Get your Lazy Butt Off the Couch! Or is Biology Your Excuse?

Laziness, procrastination and sloth are deadly sins. No, that’s not right…Let me start again. All of us have been lazy at some point, because of the weather, work or even just because you can’t be bothered. There’s a little bit more to this situation though. If you’ve run out of excuses as to why you’ve spent 9 hours watching Game of Thrones splayed out on the couch, it might actually be your parents fault (or even your grandparents).

Reward and Punishment, or Punishment that’s a reward

So I’m sure you’ve come across the exercise crack-head, you know the types, their all veiny, sinuous and inexhaustibly praising the merits of exercise. The one sure-fire way to distinguish them though is their insistence that you too should work-out and that it’ll make you feel great. I hate to break it to you lard-butt, but they’re right. See the brain is like an adult bribing a child with candy, you do something good for your body and the brain will give you a lollipop, a lollipop made of a feel-good hormone. It’s called the brain’s reward system and the hormone dopamine (the lollipop) can be triggered by food (YEA!), sex (DOUBLE YEA!!!) or exercise (NOOO! Hsssss get it away! It burns! It burns!!!).

You can get Addicted to Feeling Good

Yes, the brain produces something that you can get addicted too. So not only is your feeble frail body against you, your brain is trying to get you addicted to its feel good drug. That’s why there are people addicted to both food and sex. Some are addicted to the combination of the both even….but I’ll leave it at that. And that’s why you can even get addicted to exercise. There’s a little bit more to this whole lazy thing though.

The Sports Gene

Scientist separated mice into two groups, the ones they noticed readily exercise on their running wheels, and the ones that sit on their saw-dust couch and ate Cheetos while watching ’The Real Housewives of Tom and Jerry’. The scientist noticed that the Schwarzen-mice (the ones that ran) had offspring that exercised 75% more often than their lazy counterparts (ok, ok after 10 generations). The predisposition to exercise was actually genetic. Something else the scientists noticed was that the Usain Bolt mice’s brains (the running mice) had larger dopamine areas, meaning they needed more dopamine. When they didn’t work out, their brains reacted the same way a drug addicted mouse’s brain did when they didn’t get drugs. These mice were addicted to running and showed signs of running withdrawal.

Laziness is inherited

Yup, or more specifically the mutation of the activity gene that makes us inactive. So ultimately it’s your parent’s fault again. Freud would be so happy right now.      

Are you addicted to exercise? Let us know how that feel while I sit here for a moment, all this writing’s got me tired.