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We don’t necessarily need science to tell us how much we hate getting our butts to the gym, like, we’re pretty sure we’ve figured it out on our own, thankyouverymuch. But turns out our seemingly irrational hatred of exercise could be based on our genes. Hoorah! Now we can blame the chemicals in our brain for our laziness!
A new study led by Rodney Dishman, Ph.D., from the University of Georgia says that your desire to exercise — or not to exercise — could be based on how dopamine is released in the brain. As Psychology Today writes:
“Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. Dopamine also helps regulate movement and emotional responses, and it enables us not only to see rewards, but to take action to move toward them.”
The study, which was presented at an American Physiological Society conference in early November, notes that some people have genes that prevent the release of dopamine in their brain. That may result in them not wanting to exercise since they don’t receive those post-workout good vibes courtesy 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,” Dishman said.
So, your genetics could be the reason you never, ever want to work out. BUT, as Dishman noted in his quote, he also studied personality and behavioral traits when it came to exercise.
And while genetics are out of your control, how you act totally is.
So even if you think you’re one of these dopamine-deprived people that Dishman studied, you can still set workout goals to achieve a healthy level of fitness. Or keep track of your workouts to motivate you. Because even if your mind won’t thank you for exercising, your body will.