Is Exercise Bad for You?

The question in the above title might be annoying if you have just spent a good portion of your last paycheck on exercise equipment, clothing, and a gym membership. But … annoying or not, there are some facts to consider. Most important —- the large majority of people who spend the above hard earned cash do not sustain their high exercise regime. And they do not lose weight. And they do not get healthier. And a significant number of them injure themselves.

On the other hand, we also are beginning to realize that sitting down is the cigarette smoking of our era. Something we do out of habit, without realizing how harmful it is for our health (fair disclosure: I got that idea form Dan Pink. Thanks Dan!). In other words, lack of movement is also not healthy.

So what is the optimal way to age gracefully? The emerging answer is

  • Don’t just sit there! get up from sitting at your desk and move at regular intervals during the day or better yet, work part of the day standing up
  • Get a little burn going! do very short bursts of high intensity exercises a few times a week to signal your muscles that they are in fact, needed
  • Move around once in a while! walk or swim regularly to bump up your metabolic rate and burn some carbs
  • Eat healthier! cut out sugar, eat less meat, and pay attention to your microflora

The key to making this work appears to be avoiding over stress. Avoiding stuff that will make it hard to keep the routine as part of your life style.

BTW, if you think this is just a problem in the US, consider that rates of “gout” (a condition caused by uric acid build up) are way up in the UK and that as of 2011, 44% of the population in Malaysia is reported to be overweight!

Sorry, Nike! The future is in moderation.

I will be building threads on the above “tips” for getting healthy and reporting on my own successes and failures. Stay tuned!


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