Medicine: Why Joggers Are Running Scared

Did Jim Fixx die from exercise or medical neglect?

His was a story that inspired thousands of flabby, middle-aged Americans to put on their Pumas and take to the streets.

After all, if a chubby, 214-lb., two-pack-a-day smoker like Jim Fixx could transform himself into a sleek, 160-lb. marathoner, then anyone could do it. Fixx's 1977 best seller, The Complete Book of Running, converted the masses with rhapsodic sermons on the physical and psychological benefits of his sport. "The most important single indica tor of overall health is cardiovascular endurance, which is what running develops," he wrote. Thus there was irony mixed...

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