(Vybarr Cregan-Reid/ The Guardian) — This is the time of year when trainers are mined from under beds and gym kits are disinterred from the bottom drawer. Google searches relating to physical fitness peak in January. Many people even trawl the web to find out about “desk exercises” and “workouts on the go” in case they are too busy to use their new gym memberships.
Our relationship with exercise is complicated. Reports from the UK and the US show it is something we persistently struggle with. As the new year rolls around, we anticipate having the drive to behave differently and become regular exercisers, even in the knowledge that we will probably fail to do so. Why do we want to exercise? What do we expect it to do for us? We all know we are supposed to be exercising, but hundreds of millions of us can’t face actually doing it. It is just possible the problem lies at the heart of the idea of exercise itself. (…)