To Exercise Or Not To Exercise – That Is Not Even A Question

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No one would dispute the value of exercise, right? Most people, including this writer, do our best to add some sort of exercise into our daily routine. But, new information I just discovered takes the value of exercise to a whole new level. Read on…

A new study that was just sent to me makes the bold claim that not exercising is worse for your health than smoking! I think we have all learned by now over the past four to five decades how smoking leads to cancer and other serious health issues. So to equate that damaging result in our bodies to what happens when we don’t exercise really gets my attention, and it should get yours, too.

We all know people, perhaps even intimately (as Tony Robbins would say), who either don’t exercise because they’d rather not push themselves to do it, or actually can’t exercise. Those who can’t have waited too long and have allowed their bodies to seem incapable of exerting themselves from exercise. They have given up.

But it may not be too late even for them. The human body is miraculous in how it can heal itself if we give it a little help. Just start small and slow and build on that one day at a time.

For those who make the choice to avoid exercise, maybe this article will speak to you as it did to me. Kevin and I have been exercising in the mornings off and on for the past few months. Since a week ago, we made a new declaration to keep it up every day. It feels so good when we do exercise that we ask ourselves why do we get off track and not keep up with it?

The article about which I was referring is the following found on Time website. It is short and to the point, so I will quote it verbatim:

“Expansive New Study Says Not Exercising Is Worse for Your Health Than Smoking


It’s common knowledge that there are many benefits to being fit, but one large new study found that skipping out on the gym is practically the worse thing you can do for your health.

In fact, the study claims not exercising might be more harmful to your health than smoking.

New findings, published Friday in the journal JAMA Network Open, detail how researchers at the Cleveland Clinic studied 122,007 patients from 1991 to 2014, putting them under treadmill testing and later recording mortality rates. Researchers found a clear connection between a longer, healthier life and high levels of exercise. The report calls for health care professionals to encourage patients to achieve and maintain a robust fitness routine.

“Cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with long-term mortality with no observed upper limit of benefit,” the study says. “Extremely high aerobic fitness was associated with the greatest survival and was associated with benefit in older patients and those with hypertension.”

Although it is widely understood that an active lifestyle can lead to a healthy life, the study concludes that a sedentary lifestyle is the equivalent of having a major disease and the simplest cure is exercise.

Dr Wael Jaber, co-author of the study, called the results surprising.

“Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker,” Jaber told CNN. “We’ve never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.”

The study also took a look at the risk of being overactive and found that “ultra” exercisers do not face higher risk of death: the research consistently found that the more a person exercises the lower their mortality rates.”

This Is Why Whether To Exercise Is No Longer A Question

If this isn’t enough for many of us to get up off the couch and do some exercise, I don’t know what is.

There are three ladies who have crossed my path over the years who I would like to introduce to you. You may have “met” them, too, via the internet. I think all three of them are amazing in their own right.

Johanna Quaas, Gymnast At 91

Exercise Johanna QuaasFirstly is the senior gymnast, Johanna Quaas, who still performs on her parallel bars. As far as I can find and at the time of this writing, she has turned 92 years old. Johanna Quaas, a German lady who has been a gymnast for many years since her youth, has kept up her exercising all of her life. As you can see from the video clip, Johanna walks briskly and strong and tackles stairs like a youngster. She is an inspiration to many! Click HERE to watch this short 3-minute video. You will be amazed!

Ernestine Shepherd, Body Builder At 82+

Exercise Ernestine Shepherd

Another lady who I admire is Ernestine Shepherd, an 82-year-old competitive bodybuilder. At the time of this writing, I watched her celebrating her 82nd birthday online. She is a beautiful woman inside and out and teaches/trains many people, men, and women, in all sorts of exercises. I saw a video where a strapping man said it’s a little intimidating when a lady in her 80’s can leg press more than you can! Click HERE to watch this 2:50 video about Ernestine Shepherd. You will be amazed by her, too. You can follow her on her Facebook Page. Just click on this link.

Laticia “Action” Jackson, Inspiring Men and Women Worldwide Through Exercise 

Exercise Laticia JacksonAnd, thirdly, is a lady who we met at an airport several years ago. She was on her way to another competition, and I had the pleasure of talking with her and later exchanging emails for a while. Her name is Laticia Jackson. She has a wonderful spirit and loves to share her gifts and talents with writing and speaking. I’m not sure if she is still competing.

Click HERE for an excerpt taken from an article about Laticia that I’d like to share with you.

“Get moving. Heart disease is the number one killer of women. Every woman needs to devote at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity in her life five days a week for heart and health benefits.”Healthy living is about being surrounded by positive people, having a positive attitude and mindset, giving back, knowing when to say when and learning to forgive yourself when you need to,” Jackson says.”

Laticia Jackson can be found on YouTube and at her own website, Laticia Action Jackson

She is very inspiring for men and women who want to improve their bodies as well as speaking out in support of abused women. Her love of exercise and the gift of her strength and determination help many people find a better life through exercise and healthy eating.

These Women Inspire People Worldwide Because of Exercise

It is stories such as these of just three ladies whose lives were changed because of exercise and the passion that they developed to be the best they can be. Just these three ladies have influenced – in a very positive way – many people in the world. They all have my respect and admiration.

But Exercise Hasn’t Made Me Outstanding; I’m Just Me

These are outstanding people. You may think “Well, I’m not an outstanding person, I’m just me.” What if the “just me” person who you are started to do some daily exercise and realized that you actually like doing those exercises? What if you kept it up long enough for your body to show the effect of your exercising, so much so that others begin to comment on how you are looking great?

They will begin to ask you “What are you doing to look so good?” Then, what if you told them or showed them what you are doing and they want to do the same thing? Wouldn’t that be wonderful that you are an example to others as to how exercise can have such a positive impact on your health and your life. You, then, would be an inspiration to others, and who knows how much you would be saving their lives, literally!

Science is telling us that smoking and not doing exercise are killers. Doing exercise improves how you feel every day and gives you a longer and better quality of life. Wouldn’t you say that it’s worth 30 minutes a day of your time to exercise?  I’m in!


  1. Denise | 21st Oct 18

    Hi Christine!
    Boy I needed to read this article today! I think it’s easy for us to be frustrated with our bodies. I’m 53 and I “look good for my age”…..this is what I’m told. That’s great, except I don’t feel so good. Yes, I’m reasonably thin and I look nice in my clothes. But…I’m out of shape by my own standards and I get stiff and sore easily. My stamina is a fraction of what it was when I was younger (even just 5-10 years ago). I work a lot and I can easily find excuses for not pushing myself when I do have a little time. I do walk/run the dog most days, but it’s not enough. It’s easy to think, well, I’m 50-something….or, I’m 60-something, or…I’m 70-something, and justify low expectations of our physical health. We can always point to others who are in even worse shape and say, well, I’m doing alright compared to that person! But, come on, who are we kidding? These awesome women you’ve shown in your article, in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s….wow!!! It’s exciting to see what could be possible. We don’t have to be a body-builder, but we also don’t have to settle for having poor flexibility, stamina, being overweight, and feeling like we can’t do the things we used to enjoy.
    One subject I would love for you to write about is MENOPAUSE. Frankly, menopause has kicked my butt. I never dreamed it would have such a dramatic impact on me. Women who suffer severe menopausal symptoms have an extra challenge to contend with when it comes to exercise. Depression, hot flashes, fatigue…it’s no joke.
    Ok, thanks for the inspiration. I’m getting outside now!

    • Christine | 7th Nov 18

      Hi, Denise. So glad that you enjoyed this article and that it “spoke” to you. I need this refresher, too, about how it’s up to us to keep our bodies strong, flexible and youthful. We don’t have to give in to the idea that if we reach a certain age, we’re done. These few wonderful examples that I put up show how wrong that thinking is and how we can rob ourselves of many more years of vitality.

      Thank you for your suggestion about Menopause. That’s a good one! Being post-menopausal myself, I can tell you right now, hang in there – this, too, shall pass. It doesn’t feel like it ever will when you are living it, but thankfully it does. That article coming soon! Now, on to your stretching and getting outside! 🙂

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