With the weather warming up, this is the time of year when women start exercising in hopes of looking reasonably svelte in a bathing suit. Alas, a University of Michigan study suggests they won’t spend as much time exercising as women who work out for reasons unrelated to weight loss. Women who exercise for a “body shape motive” spend 40 percent less time at it than women who exercise for other reasons—for instance, because they actually enjoy exercising. One problem is that women who exercise to lose weight “may select physical activities based on how many calories they burn, rather than on how much they will like doing that activity—a recipe for eventually quitting.” Or, to put the matter another way, it’s an exercise in futility.
—Posted by Mark Dolliver