Buzzword Books

How to Keep Fit Without Exercise

How to Keep Fit Without Exercise

Hate exercise? Have we got a 'how-to' for you! Here's the truth behind the fitness fads. Best of all, it makes sense.

Martin Jensen worked for years in the medical field and has the dirt on facts the fitness industry doesn't want you to know.
   
This wry, quick reference guide to not busting your gut gives you the latest facts on fads and proves that moderate activity makes sense but that dogged exercise rituals and physical heroics are counterproductive, harmful and bunk.

Fitness without tears.
Here's the lowdown on exercise that other books take long chapters to express, collated in one jaunty, jiffy digest. Read about everything from hormones and health myths to diet and your parasympathetic system.

Can you really laze your way to fitness? This book shows how. (10,500 words)

'Wry, amusing, informed - and a huge relief to read.'
COMMISSIONING EDITOR, BUZZWORD BOOKS


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From: Better ways to waste time:

Why fall for the two-year double-bind?

 If you jog consistently, then, according to fitness experts, you'll add two years to your life. Hurrah! The bummer is you'll spend those two years jogging!
 It's no joke. An American heart specialist called Jacoby has estimated that a lifetime of regular exercise sessions will occupy at least two years... and lengthen your life by those same two years!
 Like, hello?

From: Who needs a stitch in the side:  

Most muscles work themselves.

 There are three types of muscle - smooth (involuntary), cardiac and skeletal. The first two keep working even if you're in a coma - operating your heart, digestion, blood vessels and bladder.
  As for the others, you use most of them just going to the toilet. If you happen to be constipated, that includes the muscles of your face.

From: The family factor:

Your heart exercises every beat.
 Endless training's no guarantee of a long life or good health. Whatever you do, the organism's prone to disease after 75. In fact, persisting with endurance sports beyond thirty can shorten your life. According to cardiologist, Dr H. Solomon, "Vigorous exercise cannot prevent heart disease or slow its eventuality."
 Sports writer James Fixx ran 60,000km in his lifetime. He jogged around 100km even in his fifties and dropped dead of heart failure after a race when he was fifty-four. Vladimir Kuz died of a heart attack at forty-eight. Just two examples of many.
 Most of the improvement in function caused by exercise is not directly related to the heart but to the effect on peripheral muscle cells and their more efficient use of oxygen in the blood. In other words, track-work primarily trains and conditions the muscles, not the heart.

From: Progression and obsession:

Things are seldom what they seem.

 In professional bodybuilding, appearance is all that matters. Fanatical contenders wreck their kidneys, livers and hearts with so many anabolic steroids that some gym owners keep drawers full of hypodermic needles.
 Some pro bodybuilders get implants in their calves. They'll inject thyomucase, a drug made from the urine of pregnant women. They'll take hylaluronidase, the destructive agent in spider and snake venom. And they'll spend seven hours a day pumping iron. Bodybuilding isn't a sport. It's installation art with the installation one's own body.
 Heard enough? Then avoid the lunatic asylum.

From: Don't flex.  Have sex:

Relax and improve your sex life.
 You remember what was said about the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems? Well the sex-response is linked to the second. That's why the man anxious about his ability fails to deliver. Impotence and fear are bedfellows.
 The much maligned Wilhelm Reich talked about muscle-armouring - the tension and defensive blocks that prevent full expression of sexuality. Sex is classified as a secondary drive, but a drive it is. One that can be blocked by emotional, metal or muscular tension.
 So, to get ready for sex, avoid exercise and relax. Yes, muscles contribute to hormone production but the fight-or-flight response is antithetical to the act. 'Sympathetic' lovers are unpredictable at the crease.
 
From: Breathe, don't gasp:

Jogging promotes lung damage.
 You don't believe it? Think again. Hordes of agonized sweating fools insist on jogging beside highways. Why? Because it's flatter? Because they're exhibitionists? Or because they want to inhale maximum carbon monoxide and heavy metal particulate? Who knows?
 If you insist on developing osteoarthrosis, run around the local oval. If you're determined to jog beside the freeway then breathe by all means, but don't respire.

From: Smarter ways to linger longer:

Exercise free long-life strategy two.

 Of course, smoking calms your nerves - permanently when it kills you. But as smoking for thirty years reduces your lifespan ten years, and as an exercise regime will be lucky to increase it more than two, then a couch potato who doesn't smoke will live six years longer than an athlete who does! Ba-boom!

From: Radical changes:

Exercise creates free-radicals.
 Half an hour of mildly strenuous physical activity three or four times a week can lower BP as effectively as taking potassium supplements. But, as up to 5% of oxygen used in mitochondria forms free radicals, such exertion also increases free radicals in the body. In fact, everything increases free radicals - even sunlight.
 Free radicals are molecules missing essential electrons. They are positive ions that come from oxidative phosphorylation, enhanced catecholamines release and a whole list of other interactions. Complicated, isn't it? And if you run a mile, you'll need the antioxidant benefit of four apples, or four glasses of real black currant juice or five portions of onion to counter the damage.

From: Natural attrition:

A supple body's better than stiff muscles.
 A seized-up body's an old one. So it's vital you keep flexible. What do you think is more useful and intelligent? A simple home-based stretching routine? Or trying to bench press 300k then bend an iron bar with your teeth?
 Old ducks who persist with toe-touching and spine-twisting calisthenics are far more practical than people who use painkillers for their stiff joints.
 They also get rid of more wind.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

How to Keep Fit Without ExerciseHow to Get What You WantMartin Jensen is that rare creature - a practical humourist. Everything he writes makes sense. He has sold many articles, a screenplay and also written successfully for the theatre. His interest is comedy and the human bazaar. His two books on this site are How to Keep Fit Without Exercise and How to Get What You Want.

REVIEW OF HOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANT: 'Jensen knows it all. And, with the help of this book, you can be a know-all, too!'
COMMISSIONING EDITOR, BUZZWORD BOOKS