The Value of Aerobic Exercise

The etymology of the word aerobics is interesting; it was coined in 1863 by Louis Pasteur, from ancient Greek (aēr, “air”) + (bios, “life”) + -ic. Gym instructors got together and adopted Pasteur’s word, because, they said, “If we’re going to charge $10 an hour, we can’t just call it jumping up and down.” The need of exercise is a modern superstition, invented by people who have nothing better to think about. Athletics doesn’t give anyone greater longevity or make them more useful. I get my exercise from being a pallbearer at funerals for friends who did aerobics. When I feel like exercising I—like Mark Twain—lie down until the feeling goes away. I have never taken any exercise—other than pallbearing—except the exercise of sleeping and resting. Exercise is bunk. If you are healthy, you don’t need it: if you are sick you shouldn’t do it.

I believe that every human has a finite number of heart-beats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises. The health nut is going to feel stupid and quite embarrassed when someday, lying in a hospital prematurely dying in spite of the gallons and gallons of sweat spilled from aerobic exercise.

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