All posts tagged: negative associations

There Are Too Many Ways to Exercise

There Are Too Many Ways to Exercise

This year, I’m going to get into shape. It does not matter that I’ve made this same resolution every year for more than a decade, or that I gave up after a month each time. In 2024, I mean it. Unlike years past, my motivation is not aesthetic but utilitarian: I want to get fit so I stop feeling like garbage. As I enter my late 30s, I’m struggling with the health issues that come with the terrain—high blood pressure, lower-back pain, and persistently achy joints. On top of those, I’m a new mom, chronically sleep-deprived and exhausted. My six-month-old son saps all my energy but also steels my resolve to protect it. With all my new motivation, I first had to find a workout regime. Scrolling through social media for inspiration, I saw athletes of every variety across my feed. There were people sweating it out at a Navy SEAL–style workout, a Muay Thai–inspired kickboxing class, and a workout designed and taught by former inmates. Yoga isn’t just yoga anymore; it can be hot, …

Radio Atlantic: Fatigue Can Wreck You

Radio Atlantic: Fatigue Can Wreck You

As a medical term, fatigue seems suspiciously unspecific. Is it just the common tired we all feel, but extra? Is it more like a bad, long day? A state of mind? This lack of clarity made me assume that “fatigue” was a medical mystery and thus impossible for doctors to diagnose or treat. In this episode of Radio Atlantic, former Atlantic staff writer Ed Yong disabuses me of that idea. I was surprised to learn the medical establishment actually knows quite a bit about the mechanisms of fatigue. What often gets in the way of understanding or treating it can be based more in bias than in an absence of knowledge. As ambitious Americans, we tend to attach value to productivity. Good capitalists that we are, we can’t help ourselves. This bias forces a lot of sufferers of fatigue to hide their symptoms, or fall prey to bad medical advice that tells them to exercise or grind their way through their symptoms. As the number of people with long COVID increases, understanding fatigue, a symptom …