Saturday, March 30, 2019

The Downside of Exercise

Surely you know that exercise is good for you. It's good for your physical health and it's good for your mental health. I have often repeated the message on this blog and have faithfully reported the myriad of scientific studies proving the point. 

And yet, we all suspect that nothing cal be an unalloyed good. There must be a downside to exercise. Have we all been minimizing the risk in order to glorify the rewards?

In the interest of being fair and balanced I report this story, not exactly ripped from the headlines, but ripped from literary history. OK, you will guess that it's from The Onion, but that does not prevent it from offering a semblance of truth.

In a discovery shedding light on the famous macabre author’s less-acknowledged qualities, literary historians at Harvard University unearthed Wednesday dozens of uplifting poems and breezy short stories written by Edgar Allan Poe later in his life after he got into the habit of jogging. “Poe’s later, much more optimistic work makes it clear that the simple act of going for a short run every morning really improved his outlook and completely altered his writing style,” said researcher Dr. Bethany Smith, noting the author’s simple, healthy lifestyle change had evidently inspired previously unheard-of titles like The Joyous Day, The Happy Chickadee, and The Runner’s High, among dozens of other sparklingly cheerful works. “Though Poe may be known for his dark tone and gothic sensibility, these writings paint vivid pictures of young love’s ability to triumph and life’s small, beautiful moments. Diary entries from this period seem to indicate that he was in a better place and that he eventually even got down to a seven-minute mile.” Poe died in 1849 at age 40, having reverted back to a dark, humorless style of writing following a disastrous ACL tear.


Anonymous said...

I'm one of those people who have never been studied, who without any other physical problems have never benefited from exercise. And in the face of doctrine that insists that exercise is universally and inclusively good for everyone, we stand against those who use any number of coercive means to force us to exercise.

For us, exercise is degenerative and debilitating and depressing. As example, after three months of more vigorous exercise, we need six months of greater than usual rest and recovery before we are fit again. Even gentle exercise, though we can last longer, still needs at least double its length of recovery and idleness. And yes, the statements that "you're not doing it right", or "try this different technique" fall flat.

Comparatively, though this does not apply in my case, for years, people who were neither heterosexual nor homosexual, but asexual, were treated as non-persons by those who could not imagine that asexuality existed. Then there was a brief flurry of interest before they were ignored again. The cultural paradigm insisted on it. And even today, in the surfeit of questionable claims to "other-genderisms" asexuality is ignored.

But back to exercise. At times, the exercise cult gets obnoxious. They seek to motivate others with mandatory participation and authoritarian crap like that. The national socialists and socialist-communists were big believers in that as well. And it sours "anexercisers" on things like pep rallies, school spirit and group anything.

Sam L. said...

And yet, Poe never wrote about being chased by wolves.

Webutante said...

Poe was always a dark ombre in spite of his running, exercise respite. Clearly after his injury he went back to his default, dark thinking and young demise.

JPL17 said...

At last we have an explanation for an early draft of Poe's "A Cask of Amontillado", which began:

The thousand injuries of jogging I had borne as best I could, but when it resulted in a loud "popping" sensation in my knee, severe pain and inability to continue activity, rapid swelling, loss of range of motion, and a feeling of instability or "giving way" with weight bearing, I vowed revenge ....