Article image

Love of exercise is actually genetic

Whether or not you enjoy exercise may depend largely on your genetic makeup, according to a new study.

Exercising, especially if you’re not in the daily habit of it, can be tiresome and like pulling teeth. Like any healthy practice, cultivating a habit and finding the right programs, workouts, and routines that fit your personal needs can take work.

But a study from Vrije Universiteit (VU University) in Amsterdam has discovered that genetic makeup is linked your own personal enjoyment of exercise.

These findings could help create custom exercise programs and workout methods to fit personal needs and levels of enjoyment, rather than a “one size fits all” model.

Researchers from VU conducted their study by looking at sets of twins and siblings. They had the participants undergo vigorous workouts while monitoring their responses, reactions, and enjoyment levels before, during, and after exercising.

The researchers examined 115 identical twins, 111 sets of non-identical twins, and 35 siblings, all of whom completed a cycling workout and a treadmill run.

The results found that enjoyment of exercise was indeed genetic, with identical twins sharing similar reactions during the workouts. The researchers also looked at exercise habits outside of the study and found that those twins and siblings that reported a higher enjoyment during exercise and did more regular exercise than those whose enjoyment levels were lower.

From here, the researchers hope to be able to identify and isolate which specific genes are responsible for exercise enjoyment. The team also discussed how further research can help coordinate custom exercise programs for people whose dislike of exercise is not necessarily a symptom of laziness, but is actually hereditary.

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer

News coming your way
The biggest news about our planet delivered to you each day