Exercise or Blame

The Hidden Benefits of Exercise: An Article to Make You Feel Bad

Beach exercise

Beach exercise

The Wall Street Journal published a mean-spirited article this morning. It claims that people who exercise gain hidden benefits. They have fewer symptoms and less-severe illnesses compared to “low-fitness subjects.”

Do they realize how hurtful these statements are? Do they think low-fitness subjects want to be low-fitness?

Studies show that exercise lowers:

  • The risk of stroke 70%
  • The incidence of diabetes 50%
  • The incidence of high blood pressure 40%
  • The risk of breast cancer 50%
  • The risk of colon cancer 50%
  • The risk of developing Alzheimer’s 40%
  • The risk of depression as effectively as Prozac or behavioral therapy.

That’s easy for Laura Landro, the writer, to say.

People who shun exercise are not irresponsible. They are simply not responsible. It is in their genes. They are not disposed to exercise. They do not want to exercise because their genes don’t want them to. Do you, Laura, think they want to be diabetic and depressed, to have strokes, breast and colon cancer and Alzheimer’s disease?

Publishing these studies shows an incredible insensitivity. People need help, not blame. A more helpful prescription would be to fund biotech companies to create genetic solutions for the 70% of people who forego exercise not because they dislike it, or because they lack willpower, but because their DNA is handicapped. Fix DNA and people will exercise.

People like Laura Landro and newspapers like the Wall Street Journal should stop blaming the American people for not having strength of will. They are making us feel bad.


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