Tuesday, January 05, 2010
My health club was busy this morning; even the 5:45 a.m. "strength" spinning class was packed. I got there about a minute late and there were only a couple of open bikes. The resolution crowd is out in force, although perhaps diminished from previous years.
If experience says anything, most of these newly-resolved people will fall away within the next few weeks and we'll get back to the usual crowd. That will be good for me, but bad for them. At the risk of sounding like an exercise zealot -- I am far from it -- even periodic exercise by overweight people confers enormous benefits over, well, sloth. The chart below summarizes the findings rounded up in the linked article, which is in the Wall Street Journal (as opposed, say, to USA Today, which runs stories like this at the dropping of a hat).
There is no need to train for triathlons or be so lean that veins pop out all over, but if you get up and move and mix it up a bit (hike, walk or jog, swim if you can, ride a bike if you have one, do some pushups and sit-ups and take the stairs at all opportunities) you can substitute muscle for fat and build up your heart without turning your life upside down. As the linked article suggests, the potential payoff will be huge
Besides, once the government figures out that health care "reform" is not controlling costs it is going to pass a law requiring you to get in shape, so you might as well do it now so that the Obamacare bootcamp goes easily for you down the road.
Yes, but....government programs always use a baseline to measure improvement. If water rationing is coming to us Californians, it's better to have been a water wastrel since it's easier to cut back (easier to lose pounds if you're 250 than 150, easier to reduce energy usage if you haven't insulated yet, etc. ). The point is: if you know certain types of good behavior are going to be mandated, behave badly now.
Harvard neuroscientist Dr John Ratey's book, SPARK, was mentioned to Jack Shields, Pres, Shields MRI, who said "I only read books on Kindle: about 4 months ago. Just a month ago, he said, "I read Spark", and I asked" how did you like it?" " I provided a copy of SPARK to everyone in my company!" SPARK details the benefits and the science behind the impact of exercise on the brain. It leaves no excuses for those still thinking of exercising, no matter what their condition