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Were You Born To Run — Or Not? — Dave’s Diary

I used to be an athlete.  When I was younger I played basketball all the time.  Heck, I even played in college. Glory days, right?  But 25-plus years and half that many injuries later I am a couch potato. Worse yet I am an informed couch potato. 

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I KNOW what I’m doing is unhealthy, but I am struggling to get back to an active lifestyle.  So naturally I’m always on the lookout for the latest motivation — or excuse! Consider the latest from the New York Times.

If you can’t manage to get yourself off the couch and onto the treadmill, it may be because you were born without the will to work out.  A study of lab rats found that the motivation to exercise, or not, may be at least partly inherited.   The University of Missouri experiment found that the brains of pups born to the running line are innately primed to find running rewarding; all those mature neurons in the reward center of the brain could be expected to fire robustly in response to exercise. Conversely, the rats from the reluctant-running line, with their skimpier complement of mature neurons, would presumably have a weaker innate motivation to move. (NYT)

I hate to reduce myself to the level of lab rats — especially a neuron-challenged lab rat. So the search for motivation rolls on — slowly.

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