just procrastinating

Friday, January 14, 2005

Exercise, Fruit, etc.
Jacob Sullum at Reason make a good point about the new Government sanctioned "diet":
Is it just me, or does the recommendation of 60 to 90 minutes a day of "moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity" in the government's new Dietary Guidelines for Americans seem even more implausible than the nine servings of fruits and vegetables the pamphlet says we should be eating every day? Mind you, this exercise is above and beyond normal activities like climbing the stairs to change a diaper or running after a toddler who has swiped the scissors from your desk. "Moderate physical activity" includes hiking, dancing, and bicycling below 10 miles per hour. "Vigorous physical activity" includes running, faster biking, and chopping wood. Aside from the sheer effort, it's just hard for me to imagine fitting an hour and a half of such activities into my daily schedule.
Originally when I heard about the 30-60-90 exercise requirement, I figured that they counted anything in the total: sitting up straight, reaching for a pencil, fast typing, standing for long periods, etc., but apparently not. I consider myself to be reasonably fit and I can probably count on one hand the number of days in my life when I have done 90 minutes of cardio straight. I usually work out 3-4 days a week consisting of 20-30 minutes on the treadmill or elliptical thingee, and 45 minutes of weights twice a week, and I feel like I am at my limit.

And what about this whole 9 servings of fruits and veggies? Come on, man. I certainly can't think of a day when I had 9 servings of fruits and vegetables, ever. If I get a glass of OJ, a banana and a salad with dinner, I'm again at my limit.

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