Exercise or Friends?Posted: August 9, 2018
Just as I was finishing up getting my steps today an article came up on my IPad from WebMD about exercise. Now I know that WebMD can be likened to Entertainment Tonight or People Magazine, superficially informative, but not really an authority. Nonetheless I still read the article.
It was making the point that exercise if good for you. So far not news, but it went on to say that it is only good for you to a point and then it is bad. To say it more succinctly, 45 minutes 3-5 times a week is good, over three hours a day is bad. Thank god! What would I have done if the numbers were switched?
According to WebMD and some more reputable medical journal they were quoting, exercise can reduce the number of poor mental health days you have on average from 3.4 to 1.9 a month. I don’t tend to measure things in mental health measurements, because I have other measurements to worry about, but even so I like the outcome.
The article went on to say that team sports and activities with other people were the most beneficial — just because being with other people is good for you. Not that being with other people on the subway is good for you, but interacting with real humans out like is good.
I think that sitting around the stitchers table and visiting with friends, or playing Mah Jongg does the same thing for you. We just aren’t getting any exercise, but the health benefits of friends are better than exercise.
When I was a kid in the sixties no women exercised. Oh, they might have played tennis, but mostly doubles. No one was out walking, not like people do now. The only exercise machine that existed then was that strap that shook the fat around your bottom, which certainly did not work. But they all had friends.
My mother talked on the phone every morning to her best friend Shelly regardless if she was going to see her in the next hour or not. Back then friends got together all the time. My parents never ate a meal at home on a Friday or Saturday night, unless they were the ones throwing the party. Everyone was thin and no one exercised. I can’t tell you a thing about their mental health, but everybody drank like fish so who could tell.
I think exercise has replaced friends and that is not a good thing. People need to exercise because they don’t have anyone to talk to. I like friends better than exercise, but I think I need both. Maybe I should start a study to show that friends reduce the number of poor mental health days. I do know one thing, if I exercised more than three hours a day I wouldn’t have time for any friends and that would cause me poor mental health.