Hate to Exercise? This Might Be Why

Blame it on your mother. And father. And for that matter, your grandparents.

If you hate to exercise, it could be in your genes.

Specifically, genes that modulate the dopamine (a feel-good chemical) in the brain appear to play a role in our propensity to embrace or avoid exercise, according to researchers from the University of Georgia.

You just have to look at any group of people to know that some exercise frequently, while others prefer the couch. Now it appears that the part of the brain that drives rewards and the part of the brain that drives the motor system are interacting, causing some of us to want to run a marathon and leading others to binge watch "Game of Thrones."

Translation: Gym rats get a rush from working out as dopamine levels soar, while couch potatoes appear to have a genetic makeup that interferes with the release of dopamine.

"Combined with personality measures, we think these genes may help explain why some people have a natural urge to be active, while others never do," study leader Rodney Dishman, a professor of kinesiology, told HealthDay News. He bases his findings on a clinical trial of more than 3,000 adults.

If you dislike exercise, are you doomed to a life as a lumpy couch potato? No! Dishman suggests two strategies to make exercise more enjoyable: Find an activity you like to do and then find a group of people with whom to do it. "When people start viewing exercise as a duty or obligation, then that's not a formula for sustained activity," he explained to HealthDay News. "That just puts people in a constant state of dissatisfaction."

The findings, which are considered preliminary until they are published in a peer-reviewed journal, were presented to an exercise research meeting of the American Physiological Society.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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