effects of this downward cycle result in a severely compromised quality of life.  

You can reverse that cycle. Our aim at our Austin Personal Training and at New Orleans Personal Training locations is to improve your strength, endurance, and energy levels in minimal time, so you can safely enjoy a more active, even strenuous, life.  The additional activity will amplify the upward cycle and positively affect your health and outlook.