Do you like to exercise? Did your parents? A new study has shown that our motivation to exercise — or not — is partially driven by genes. In a study of rats at the University of Missouri, researchers bred rats that ran the most with each other and the rats that ran the least with their counterparts. Ten generations later, the “runner” rats tended to instinctively exercise 10 times as much as their “non-runner” relatives.
But you can’t use that as an excuse not to exercise. Humans may be referred to as “gym rats,” but our behavior also is influenced by innate tendencies and personal choice. Because exercise is essential to maintaining health, you only need to get as little as 30 minutes of low-to-moderate intensity activities a day to help improve overall sense of well-being.
Regular exercise or physical activity has many benefits. It can improve blood circulation, keep weight under control, improve blood cholesterol level, prevent and manage high blood pressure, prevent bone loss, boost energy levels, release tension, improve sleep, increase muscle strength and relieve stress. On the flip side, not exercising is associated with a number of health problems. Less active, less fit people tend to have greater risk of having high blood pressure, developing certain cancers, and being overweight or obese.
One of the most important steps in starting an exercise program is setting a goal. Fitness goals can help increase motivation, focus attention, and measure how well you are doing. If you still have problems getting motivated to exercise, visit the online health library on the Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake website at DoctorsHospitalDallas.com/GettingExercise for tips on how to formulate exercise objectives that will work for — and not against — you.
Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake
9400 Poppy Drive
Dallas, TX 75218