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An overly pessimistic view. Cardiologist Solomon (Cornell Medical College) cites a tremendous recent increase in sports-related injuries, and in sudden death due to heart failure while exercising, to insist that exercise, far from being the great healer, is actually quite harmful. He rightly points out that some exercise studies were initially overinterpreted to claim that marathon running confers immunity from heart disease, or that exercise would increase life span; he also takes issue with claims of increased well-being, and improved emotional health, from regular exercise. (Such claims have been tempered of late in responsible studies.) Solomon's strictly physiological--and outmoded--view: actual state of health ""has to do with the presence or absence of disease or abnormal body conditions."" How one feels, by implication less important, is of course a ""complex summation of physical, mental and emotional factors that are independent of your state of health."" Besides returning to this old-fashioned notion of the mind/body split to downplay the quality-of-life benefits of exercise, Solomon never differentiates between the harmful effects of poorly designed exercise, and the harmful effects, ostensibly, of all exercise--the baby goes out with the bathwater. Outmoded, sour, unfounded.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1984
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich