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Bad Good News

You see how it is? I was sitting here, relaxed, daydreaming about running among the pines in the cool air of October, and then I read the health news headlines. Now I’m a fist of rage.

1. Exercise pill: the couch potato’s dream?
“A team of scientists at the Salk Institute found that two drugs mimicked some of the benefits of exercise. For example, lazy mice given one drug for a month with no exercise in between increased the distance they could run on a treadmill by 44 percent.”

The article does go on to say that it’s unrealistic to think a drug could replace all of the health benefits of activity, but the headline alone makes my jaw clench.

2. Recession: Eat, drink, smoke, and be merry
“Even as consumers face soaring energy costs, rising food prices and higher mortgages or rent, it seems clear they’re not prepared to forgo many of life’s little treats — alcohol, cigarette and candy makers are all reporting healthy sales amid the gloom…. Anheuser-Busch is so confident that consumers won’t abandon the beer that it plans to increase prices for popular brands like Budweiser and Bud Light to stay ahead of the higher costs.”

3. Fit and fat: Study shows it’s possible
“It may be possible to be both fat and healthy, researchers reported on Monday, for at least half of overweight adults, and close to a third of obese men and women, have normal blood pressure, cholesterol and other measures of heart health.”

Sigh. This doesn’t take into consideration the quality of life issues. OK, maybe blood pressure and cholesterol are normal, but what about everyday activities like carrying a suitcase or throwing your kids around? A little strength comes in handy!

And how about the sense of pride in setting and achieving physical goals? The fun of running in the dirt with friends? The euphoria of finishing that last set of pushups?

Now that I’m worked into a lather… let’s re-visit some good news:

Phelps wins 9th career Olympic gold in swimming
“Michale Phelps put on another dominating performance at the Beijing Olympics, winning the 200-meter freestyle Tuesday with a third straight world record (1:42:96).”

“Phelps swam so fast. It is my honor to compete with him,” said Park Tae-hwan of South Korea, who took the silver in 1:44.85.

OK. Equilibrium restored by Park Tae-hwan’s graciousness.

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