Editor’s Note: The Natchez Trace Trail above runs from Tennessee to Mississippi. It was one of the primary routes by which White settlers came to Mississippi from the Upland South.
It is July.
As a lifelong resident of the Deep South, this has traditionally been the part of the year when I have been the least successful in maintaining my diet and exercise regimen.
The root cause is the unbearable heat and humidity. It is very easy to get too hot while doing cardio outdoors in the summer under the Southern sun. After getting too hot and sweaty several times, it is easy to just throw in the towel and give up on doing cardio until the fall. It can also be a real pain in the ass for folks who live in small towns or rural areas in the South to go to the gym.
What’s the solution to this practical problem? Fortunately, we live in one of the most heavily forested and sparsely populated parts of the United States. The solution is to exercise in the peace and quiet in the shade in the woods. Chances are you can find plenty of trails in your area where you won’t even have to be distracted by attention seeking thots, gym bros and loud minorities. If you own your own land in the rural South, you can even blaze and maintain a system of private trails in the woods.
I’ve found that these private trails can also be a great place to listen to podcasts, fire off sarcastic tweets and generally to keep tabs on Clown World while doing my best to stay isolated from it.
Oh I catch the devil from relatives for hiking or working in the heat. It’s largely about acclimation or failure to. At 18 I worked with a 61 year old carpenter in Florida. He refused to go inside a AC building and would not run the AC in his vehicle. He had no problem with the summer heat. Ten years prior I would watch a man plow his fields with a mule in the Central Florida heat. He lived to be 98.
Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
I haven’t exercised in 6 weeks and was feeling guilty, so I stood on the scales, but was surprised to see my weight hadn’t increased. It must be the whole foods diet I am on: If it comes in a packet or can with a list of ingredients (with chemical preservatives usually), it is not a whole food so do not eat. I would walk today, but there is a cold wind outside. Maybe I will go after all.
Re only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in heat –‘ A big AMEN to that. Despise hot weather ; I live for the cold, dark silence of winter.
I work outdoors every day of the week in high heat and humidity. Hard labor, high pressure, fast paced, and no time for breaks.
It’s what separates the men from the boys. No need for going to the gym. My job is the gym.
People ask “how do you do it”? You just do it.
The human organism with billions of years of deep evolutionary capacity embedded in the genome flowers under adversity.