Actress Keira Knightley's slender figure has gotten a lot of attention by the media in recent years, even rousing speculations of an eating disorder (which Knightley has denied).
She recently appeared on the "Late Show with David Letterman," where he asked about her fitness routine. Here are the highlights.
You look like you're tremendously fit. What do you do? Do you work out in your free time?
"Um…no…I try, I do try. I did hire a personal trainer which was quite good and she sort of cracked a whip and shouted at me a lot and made me do it, but I didn't really like it. I don't like pain. And I do find that working out is quite painful. I did actually join a gym, sort of about a year ago, it's was a really nice, really posh gym and I just go and I sort of watch everybody and they'd be slugging away, and I'd watch them and just think No… I'll just sit here. And they had lovely water. They had water will all this sort of um…it had like cucumber cut up into it. So I sat there in my workout gear and just sort of drank the water and watched everybody else working out. And then thought, well that's quite an expensive way to drink water with stuff in it. "
I'm interested in a couple of things. You joined a gym. What was your objective? Because you look like you're in tremendous physical condition. When you decided to join the gym, it was because "I want to…?"
"It was more that my flat is at the top of a building without a lift and I was finding it quite difficult to get up the stairs."
"Yeah, it was getting though. It was that kind of unfit."
That doesn't seem quite right. Are you in better shape now?
"I can now get up the stairs. Yes, I'm fine."
So what did you do to get yourself in shape?
"I don't know, I sort of went on a cross trainer for a bit. That was it, actually. I went on a cross trainer and I had somebody yelling at me and telling me to squat."
You can see the interview below (the topic turns to fitness at about 3:05).
I think this is interesting for a few reasons that I'd like to bring up for discussion.
First, this shows the idea that someone can appear to be fit, thin, toned or healthy (by society's standards at least), but not really be in good shape. Looking fit and being fit are two very different things. The inverse is also true: You can look unfit or overweight and still be in great physical condition. Even though Knightley is thin, which many people equate with "healthy," she had trouble climbing several flights of stairs. Does it surprise you that someone who looks like Knightley was self-described as "unfit?"
Secondly, fitness is an important to stay healthy, regardless of how you look. Working out should not be thought of as a means to an end. I think Letterman's question ("You joined a gym. What was your objective? Because you look like you're in tremendous physical condition.") is an example of what many people think: that if you're already thin or toned, you don't need to work out. That couldn't be further from the truth, though. And I think her reasoning for exercising (to be in shape for daily life in general) is a good one—and only further proves this point.
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