Nearly everyone has a friend who would never skip their Sunday morning Zumba® class for brunch with the girls. But that's not you. In fact, you loathe the idea of logging miles on a treadmill at the gym or stretching your hamstrings in downward dog at the local yoga studio. If you've always had a distain for exercise but can't put your finger on why, recent research may hold the answer.

Why Working Out Doesn't Work

It's not you; it may be...

...a low physical threshold. In a study conducted by Iowa State University, "people's physical capacity could be much lower than many realize, so many people push beyond their limits without realizing it." However, for others, simply washing the dishes or tending the garden can exasperate their physical threshold. These people need to work up to walking. All this means is  some of us may have an increased ability to push ourselves, while the rest of us truly struggle with relatively basic tasks. your genes. Another study conducted by researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada found that a protein called the AMPK gene is released during exercise. The study looked at mice that had the gene removed. Those were less likely to want to exercise (or run) when allowed to self-select activities than those with the gene. Researchers concluded that the longer one chooses not to exercise, the more likely they are to lose their motivation to exercise. Conversely, the more regularly one exercises, the more her ability to exercise is enhanced.

If you don't like to exercise but know that you need to in order to avoid health complications such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease, it can still be hard to get moving. Follow these tips to improve your outlook on your physical output.

1. Find your happy place. Pleasant surroundings can positively affect a person's willingness to exercise. A study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that those exercising in an environment surrounded by greenery experienced greater sensations of happiness than those who did not.

2. Let the music move you. Putting on some of your favorite tunes may help trick your mind into ignoring the physical demands being put on your body. Whether you're listening to an favorite playlist on your iPod while cleaning house or playing Wii "Just Dance 4" with your kids, lively music will get you in the mood to move.

3. Try something new. So walking, running, or spending time in an artificially lit gym may not be the most intriguing physical outlets. Try a new activity. Think outside of the box. Try racquetball or rowing. Join a co-ed softball team. Trick yourself into fitness by having fun with friends or while making new ones.

4. Get some support (in addition to a sports bra!). For motivation, enlist the help of a friend or family one to hold you accountable. Carve out time 20 minutes a day, like you would a meeting at work, and ensure it gets done.

5. Track your progress. Nothing is more inspiring than seeing results. Dedicate two weeks to eating well and exercising regularly. See if your weight has gone down, if your mood improves, or if you're sleeping better. Perhaps that one-mile walk is getting easier and easier. Whatever it is, if you stick with an eating and exercise regimen, you will see results.

Ben Greenfield reviewed this article.



Ben Greenfield, MA. Sports Science and Exercise Physiology, fitness expert, trainer, coach, and world class triathlete, member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association

Hard-Wired to Hate Exercise?
The Wall Street Journal

National Academy of Science. September 20, 2011. Vol 108. No. 38 Authors: O'Neill, Maarbjerg, Crane, Jeppesen et al.
Visual color perception in green exercise: positive effects on mood and perceived exertion.
School of Biological Sciences, University of Essex