Posted by: David Stewart | April 19, 2010

Do you really need to exercise to be healthy?

After I came home from my 5 mile run today, I started to think about a particular member of my family. He is tall, thin, in his 60s and quite healthy. But check out what he doesn’t do:

  • He doesn’t eat red meat, so no beef of any kind.
  • He doesn’t eat cheese
  • He doesn’t eat chocolate, and
  • He doesn’t drink alcohol of any kind.

He holds fast to these rules no matter what kind of event he is attending. Oh, there is one other thing he doesn’t do:

  • He doesn’t exercise.

At least, I have never heard of him doing so. In addition, he is a very calm guy, seemingly very happy. I don’t think I have ever heard him raise his voice or get excited.

But although he avoids these bad things, it’s not like he grazes on fruits and vegetables all of the time. I don’t think he eats much total quantity of food either.

So can you maintain good health just by never consuming naughty things and never exercising?  I wonder.

For me, running has almost never been about maintaining good health. It’s more about maintaining my weight, having fun with our running friends, personal improvement and spending time with my wife. Good health is fairly low on the list.



  1. It’s dangerous to take a sample of one when doing medical studies. Imagine if that sample was George Burns — we’d all be smoking cigars and expecting to live to 100. 🙂

  2. @Brent – well, it worked for George. ;-> Maybe he was running marathons and we just didn’t know it.

    Lack of exercise can probably catch up to you eventually.

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