Hate For Exercising Is Genetic, Study Finds

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If you hate everything about running, squats and push-ups, it may not be your fault.

According to a recent study from the University of Georgia, your hatred of working out is probably genetic, Cosmopolitan.com reports.

“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,” lead researcher Rodney Dishman, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Georgia, told Cosmo.

hate exercise genetics

To collect data, researchers analyzed the exercising habits and brain responses of 3,000 adults. Dishman's team found that the brains of those who hate exercising or have a hard time sticking to a routine run into a problem with dopamine — a neurotransmitter that helps control our brain’s "drive, pleasure and reward centre."

“Our current field trial with humans suggests that variations in genes that encode for dopamine and other neurotransmitters linked with physical activity account for low or high physical activity directly," Dishman said in a statement.

In other words, because you're supposed to feel satisfied and rewarded after breaking a sweat, if your body doesn't release dopamine, you're less likely to enjoy working out.

exercise genetic

A 2013 study by associate professor Panteleimon Ekkekakis at Iowa State University found that people's pain tolerance (which can also be genetic) also determines if they like working out or not.

By making people work out until they were out of breath, Ekkekakis says some people enjoyed working out harder, while others gave up altogether, the Daily Mail notes.

exercise

So how do you stay motivated? Ekkekakis says listening to music while you work out is one way to stay on track, but you can also find someone to work out with to hold you accountable.

And if you hate everything about the gym, find other ways to get active. Try a fitness video game like Just Dance, stick to a niche class like boxing or spinning or just go for a stroll in your neighbourhood.

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