On behalf of inertia

Yeah, I know how this goes:

I try to gauge by “Am I getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week” though now there’s a new study saying you really SHOULD be RUNNING and that for FOUR HOURS A WEEK. Yeah, no. Given what’s going on geopolitically I’m not going to exercise more than what I need to feel good right now — I’m not going to give up even more of my free time if there’s a chance we all wind up as a glowing cloud of radioactive particles in the coming year or two. Also running gives me shin splints.

Compare with these:

I believe that every human has a finite amount of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.

(Neil Armstrong. Yes, that Neil Armstrong.)

“Exercise is wonderful,” said Louis [Wu]. “I could sit and watch it all day.”

(Larry Niven, in Ringworld.)

If I feel sure of one thing, it is that this kind of “health” imperative is not moral. It is grooming.

(Mark Greif, Against Everything: Essays.)


  1. ETat »

    3 August 2017 · 6:36 pm

    I’ve often wondered – what is the point of all this exercising? Jogging, training for marathons, pushing weights till faint, drinking some horrid “protein shakes” instead of human food? It went way beyond simple body maintenance, people spend endless hours a day, waste precious time between workday and sleep on sweating in the gym.
    I could understand training for something specific, like astronauts or deep water divers – some purposeful activity, a job. But laboring for…nothing but shot knees and shiny 6-pack?

  2. fillyjonk »

    3 August 2017 · 6:38 pm

    It’s because if you don’t do all that exercise, you’re a bad person and should be denied health care when you get sick. Or something like that.

  3. CGHill »

    3 August 2017 · 7:52 pm

    Says Karl Denninger along those same lines:

    We spend an estimated four hundred billion a year between Medicare and Medicaid, about 25% of the total, on just one disease where this is true (Type II diabetes and its complications).

    We could balance the budget tomorrow if we cut that **** out and the improvement in people’s lives and financial state would be enormous. Instead we literally keep them sick on purpose, steal all their money and then watch them die in agony as their feet are cut off, they go blind and ultimately their kidneys fail with the side effects of dialysis killing them.

    And since the damage is already done and seldom correctable — well, screw ’em.

  4. McG »

    3 August 2017 · 9:42 pm

    My response to exercise prescriptives is identical to my response to dietary prescriptives: “Unless you’re paying my bills, STFU about how I live. And if you are paying my bills, who asked you to?”

  5. McG »

    3 August 2017 · 9:43 pm

    Besides, both kinds of prescriptives always come with an expiration date, and I’ve never been much of an Early Adopter.

  6. Holly H »

    4 August 2017 · 9:01 am

    Wow, what a lotta bad attitudes about exercise. Would it help to offer a feeble explanation, that we supposedly EVOLVED to be walkers? That’s the one talent that our species is good at. Long, sustained walking. That means it’s supposed to be fun!

    Hello….? (crickets)

  7. Holly H »

    4 August 2017 · 9:03 am

    OK, it’s not fun for me either, unless I have good podcasts.

  8. McG »

    4 August 2017 · 9:25 am

    I find standing in place more tiring than walking, it’s true.

  9. nightfly »

    4 August 2017 · 10:00 am

    I exercise primarily because I still enjoy it. The health benefits are almost a side-effect rather than the primary aim. In this I have the benefit of a child. Watching him tear around any chance he gets, squealing with laughter because of all the neat stuff he can do, is enough of a reminder to me what exercise is supposed to be about: it’s play.

    One of the big things making my generation a bunch of roly-poly tubs-o-goo is the combination of bad food and sedentary play. We might be able to get away with one, in moderation. Both, all at once, and all the time? Terrible.

  10. CGHill »

    4 August 2017 · 4:11 pm

    Once upon a time, I could walk from OCCC (7777 S. May) to Shepherd Mall (NW 23 and Villa), a good six miles.

    But that was then, and this is painful.

  11. CGHill »

    4 August 2017 · 7:06 pm

    See also this highly pertinent photo from Brian J.

  12. ETat »

    5 August 2017 · 6:19 am

    Ch, to your link to Karl’s rant: a bit too cultish for my taste.
    An example how good ideas (downsizing mindless consumption, living independently from the government, building your own house, eating healthy, etc), brought to extreme, become their own opposites: decrease people’s quality of life while making them fanatics.

  13. CGHill »

    5 August 2017 · 12:47 pm

    It definitely reeks of “Sell everything and buy a Tiny House, and if you have anything left, buy gold.”

  14. ETat »

    6 August 2017 · 6:51 am

    Have you read the comment thread there? There is a person who spends half a year hiking the Parks – not because he loves the nature so much, or rather not just because of that. He says it decrease his living expenses to a min (I think he said $1000 a yr) and keeps him in athletic health. Think of it: the guy doesn’t have any meaningful job, risks to have an accident in a remote place w/o access to proper medicine, all for a satisfaction of sleeping in some god-forsaken camp for $10/week to save money!

  15. CGHill »

    6 August 2017 · 12:38 pm

    The urge to run was promoted by Jim Fixx (1932-1984), author of The Complete Book of Running.

    Yes, he died at 52. He dropped dead jogging.

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