Beware the False Promises of the Exercise Pill

Recently there was news of an “exercise pill.” Researchers have been working for years on deciphering the precise chemical mechanisms of metabolism and fat burning. The result of multiple research efforts around the world over the years is a promising drug that has shown to reduce cholesterol, burn fat, and even increase healthy proteins. Hence, the exercise pill. Though, it is still years away before an actual exercise pill becomes reality. If you want to read about the details, go here.

For many, the exercise pill will be a god-send. It would be a holy grail for millions of couch potatoes. After all, we are a society of quick fixes and instant gratifications. Exercise is hard, painful, and time-consuming. Imagine that people could be healthy, in shape, and save time just by taking a pill—a shortcut to physical glory. All gain, no pain.

This is a fantasy. When something is too good to be true, it usually is. No knock on the science, as I’m sure the best people are on the job. Still, some things are beyond the laboratory. There are intangibles that come with actual exercise that a pill cannot confer. Things like discipline, perseverance, determination, grit, purposefulness, self-esteem, among other character traits, are developed through the trials of effort. Shortcuts bypass the steps necessary for character building. Taking a pill, in my opinion, is cheating yourself. Health and fitness are simply byproducts of exercise. The true benefits of exercise are not measured by numbers on a scale.

(Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash)