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Fitness does not equate to health
on January 24, 2009
The main point of the book, using many referenced studies, is that just because you are fit does not mean that you are healthy. When I read that I immediately thought of Jim Fixx, who died at age 52 of a massive heart attack in 1984 (according to Wikipedia). That is the same year that this book was published. The author pointed out that Jim Fixx was a proponent of running. He quotes him as saying that runners typically believe that more running is the answer to medical problems rather than going to the doctor (page 102). Evidently Mr. Fixx died after the manuscript went to press. That was ironic.
The author shows, for example, that marathon runners do not have an immunity to atherosclerosis (see page 112). He sites Dr. Virmani, who studied marathoner autopsies, and says that he "found that severe coronary atherosclerosis is the most common cause of death in marathon runners".
The author does recommend, for those who want to achieve a degree of fitness, a daily regime of a one-mile walk at 3 MPH twice a day. Although he says it is only needed for those who want to do some exercising, or for those who are completely sedentary (there is a small risk of heart disease among those whose exercise consists only of going from one room to another).