Fact or fiction: Some people just naturally love exercise

IMG_1236Do you sometimes feel like you were born to be a couch potato? You actually might have been! But before you resign yourself to hours of couch time, know that you also have the power to improve your ways.

In March, The Journal of Physiology published a study that suggested the motivation to exercise may be at least partly inherited. The researchers monitored animals over many generations and found that those born into running families were hardwired to enjoy exercise. Applying these findings to people, you could assume if your parents like to work out, you’ll be more inclined to feel the same way. And vice versa: If your mom and dad rarely visit the gym, you’re more likely to see it as torture, too.

If you fall into the second group but wish you were more active, don’t despair! Despite what’s suggested by the initial findings, the researchers ultimately concluded that you can train yourself to enjoy exercise more. The researchers forced halfhearted runners from the less-active lineages to get moving, and saw results that suggested the animals began to find the activity more rewarding.

The problem is, standard exercises like running on the treadmill or elliptical machine might make you feel like a lab rat yourself. That’s why we rounded up some of our favorite, non-traditional workouts that you can do on a regular basis. You’ll likely have such a great time that these activities won’t feel anything like a chore.

  • Maybe you want to exercise more often, but don’t want to stray too far from the living room. Our couch potato workout and Tabata routines offer quick and easy bursts of fitness that you can squeeze into commercial breaks.
  • If you want to try a new workout every day (and even better, from the comfort of your own home), then you have to check out these live streaming videos from gyms and trainers around the country.
  • Which would you rather do: Party with your friends or hit the gym? Trick question! An upbeat Zumba class gives you the best of both worlds.
  • Fresh air aficionados will love the variety of outdoor activities to be found at fitness-friendly destinations across Michigan.



Photo credit: Lisa Creech Bledsoe

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