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Study Finds That Some Are Born to Run

RunnersNow that spring is in full swing (with warm weather in your parts, hopefully!), you have no excuse for not squeezing physical activity into your day.

Unless, of course, you’re genetically predisposed to hate exercise.

Yep, it seems that some people are hardwired to be less interested in exercise, finds a new report.

Published in The Journal of Physiology, the study tracked two groups of specially bred rats: those that spent hours on running wheels and those that touched the wheels briefly, if at all. The University of Missouri researchers found that certain genes worked “normally” in the brains of the rats bred to run (that is, chemical messages were received), while function in one part of the brain involved in reward processing worked differently in the non-runners. In short, the brains of running rats found running rewarding, while the non-running rats had less of a motivation to move.

An interesting twist: Scientists set the non-running rats on wheels, and although they ran less than the running rats, they found that the rats’ brains were changing and growing more mature neurons. According to the scientists, it appears that they were responding to exercise and finding it more rewarding!

The researchers caution that rat brains may be different from human brains, but perhaps people can make efforts to rewire their brains so that exercise is more rewarding.

Exercise and Diabetes Risk
If you exercise less than three times a week or, worse yet, are completely sedentary, you’re at risk for diabetes. Take our Diabetes Risk Quiz to find out if you could be developing diabetes.

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