Is Exercise a Waste of Time?

I have heard people from time-to-time say things like, “Workout, eat healthy, and die anyway.” Or they might ask, “Don’t you think that working out is a waste of time you could better utilize?” I have thought long and hard about these kind of naysayers. I’ve drawn my own conclusion that I decided to share.

Last year I exercised for 155.5 hours. This year I anticipate meeting or beating that number. So… Was that time that I could have better used for something else? The answer isn’t a simple yes or no. You see, by working out (properly) you do things to your body. For instance, I sleep deeper when I’m training and I do not need as much sleep. I might save 30-60 minutes per night in sleep. With sleep alone I’ve already made that time up that I lost during my workouts. Also, working out (PROPERLY) improves your immune system and makes you less likely to get sick. I probably knocked off a week or two of sick days from my year. That could amount to ~336 hours of being sick and unable to do most things.

Here’s the kicker… Studies have shown that healthy people who eat right and exercise regularly add 7.2 year to their life expectancy. That may not sound like much, but when calculated, it becomes: 62,899 hours!!! That’s right folks… By working out, staying at a healthy weight, and eating healthy you add an average of 62,899 hours to your life!!!

Time to do a few calculations (my favorite part of life)… If I workout an average of 175 hours per year for 50 years, it will cost me 8,750 hours. Let’s see what this gives us, shall we?

8,750 (50 years of workout hours)
-9.125 (50 years of gained sleep)
-16,800 (50 years of gained sick days)
-62,899 (adding 7.2 years to your life)
80,074 hours added to your life


That computes to 9.2 years! In actuality, you are adding nearly ten years to your life when you stay fit and healthy!!!

The next time someone asks you if you’re wasting your time with exercise, tell them that you are actually adding ten years to your life!!!

In addition there are so many benefits that come from exercise that I can’t list them all. But, I’m gonna try:

1. Lengthens your lifespan by ten freaking years;
2. Promotes better sleep habits (as I mentioned above);
3. Gives you more productive hours each year;
4. Improves your sex life (believe me);
5. Increases your stamina;

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. Improves your mood (decreases and prevents depression);
7. Boosts HDL’s (lowers your cholesterol);
8. Decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases;
9. Helps prevent Type-Two diabetes, stroke, metabolic syndrome, some forms of cancer, and arthritis;
10. Increases your balance and agility (which can prevent falls and accidents);
11. Boosts your energy levels;
12. Increases your strength;
13. Induces a euphoria and/or natural high (thanks to my friend Laurie for pointing this one out);
14. Makes you look better and healthier, leading to confidence (self-esteem);
15. Reverses stress;
16. Improves learning by increasing growth factor chemicals in the brain;
17. Decreases memory loss.


The list goes on-and-on-and-on… Do you have a favorite number above? Or, do you know of another benefit you dig? If so, please comment with your favorite benefit and say a little something about it.

There really isn’t any reason for us to make a laundry list of great benefits… Living longer and having great sex should be more than enough incentive to get anyone wanting to do physical activity. The other great effects are merely icing on the cake!

Join me, my friends! Let’s exercise!!!

Sent with love,

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About Vaughn Ripley

Vaughn is a happily married daddy, author, and CIO. He is an HIV+ hemophiliac, and is one of the longest surviving HIV+ people in the universe.
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  1. Right on!

  2. “The most self indulgent thing you can do is exercise “- I forget
    I love that quote. It changes my perspective on exercise to a more healthy view. It never seems easy to get out the door but it’s never regretted.

  3. As you know, I’m a bit of an exercise junkie. If you take into account how grumpy I am when I don’t work out, I gain an entire lifetime of hours!

    • I agree! I’ve had two major injuries this year and it has taken it’s toll on making me grumpy. I’m just getting back into the groove and feel sooooo much better! Love the dopamine and endorphines!

  4. Richard Branson was once asked “how can I be more efficient?”. His answer: “work out”.

  5. No Exercise says

    You can be at a healthy weight range and look fantastic doing zero exercise. Just eat properly or eat less. As an entrepreneur I tried the whole exercise daily thing. It saps you of energy, depletes willpower and motivation you could apply elsewhere, and makes you look haggard. It truly does waste a lot of time, and if you wear yourself out faster you will die earlier anyway. Show me a marathon runner or body builder who lived til 100. I have yet to see one. They sag and die much earlier!

    • I see your point, and agree that healthy eating is a vital part… However, it is scientifically proven that exercise extends your life. And, also adds (as I said) quality years. You are correct about bodybuilders not living to 100. However, let’s remember that bodybuilding is a fairly new phenomenon (at least at the level that we know of). Many of those bodybuilders are still alive. Lest we forget that Jack LaLanne, “the Godfather of fitness,” lived to be 96 (not quite 100). Also, I wasn’t saying you need to be a marathon runner or bodybuilder… But, if you’ve never seen an athlete who lived past 100, you might wanna peek here:

      Let’s agree to disagree,