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The rise of exercise culture has that has led to fitness-focused New Year's resolutions does not mean people will exercise. Only 1 in 4 U.S. adults and 1 in 5 high school students meet the recommended physical activity guidelines.
The relentless optimism displayed each year in setting fitness resolutions may reflect an American ideal. The New Year's resolution to get in shape demonstrates a belief in the individual's ability for self-improvement.
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Most people didn't see exercise as necessary until the mid-20th century. Food scarcity meant people didn't overeat, and it didn't make sense to try to burn off the calories.
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