Good news, fellow stationary humans, it turns out exercise isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. For years those of us who consider going to pick up a take out order rather than having it delivered to be a mild form of exercise have lived under the scrutiny and judgment of the aggressively fit, the people responsible for “do you even lift?” memes and for keeping juice bars in business when everyone knows you can get juice at literally every store in the world and, if you have a moment, right out of fruit you can pick off of trees out in the wild.
There’s been a rumor circulating for years, a kind of exercise ghost story, that insanely fit people never wanted to believe. Doctors didn’t want to believe it, either. This rumor said that too much exercise, endurance exercise, was bad for you. That, like vodka or punches to the face, if you did it too much, it would backfire. And it looks like it might be true.
While no one is suggesting you’re going to live a healthier lifestyle by spending all day in a kiddie pool full of margarita mix eating hot dogs, apparently if you’re running more than 30 miles a week in an effort to be the next whoever might be famous for running a lot (Forrest Gump? We literally have no idea and refuse to Google it), you’re potentially causing increased vulnerability to atrial fibrillation and coronary-artery plaque. That means your chest is going to explode, Aliens-style. More or less. Probably less.
If you stick to a non-insane amount of running, you’re probably doing yourself some favors because you shouldn’t get out of breath just from standing up. But, as with all things, moderation is the key. And what is the real world implication of this news? That finally lazy people and an extreme fitness junkie have something in common – neither of them know what they’re doing to themselves. And this is a good thing because it means you don’t have to feel ashamed if you don’t work out like a steroid-addled Mr. Universe contestant 24/7. Those vascular misfits mainlining protein supplements and keeping nipple tape manufacturers in business don’t know any more about being healthy than you do. In fact, they may know less because those of us who drink Coke for breakfast at least are aware it’s not healthy, we’re not duped into thinking we’re doing ourselves favors. We’re not ignorant, just apathetic.
Generally speaking, the place you probably want to be at in life is one where you actually care about yourself to some degree and try to be healthy enough that you don’t hate yourself for the things you do. So maybe you choose side salads every so often, or hit the gym to offset a night of beer and tacos and you get the added bonus of girls in yoga pants which should really factor into the fitness and healthy living goals of all people in all places. Because really, if you don’t workout at all, or if you’re running more than 30 miles a week, you probably never have a chance to see any yoga pants and if that’s the case, what the hell are you doing with your life?
-- Ian (@holytaco)