Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Why Exercise is Bad for You

[Warning, this post contains no scientific facts or true health warnings.]

I've obviously been neglecting this blog. Clearly, this is something that can happen easily, when life gets in the way and the blog is not a main part of that life. And I'd really like to change that, but in order to do so I think I'm going to have to go off-topic a bit more than I have previously done. For one, my PhD is almost over, so I have very little to talk about there, and for seconds, well...let's just say that novelizing has been put on hold for the short terms so that I am not really writing much of anything. Needs must, sometimes, and all that.

But what I have been doing (besides finishing the aforementioned PhD and, you know, just recovering from three years of stress, anxiety and depression) is attempting to get back into shape. I've never been an avid gym goer, but I can honestly say that I was pretty fit in my 20s. I am no longer in my 20s, however, and like all things, age does have an impact. I also sat at a desk for three years (excepting the 800km I walked across Spain) and both my back and hips were definitely in a mood to complain about such things.

Because I don't do anything by halves (well, most of the time - cleaning is an exception), I joined a local fitness centre, got a personal trainer, and made myself accountable to going three times a week. And I've been really good about it for 8 weeks now (except last Wednesday, because I was in so much pain that walking down the stairs made me cry). However, for those 8 weeks, I have been in reoccurring pain in various muscles of my body that I didn't even know I had. My trainer knows I have them, though, and since I dictated to her what areas of my body I needed to work on, she's been working them.

But I suppose I had some vague notion that this would get easier. What I never took into account (having never worked out before), was that for the first couple of weeks you get your body to adjust to being active again...and then you start building it up. So you never really hit a plateau where it gets easier, because as soon as it gets easier, you make it harder. This is how one gets into shape. Apparently. I've been told.

So I've decided that exercise is really, truly, awfully, bad for you. There's no other explanation. It makes you tired, it makes you hurt, it makes you sleep for inordinate number of hours more than you used to, it makes you eat more (and crave bad things), and all around it makes you feel sort of a bit like you want to crawl into a hole in the ground and never come out again. Obviously, all of those things are horrible. And it's really not worth the effort just to get 'into shape'. After all, once you are in shape, you have to stay in shape, and that's just as much work! You have to do this for the rest of your life!

And this doesn't even get into all the other issues that come with getting fit. Your old clothes stop fitting and you have to buy new ones (and what an added expense that is). Also, you have to change your eating habits. Suddenly you have to eat certain foods at certain times of the day. And drink water at certain times of the day. And drink protein smoothies that taste worse than the worst fibre supplements on the market. Oh, and you have to do more laundry, because you can't wear your sweaty gym clothes more than once without feeling like your bathing in a sweat bath. And your hair looks awful. I'm not kidding; I haven't had a good hair day since I started this. It's either oily and sweaty from exercising, wet from showering, or poofy as all get-up from having been showered. And don't even get me started on how annoying it is to schedule your day around a fitness appointment. It ruins all your timing and just takes over your life.

So exercise is bad for you. Clearly. Definitely. Whoever next tells you you should go to the gym, you should kindly, but firmly, explain to them what a bad idea that is. Because it's totally, unequivocally, utterly, not worth the effort.


[Except, it completely is.]