1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

Sports do not make us healthy! – recent studies October 24, 2007

photo by axinia

Great news for everyone who has always been feeling there is something wrong with that sport-hype. One has to do sports to stay healthy, fit, and all that… But why does my body oppose it so much (otherwise being quite wise in many questions)?

The fact is one can stay totally healthy without any sports (swimming, jogging and Co.). And actually, the classical idea of sport is a competition, an ambition for more fitness or muscular body.

We definitely need some motion. However the medically needed movement dose is easily reached by some daily activities: 187 min dish-washing or 172 min caring shopping bags home burns same amount of calories as 43 min of intensive swim training. We do not really need much to keep us fit! – hope the fitness Industry will not kill me at that point.

The famous College Alumni Health Study (1960) says any kind of motion is good, as soon as our pulse speeds up and the breath gets deeper. In a recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Slentz (physiologist at Duke University medical center) and his colleagues looked at whether cardiovascular exercise could increase cholesterol:  Simply jogging 20 miles a week elevates the larger HDL by 19 percent. Many other studies show that even a little motion is already quite significant for the human body and there is no need to exaggerate.

And some more recently gained facts:

  • even soft swimming has impact on knee joint and intervertibral discs
  • regular swimming escalates the Asthma risk to 50% – almost same for running and skiing
  • the lungs of children that regularly swim are similarly damaged as smoker-lungs, found out the French researcher
  • more that 45 min sport in a week increases miscarriage chances by pregnant women in the first 17 weeks

The point I wanted to make here is that in the case of fitness and sport we should really have a clear head and listen to the feedback of our body.

Do we really need that or do we let ourself be driven by the marketing and media (again and again!)

LOVE from a very unathletic but healthy and happy

axinia 🙂


22 Responses to “Sports do not make us healthy! – recent studies”

  1. Daniel Allen Says:

    Hello Axinia (fellow yogi) I found your blog on worldpress.com and have been enjoying your posts and pictures.
    I have enjoyed reading your insights, and will be back for more.

  2. axinia Says:

    Thanks, Alen, I am glad you found me 🙂 and I found you then too!
    Thanks for your feedback and keep visiting!

  3. Excellent post! With so many people starting in on extreme sports from ultra-marathons to 24 hours of adrenaline cycling competitions thinking that they are helping their bodies health..egads??!! Its nice to hear about studies that keep sports just like all things in moderation:-))


  4. Ral Says:

    well, i didn’t have any idea of that sport can be unhealthy for us when practice it regularly….. however this statement is quite interesting as it’s with a good sense of humour …

  5. I don’t think I can agree with these results, Axinia 😐

    For sports definitely make us healthy! There is no doubt about it as far as I’m concerned 🙂

    Professional sportsmen of course, carry the risk of injury throughout their playing career. Endurance sportsmen too may have to face certain conditions. And pregnant women should better avoid all sports, except may be chess 🙂

    But how could the researchers say sports do not make one healthy 😕 Sports are beneficial not just for the body, but the mind and soul as well 🙂

    There are other benefits, too. Sports inculcates the spirit of team work, fair play, resilience, fighting spirit, friendship, comradeship, brings out the best in oneself and others etc. In short one could say that sports are a celebration of the human spirit 🙂

    Sports is also a key marker of civilisation. Societies without a sporting culture and those with a mono-sporting or bi-sporting culture all happen to be uncouth places populated by the rapidly overbreeding, semi-civilised hordes. Instead of spending their leisure time usefully, the young men and boys (who need sports more than anyone else) of such societies easily take to crime, alcoholism, drugs etc. Why, in certain primitive semi-civilised Third World countries, hordes of uncouth creatures prefer to while away their spare time in what is euphemistically termed as eve-teasing 😡

    The Taliban also decided to ban all sports, except soccer – and that too, only for men wearing long trousers. Why? It’s not as if the Taliban loved to play or watch football. They knew they would not get too many spectators to watch their public beheadings. So they had to allow soccer and interrupt the games to lash, stone or behead people 😯

    In uncouth countries, the barbaric hordes fight and kill each other with weapons like arrows, spears, stones, swords, guns etc. In civilised countries, people compete against each other in sports like archery, javelin throw, shot-put, fencing, stooting etc. It’s not a wonder that sports is derived from war and is meant as a war-substitute for civilised people. It comes as no surprise therefore, that in ancient Greece, all wars were stopped to hold the Olympics 🙂

    • axinia Says:

      I wonder why this thory seems for vague to my dear readers? onyl because since ages you ahve been reading soemthing else, showing the importance of sports?
      The magaize where I found the material is a well known and respected German ZEIT Wissen magazin. They are not into publishing some spectacular bullshit…

      But since the fitness inducstry is one of the most profitable, I guess we will nto find much infromation on it at all…

      • Sports became an industry only in recent times, Axinia. But the spirit of sports goes back to millenia, probably right back to the transition of humans from nomadic hunter-gatherers to settled agriculturists.

        Hunter-gatherers would normally be fit and healthy because their ability to feed themselves depends on their fitness and agility. With the onset of agriculture, humans would have become lazier and less healthy since they didn’t have to strive too hard to get food. So sports were probably invented to prevent humans from becoming lazy, unhealthy “field potatoes”.

        With the onset of industrialisation, humans must have become even lazier than they were as agriculturists. Therefore the need for sports must be greater. In service oriented modern societies, the need for sports is even greater than in industrial societies 🙂

        So I guess sports has been a very essential part to prevent the decay of the human body over the ages. Without a healthy body, there can be no healthy mind. Nor can there be a healthy spirit 😉

        I’m actually very glad that the spiritual thinkers of the far East were smart enough to realise this and perfected martial arts as a spiritual way to develop the body, mind and soul. The bubble-dwelling saints of the Indian sub-continent failed miserably on this aspect 😦

  6. Now this is controversial , hahah. Can you provide with some proofs of the claims that you make. Not that I disagree with you completely. I too agree on a certain level that sports plants the seeds of competition, ” I am better than you ” in the players. Which is not very spiritual. From this angle I say that sports is not good when there is very unhealthy competition.

    But if one is competing not for winning and accepts defeat gracefully, then its wonderful.

    From health point of view, I think more proof are needed.

  7. jpenstroke Says:

    I love walking and feel this spaceousness that being outdoors delivers – always – my body tells me what is good and what is not.

  8. Ldinka_108 Says:

    how interesting… i always felt that there is something wrong with me because i love the motion, but hate it being elevated to the competitive level… cool. now, at least, I have been proved once again that my guts don’t lie to me 🙂
    in fact, any kind of competition in humans feels wrong to me… i like more exhibitions than competitions… they feel more natural. again, it is just me.

  9. Arun Says:

    it is true that some people overdo it and injure themselves. Too much jogging damaging the knees etc. However, it is always possibe to strike a good balance – cycling and or swimming limit the damage to ones body

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  11. I just wanted to bring up a few points.
    1. When inner city schools were introduced to new programs (High school marathon programs, all level basketball programs) the fights in the school reduced by 30%, and the drug usage in a school wide senus was reduced by 15%
    Sports keep kids out of trouble and can help prevent obesity, drug usage and other forms of violence.
    2. Sports improve confidence. I think there are ample examples of this in any school district.
    3. Sports create a dedicated passionate youth. Colleges look for athletes of any sort (non-competitive, recreational, or Olympic level) because it demonstrates dedication and involvement.
    4. According to my physical therapist, about 60% of his clients are injured doing every day activities (shoveling, raking, mowing the lawn or even tendinitis from doing things like dishes or laundry.) Work around the house is many times harder on joints and muscles than work in a gym is.
    When one “works out” they’re usually striving for perfect form and know the importance of stretching and warming up.
    At home, many people do physical activities without incorporating injury prevention.

    My father had several knee surgeries (never an athlete) because his work involved kneeling, lifting and making deliveries.
    5. Sports teach disciple and principals of hard work.

    The money in athletics is substantial but many “sports” require no funding at all. many runners have started with a pair of street shoes they already owned. Hockey can be played with make-shift sticks and goals. Swimming can be done anywhere there’s a body of water.

    Maybe I’m just in the spirit of the Olympics, but I have to disagree with your point.

  12. axinia Says:

    Thanks you Mae, you are welcome to disagree and your arguments are really good.

    The point I wanted to make with this post is that the obsession with sports should never be an obsession.
    IF I am NOT doing any sport, and still being a happy and successfl person, no one shoudl tell me sports is a must. And the sport business is doing it!!

    If feels to be such a pressure in Europe, I guess in USA is even worse… you should alsmot feel guity for not doing sports. And that is really silly. Sport may work and do good to many, but not to all.

  13. jeffery d Says:

    i think that your wrong, but sports do make you healthier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  14. Someone Says:

    Sports do make us healthier!!!

  15. someone who agree with other someone Says:

    Sports do defiantly make us healthier it is important to to keep fit!!!

    GO SPORTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. Sam Says:

    Just make sure that you do a perfect Sahaja Research.Shri Mataji was once a national badminton player.

  17. Billy Says:

    Sports make you fit.. Not healthier, at least, not for the majority of people. Only 10% of the people get healthier when practicing sports on a regular basis. For 10% it’s unhealthy and for the rest of us it doesn’t really matter.
    Health is not something you can ‘buy’ it depends on your genetic make up whether you’re healthy or not.
    Sports is just something that makes you feel good if you like doing it..

  18. Elise Says:

    I agree. Perhaps, I am biased because I personally dislike sports, but I’m very glad I found this. The point isn’t that sports AREN’T healthy, the point is not everyone likes sports and you can survive fine without them. Sports can make you healthier as well as cause injuries. That’s fact.
    Sports being a distraction:
    This is true. They do distract children and adolescents from getting into fights in school and perhaps even doing drugs… But what about the people who don’t enjoy them? They mustn’t find it very distracting. They find pleasure in doing other things perhaps like drawing or reading or playing an instrument.
    Sports Raises Confidence:
    Everyone is different. For majority, perhaps it does. It may even make you an arrogant prick. For me, a person who hates sports? They don’t do anything to my confidence. In fact, they make me feel worse. They even have some blame for my growing depression, since sports are forced upon me by parents who think I need to lose weight or die without it. Especially since people compare people who do sports with those who don’t, and how must that make someone feel? The person who isn’t very athletic: not very good. Also, if someone dislikes a sport, plays it, and does badly… Would that raise their confidence? That’ll probably make them feel like an unhealthy loser…
    My point is, sports aren’t for everyone. Sports aren’t a NEED. I’m not going to die if I don’t do a sport. For some it may distract from other passions… And it makes me feel bad. Especially when children have parents who want the best for them, and they think that’s sports… And they don’t like sports… They wouldn’t feel very good. They may even feel like their passions are less important. This is simply a point and my opinion. Let’s agree to disagree. But all of you in athletic people: don’t let anyone bring you down. Don’t let your parents shove you around and not listen to your interests. Don’t feel strange or unhealthy for being uninterested. Perhaps this is just me… But still. Thank you for this, it made me more confident with my opinion.

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