Workout? We work out a math problem. We work out an embedded splinter. We work out a bad constipation. We work out a rocky marriage. But what the hell do we workout with a dumbbell? Why not just call it exercise—because that’s what it is. Exercise. And if I had my choice, this word, too, would also die a fiery death. Exercise merely describes our need to fill the void left by the sedentary lifestyle created by office chairs, automobiles, couches, and televisions. We—the proverbial we, that is—sit around all day so we have to invent gyms and dumbbells to regain our loss of physical activity, that natural element so critical for healthy gene expression.
This sounds like a motor vehicle emission bill that was passed to lower the smog in our air—the one that chokes us while we’re out, er, working out. Makes no sense that we resort to the term low carbs to describe an eating habit. If we’re eating what our mothers told us to eat more of (vegetables and fresh fruits, instead of breads, pasta, commodity grains and processed foods), then we are, by default, eating a low-carbohydrate diet. Our ancestors (not the Mayflower ones but the much earlier Nomads/cave-dwelling ones) didn’t bake cakes, cut breads, or fry potatoes, nor did they process grains, corn and chemicals over the campfire. And they certainly didn’t add refined sugar into their coffee. Which really sucks because they had no idea what they were missing; but too bad for us, because we’re stuck with their DNA. Eat more vegetables and fresh fruits, and we don’t have to worry about confusing our discourse between eating and vehicle emission.
I Ate so Much that I need to Exercise it Off
We need to exercise for many physiological reasons, but to undo the mistake of eating poorly or excessively is encroaching bulimia—exercise bulimia. Dietary correction is not a reason for exercise, yet I see it all the time. People take exercise to excess to undo what their foods did to them. Of course, for some, lots and lots of exercise makes them feel good–they enjoy it, they say, makes them feel high. Fair. But I’ll bet you just as many, if not more, take it to excess upon exercise bulimia. I’d guess that many possess deep psychological issues that require therapy (not my area), but I also wonder how many just don’t know they can optimize their body composition through truly eating well, instead of through maniacal exercising.
Why not just eat healthy foods like lots of vegetables and fresh fruits and some nuts and seeds and some quality meats, to begin with, and avoid excessive wear and tear and deleterious effects on the body through excessive exercise? Of course, it’s easier said than done. I’ll concede that it is far harder to make good food choices and sane portion control than to exercise the body into oblivion. Good food choices will control body composition far better than exercise, and certainly way healthier than exercising a million times a week. I know, eating healthy all the time is not so easy. But there it is.
Then there are those who train for sporting goals (weightlifting, marathon, triathlon, bodybuilding), but, good grief, don’t confuse that with health.
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment.