The Gym In A Pill

Richard Gunderman considers the benefits that an “exercise pill” – under development in Florida – might produce:

[W]e would recoup even more time than the two hours we actually spend on exercising. Think how many minutes we spend every week just talking ourselves into it, getting dressed for it, and driving to it. And what about all the after-exercise time – driving back home, showering, getting dressed again, and then sitting in the easy chair contemplating how tired and sore we feel or congratulating ourselves on what good care we take of ourselves.

He also imagines some setbacks:

Some might argue that exercise has benefits that extend beyond mere slimmer waistlines, lower blood pressures, and improved serum lipid profiles. They might point, for example, to the self-discipline required to exercise on a regular basis and lament the fact that Americans need no longer make such a concerted and sustained effort to remain trim.

Moralists among the naysayers might go even farther, attempting to portray the able-bodied among those of us who rely on the exercise pill as somehow lazy or undedicated. The most extreme might even argue that working hard at working out is good not just for the body but for the character, helping us to develop habits of short-term self-denial for the sake of longer-term benefits that they regard as an important feature of the most virtuous among us.