Volume 6, Issue 20 May 23, 2013
When your genes make you hate
exercise, here's what to do
Many people hate to exercise. If you're one of them, I showed you last week one reason for your extreme dislike of exercise. It could be in your genes. In other words, your hatred of exercise could be genetic.

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However, if there's one thing I've learned in all my years as a doctor, it's that you can often overcome your genetics. You just have to know how to do it. So if you hate to exercise and if the reason is that it's genetic, here are two good pieces of advice on how to overcome it.

First, do like I do. Ignore your genetics and exercise anyway. I am literally the only one in my family who spends the time and energy to stay in top shape. But I don't do it because I enjoy exercising. It's not about enjoyment for me. I do it because I enjoy feeling great and I want to live my life out fully functional, without disease, and not dependent on others to take care of me.

And secondly, there may be a way to increase your motivation to exercise even if you have the "lazy" genes.

Here's how. If you remember, last week I said that one reason you could feel this way has to do with low dopamine activity in your brain. If this is true, why not do something to increase your dopamine activity? You can do this in three ways.

Ironically, one of the most powerful ways to increase dopamine activity is to exercise vigorously. This has been shown in a number of studies. And it's why exercise is so helpful for people who tend to be depressed or dependent on substances. They have low dopamine levels. So if you will just commit yourself to a program of regular exercise, you will find that at the end of three months, your motivation for staying on the program permanently has significantly increased.

A second way to increase dopamine levels is by taking the amino acid tyrosine. Your brain converts tyrosine into dopamine. I would suggest starting off with 1,500 mg of l-tyrosine in the morning and increase it to twice a day if needed. Give it about three weeks to work. One warning, however. People who have Graves' disease, hyperthyroidism, phenylketonuria, are taking anti-depressant medications, or are pregnant or breast feeding should not take tyrosine without first checking with their doctor.

A third way to increase dopamine levels is with the seeds from the plant Mucuna pruriens. These seeds contain high concentrations of levodopa. Levodopa is a direct precursor of dopamine. The Mucuna pruriens seed extract 50% L-dopa contains 385 mg of levodopa per capsule. You can find it at http://www.shaman.co.nz/index.html. Start with taking one capsule per day and increase to two per day as needed. You can take it with tyrosine. As with tyrosine, if you are taking anti-depressant medications or are pregnant or breast feeding, check first with your doctor.

These simple steps can help you overcome any genetic predisposition you may have toward not exercising. But in the end, just make sure you're getting plenty of exercise. It really is the best thing you can do for your health.

Finding your Real Cures,

Frank Shallenberger, MD

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