As delivered on Radio Bristol's Breakfast with Steve le Fevre earlier this morning in response to the strange story yesterday about crocodile sightings in Bristol and today's news that inactivity in our region is leading to problems with health:
I woke yesterday to your voice Steve, as usual. Then it got weird. Crocodiles? Here? More serious today. How active are we all?
Friend of mine, no stranger to the cake tin, once said of me. 'Steve wouldn't put on weight if he ate a greased pig.' Harsh but fair. I haven't had to struggle with diet like some. I am the last person to offer thoughts on weight loss.
But inactivity; muscles slowing and joints stiffening. These are not about menu. They are about lifestyle. We need to keep exercising.
A doctor I know told me there might be fifty per cent fewer cases of bad backs in his waiting room if we all walked a mile a day. Move it or lose it, he said, of any stiff joint.
Our ancestors had not found the cures for the major diseases which we have licked. They died younger. But in their lifetimes were they fitter? Running to catch and kill your supper keeps you healthier than phoning for pizza.
Is it a spiritual matter? The Bible tells us that '...food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.' But it talks of our duty to our neighbour. If I get avoidably ill, and need your taxes to pay for my repair, am I loving you as myself. Maybe I have obligations to look after myself, for the sake of my neighbour and my family. I believe my wife prefers me alive.
Of course our ancestors were more likely to be food for animals themselves and had to be ready to run. Maybe a few crocodiles loose in the Bristol area would get us all moving faster.