Last week I was frustrated by an article headline I saw somewhere on the Internet. It read “Is Exercise Killing You?” The topic of this new study on exercise was also discussed (thankfully very responsibly) on The View.
So, is exercise killing you? The article I actually found on the topic published in the New York Times was called: “For Some, Exercise May Increase Heart Risk.” A much less fear mongering header which always makes me happy.
The answer is a resounding NO. Exercise is not killing people. The study currently getting a lot of attention found that for 90% of the population exercise has benefits for the heart, lungs and body. But it turns out that for 10% of the population exercise may increase blood pressure and cholesterol. There was no shown increased risk of heart attack of this small group of the population.
I hope the article doesn’t give people an excuse not to exercise. “What if I’m one of the ten percent?” The best thing to do is to get a baseline from your doctor before starting an exercise program. And check in a few months later to compare. Exercise is vital. In an ideal world we would all move more regularly throughout our day, yet we’ve created a world where we don’t have to be as physical. Between PC’s, washing machines, and remote controls we barely ever have to stand up and walk around. These advancements were supposed to provide us with more leisure time and while they may they also make it easier to put on pounds and be inactive. I would hate to see the results of a study of what immobility does to people. Wait…we already know that.
Bouts of exercise may not be the best for our bodies, but in our world of immobility that isn’t going to change in the near future, it’s the best we’ve got and it’s important to achieving a healthy lifestyle. Different types of exercise will intrigue different people, so find a format of movement that is fun for you. You can do pilates, run, join a Frisbee team, walk. The options are endless, but find time at least some time to move throughout the day.
I think this recent attack on exercise and bouts of movement makes me nervous because I don’t think people are being provided with a better option. Skipping exercise is certainly not the answer.