All of us understand the importance of exercise. And yet, the motivation to workout varies dramatically from individual to individual and from gym bunny to couch potato. Can these discrepancies be explained entirely by environmental factors, or is there something else at play – like genetics?
Last year, an article published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition set out to answer that question. In the study, researchers examined daily physical activity and sedentary behavior over a large group of fraternal and identical twins. After crunching the data, researchers determined that up to half of the variance in physical activity was explained by genetic factors. In other words, innate biological processes might be driving some of our daily physical activity.
But this research shouldn’t serve as an excuse for inactivity. For one, more research is needed and there’s a lot we still don’t understand. Second, blaming your mom or your dad for bad genes won’t get you anywhere.
Even if you lack motivation and/or are predisposed to a more sedentary lifestyle, your fate hasn’t been sealed. Sure, additional structure and support can help – but you still have the power to make decisions for yourself and to work towards fitness goals. Don’t make excuses; understand your challenges, implement solutions and make results.