Do you hate to exercise? You are not alone. I hate to exercise – and so does every one of my siblings. But why is that? Why is it that some people seem to love exertion and others (like me) would be very happy if they never exercised again?
A new study just came out with a very surprising answer. It may be your genetics. And there are things you can do to overcome your genetics.
Researchers at the University of Missouri took a group of rats and put them in cages with running wheels. They tracked how much time each rat voluntarily spent exercising on the wheels. Then they took the rats that were high voluntary exercisers (HVE) and bred them together. They also did the same breeding with the rats that were low voluntary exercisers (LVE).
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They continued to breed the HVE and LVE rats through 10 generations. Amazingly, the 10th generation of the HVE rats spent up to 10 times more time exercising on the wheels than the LVE rats. They just loved to exercise. When the researchers studied the super rats vs. the sluggish rats here’s what they found.
Not surprisingly, the HVE rats were in much better shape. For the scientists out there, this means that their NAD/NADH ratio was higher. That means that they were aging at a slower rate and were much less likely to develop a disease. They also found, not surprisingly, that the HVE group had a greater muscle mass. But here’s where it starts to get really interesting.
The scientists compared the activity of thousands of genes in a specific part of the brain that controls the motivation to do things because they’re enjoyable. They found dozens of genes that differed between the two groups when it came to the neurotransmitter (brain chemical) dopamine. So why is this so important?
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that you have heard me talk about before. People with low dopamine activity tend to be mentally and physically sluggish and much less motivated to activity of any kind. In essence, they are inclined to be lazy! So the rats’ decision to run or not to run was being driven, at least in part, by the genetically induced low activity of dopamine. But what does this have to do with people?
According to Frank Booth, the lead author of the study, there is also a “genetic element to the motivation to exercise” in people as well as in rats. This has been verified in identical twin and family studies. If one identical twin likes to exercise the odds are almost 100% that other one will be the same way. Similarly, if the parents like to exercise, their children are much more likely to enjoy exercising. This is true even if they grow up in different environments.
So what if you are one of those people who is not at all motivated to exercise? You know it’s good for you. You know that you should do it. But you just hate the idea. What should you do? I’ll show you two simple things you can do to overcome your genetics and get the benefits of exercise next week. One of them is so effective, it even helps those who suffer from depression. Don’t miss it.
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