Extending Life Through Smoking and Not Exercising

I just had a thought. Conventional wisdom says that if we exercise, raising our heart-rate and respiratory (breathing) rate, we will live longer, right?

Buddhists believe the exact opposite: that we will live longer and be healthier if we spend more time meditating, with our respiratory and heart rates lowered!

I’m pretty happy to side with the Buddhists here, but not for Buddhistic reasons. No, for reasons of pure science. Think about it: from the moment your heart starts beating in the uterus to the moment it stops beating at death, each of us has a finite number of heartbeats. This number is unique to each of us, and it may be a very large number,  but it is finite.

When you exercise, you accelerate your heart rate, and more heartbeats are crammed into the same time-interval. That means that, whatever your final number of lifetime heartbeats, you have used more of them up, and thus lessened the number you have left in the future. That means they will last less long, with an end-effect of shortening your life.

I wickedly ran this argument past my doctor once, and she was completely silenced – she didn’t have an answer. I pointed out that, in recommending more exercise to me, she had been deliberately and knowingly shortening my lifespan. She giggled – what a strange woman!

On another occasion I ran another idea by her, too, that c igarettes are actually good for you. I have a philosophical theorum to support that one, too. You see, apparently for every cigarette we smoke, we have five minutes less lifetime in the future. Now, I know for a fact that it used to take me six and a half minutes to smoke every cigarette when I was still a smoker, even when I had had a lot of practice and was very, very good at it. When you smoke, that is six and a half minutes out of your life, six and a half minutes when you are doing nothing else. If your life is shortened by only five minutes, therefore, it is mathematically evident that there is a net-gain in your life expectancy of one and a half minutes for every cigarette you smoke.

Hmmm. Let’s think about that for a moment. I smoked fifty a day for just under five years. How many cigarettes is that? Quite a few, I think. And if I gain one and a half minutes of life out of each of them –

Hang on, folks – I’ll be back to do some more blogging later. Right now, I think I need to leave the house and go buy myself a pack of smokes and a lighter …


(Note: The views expressed in this article are entirely satirical and humorous only. At no point am I suggesting that I believe a life of smoking and refusing to exercise is likely to be healthier than a life of exercising and refusing to smoke, nor do I intend to start smoking again. In fact, I run a quit smoking program for residents of NSW’s Central Coast to help them give up much easier and far more painlessly than I did – feel free to contact me about this at any time.)

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