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  • Dr. Henry J. Svec

Fake News/Fake Excercise

As I stood in line to get my small black coffee this morning, I noticed that the person a few ahead was ordering their beverage. It had a lot of nouns and sounded like something out of a sci-fi movie. I overheard him say he “deserved” the drink because he had taken the dog for a walk in the backyard this morning. The drink had a number of pumps from the flavoured syrup containers, extra whip cream with chocolate sprinkles and some other things I couldn’t identify. Later I googled it and learned that these drinks have in excess of 250 calories per single serving but if you add more pumps of syrup it can be over 500 calories. I had worked out this morning for 40 minutes, doing my usual yo-yo getting my Heart Rate up over 85% maximum but at the end of it all had only burned up about 260 calories. I don’t think the person ordering the drink worked out today. I looked around and noticed more and more people wearing those exercise tights but they weren’t coming or going from exercise. They were trying to look athletic despite their shape.

Fake exercising is my term to describe this. Feeding the delusion of exercising by buying exercise things like clothing, shoes, a membership to a health club, treadmill for the basement, brief personal trainer experiences, wearing health devices or walking the mall while consuming a morning 600 calorie beverage. Fake Exercising means you never do any exercise that will get you healthier you just sell the illusion to yourself and others by pretending. Fake Exercisers are all around us. Some 67% of people who pay for a gym membership never show up once to workout. More Fake Exercisers-35% or more of people who get a wearable device that monitors exercise steps or Heart Rate, don’t open the box. Some 80% of Physicians, those that we seek out for expert advice on health matters, don’t exercise to meet even the minimum standard.

Fake Exercise makes you think you are really exercising to get healthier. You can tell your friends, your family or most importantly, yourself, that you are working out or doing exercise things. Playing pickup hockey twice a week with beer chasers to end the outing? Playing slow-pitch baseball this spring and calling that exercise? It’s Fake Exercise that’s fooling you. It’s Fake Exercise that’s slowly killing you. Two out of three adult Canadians or approximately 23.95 million people are obese or overweight. For children it’s one out of 3. This year from 48,000 to 66,000 Canadians will die because of an illness directly linked to obesity or excessive weight and inactivity. It’s costing us from 4.6 to 7.1 billion dollars a year for healthcare and lost productivity.

Most of us hate to exercise. It’s not fun. We don’t like to do it. That’s the first step to overcoming Fake Exercise-accepting that you hate to do real exercise. Next rid your world of all the Fake Exercise stuff. Unless you are going to use it lose it. Finally work with someone who also hates exercise but has found a way to do it. We need to suffer together because only someone who hates exercise as much as you do can guide you to the other side. Unlike fake exercise and fake news, the real news is that if you don’t find a way to get to 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week you will get sick and die young. Time to get Real?

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