Exercise is bad for you (bye-bye marathon)

I can’t believe it’s actually been 2 months since my scooter accident. I haven’t had any more accidents since then, and I hope that trend will continue indefinitely. I’ve completely recovered from the accident, with the notable exception of my left heel, which still hurts.

A few weeks after the accident I went to see a doctor, since my heel and chest were still hurting. He said that it was quite normal for bruises to linger for a while after an accident, and not to worry about it, they would go away. The chest soreness did go away, but not the foot, which eventually got so bad that I was limping. I went to a Chinese doctor for acupuncture, which helped with my knee problems, but even after getting acupuncture every night for a week, it didn’t help. Then, I went to the hospital near my house, and talked to an orthopedist, who said I had bursitis, and referred me to a doctor specializing in rehabilitiation. He prescribed some ultrasound and electro-stimulation therapy for my heel, which I also did for about a week. This did help, but not as much as I would have liked, so yesterday I went to an orthopedist at National Taiwan University Hospital (the most prestigious hospital in Taiwan) for a second opinion. He told me that I possibly had gout. He also told me (unsocilitedly) that I was too fat, but that I shouldn’t do exercise, because exercise is bad for you, and carries the risk of injury. Apparently (according to this doctor) the only correct way to lose weight is to eat less, because exercise is dangerous.

One of the things I have discovered about myself in Taiwan is that I do have the ability to conceal my emotions. So, while my mind was thinking “Did he really just say that? I can’t believe this! How did he pass medical school?”, my head was nodding and saying, “Oh, ok. Yes, no exercise.” He didn’t even say “Don’t do any exercise because of your foot.”

When I asked him if I could still work out my upper body, he said no, any exercise is a bad idea.

I think I am going to definitely going to cherrypick this doctor’s advice, Cheney-style. While I have ceased training for the marathon (next year, maybe), I still intend to keep up regular workouts. I do intend to eat less, but I think I’ll take the entire American medical community’s opinion over this guy’s.

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4 Responses to “Exercise is bad for you (bye-bye marathon)”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Ben. I suggest you to get a “third” opinion. I don’t think he knew what he was talking about. You need a good physical therapist.

  2. Cousin Dick Says:

    There are an unlimited number of opionions out there. In the words of my fellow New Yorkers, “Opinions are like assholes. Everybody’s got one.” Perhaps the question you should be asking is, “Just what do I want to use this body for?” For most of us simply maintaining a lifestyle in which we use our bodies to walk, climb stairs, ride bikes, swim and pick up outsized articles like the Sunday New York Times without excessing on cigars and deep-fried foodlike substances is enough to maintain good enough health.

    Ultimately it is your life and the only opinion that really has any accuracy at all is your own.

  3. Manish Says:

    From the American Medical Profession, thank you. But seriously, have that ankle looked at by a real doctor. You may need an MRI of the ankle.

  4. Ben Says:

    Well, I’ve had it X-rayed, and there’s no problem with the bones. Is that enough?

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