Proof that cottagers will probably outlive everybody else

Even though we head to the cottage to relax after working all week, we often end up doing more there than we do in the city. We wash dishes by hand, chop wood for the fire, haul groceries from the boat up to the cabin. And while this may be “work,” it somehow never feels like it. I guess it’s the kind of work that relaxes and recharges you (in a way that staring at a computer screen never will).

But there’s another upside to all that work you’re doing at the lake. According to Dr. Mike Evans, baby boomers suffer from more chronic disease and obesity than previous generations did at the same age. The cause? Inactivity.

“We have a severe generational case of ‘sitting disease’,” says Dr. Evans. “We don’t walk to a friend’s house or a coworker’s office—we text them. I text my kids in my own house!”

Technology, he says, has made our lives so convenient that “it can loot the medicine chest of our single best treatment for good health: being active.”

His four-minute video has a simple message: Maybe easier isn’t actually better? He suggests we “tweak the week” to get more exercise doing simple things, like taking the stairs or choosing a parking spot farther away.

Luckily, cottagers have already been “tweaking” the weekend for years. We do walk (or swim, or kayak) over to see our friends. And while we may spend a few hours sitting on the deck, it’s usually after a solid morning spent working on one physically demanding project or another.

So go ahead and smile to yourself the next time someone asks you with disdain what it’s like to have to upkeep two properties all summer. You’re probably going to outlive them.