Humor—It’s February, and your New Year’s resolution to exercise more should have worn off by now.
Let’s hope so.
If you haven’t figured it out already, exercise is not only self-defeating; it’s downright dangerous. It’s bad for your health, bad for your happiness, and even bad for the economy.
If you’re not already convinced by your own experience, then here are my top five reasons for abandoning your exercise plan posthaste.
1. It’s addictive
Exercise leads to just one thing—more exercise. Oh, sure, a 30-minute walk seems innocuous enough. But before you know it, you’re stretching it into 45 minutes, then an hour. Next thing, you’re even throwing in a little jog here and there.
Then, while you’ve hardly had time to think about it, you’re running full-tilt and full-time. You start getting that runner’s high, which, of course, dribbles away after you stop running. That just makes you want to go out and run again.
Pretty soon, you’ve become a slave to your addiction. There’s no time for television, no time for naps, no time for junk food—all the things that really matter. If Nancy Reagan heard about it, she’d declare the War on Fitness. And she’d be right.
The best strategy is this: Just say no to exercise.
2. It’s too expensive
A sturdy pair of running shoes or cross-trainers can set you back 120 bucks or more. Then, if you get really out of control, there’s the gym membership—500 bucks to start, and 75 a month after that.
Once you join the gym, you can’t go in just a T-shirt and shorts. You need one of those Spandex outfits—preferably in slimming black, plus a pair of fleece sweats so you can stop at the health-food store on the way home. Another 150 bucks, minimum.
Pretty soon, you’ll resort to stealing to support your gym habit. Not only will you sneak a little grocery money for that new set of wristbands; you’ll also steal time from your employer when those lunch-hour trips to the gym start lasting until 2 o’clock. In the end, you could get fired. Who can afford that?
3. You’ll be out of step with society
Across the country, from children to adults, Americans are becoming more and more obese. According to the Centers for Disease Control, heart disease is the nation’s top killer for both men and women, and diabetes is No. 7.
Exercise lessens your risk for all of these conditions. Is that what you really want? You’re going to stick out like a skinny sore thumb. People will think you’re trying to be better than everybody else. It’s time to decide: Do you want to part of the crowd, or not?
4. You’ll wreck your marriage
Let’s say things get truly out of hand and you lose 30 pounds. First, you’ll have to go out and blow a thousand bucks on new clothes, because nothing will fit anymore. Once you’ve done that, someone at the office or the plant is bound to notice. And that’s when the real trouble begins.
That cute guy or girl around the corner—the one who was always out of your league—will start dropping by your cubicle. First it’ll be coffee, then lunch, then drinks after work. The whole office will be gossiping, your spouse will get wind, and you’ll be in deep dog poo.
It’s the same if you’re single—only with more severe consequences. You and that hottie around the corner might actually start dating and ultimately even get married.
Do you know how much trouble it is to plan a wedding? The flowers, the dinner, the band, the church, the rings, the tux, the gown, the china, the silver—on and on and on.
Then you’re actually married and have to spend the next 50 years together.
Better to keep those love handles to yourself, with time alone in the evenings to write letters and relax to classical music. In the end, you’ll quietly utter your thanks.
5. You’ll ruin the economy
Chances are, you have a libertarian streak and say exercise is okay since it’s just about you and you’re not hurting anybody else. But there, you are sadly wrong.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the television industry alone employs more than 118,000 people. The TV business needs people at home watching. If you get up off your couch and go for a run, what are all those people going to do for a living?
Then there’s the snack-food industry. If you’re not sacked out watching TV, then you’re probably not chomping down on chips, crackers, cookies, popcorn and a lot of other things that keep people employed. Do you want to be responsible for putting them on the dole?
And think of the car industry and all the other businesses it supports, like steel, rubber and glass. Thanks to our gazillion-dollar bailout, Detroit is back on its feet again. But if you start walking places and riding your bike, there it all goes.
When you think about it seriously, exercise reveals itself as one of the most selfish, counter-productive and unpatriotic things you can do. Which is why I implore you: If you haven’t started, then don’t. And if you have, then stop as soon as you humanly can.
The future of the country depends on it.