Is exercise always good for you?

The authorities will tell you that diet and exercise are the keys to health and weight loss. But not all movement is created equally.

My background in philosophy taught me that to evaluate a practice you need to know the context in which it occurs. And you need to understand the system behind it.

In a discussion of the history of QiGong, Kenneth S. Cohen, in his book The Way of QiGong, also outlines the roots of Western exercise systems in calisthenics and the “Western preoccupation with the appearance of health: a beautiful figure and well-defined muscles. Modern Western exercise systems can be considered symptoms of disempowerment. The individual’s internal health was believed to be beyond control and, if disturbed, required the external intervention of an expert physician. The body was reduced to a machine, without intelligence of its own, as incapable of self-correcting serious malfunctions as an automobile. This assumption is incorrect.”