Why Is It Hard To Get To The Gym? We Are Wired For Energy Conservation

31 Oct

Zachary Hveem

Surprise, the average American is no longer physically fit. An alarming  70% of the population is overweight. There are no positive trends in lifestyle management that suggests Americans are going to get healthier anytime soon. In fact, signs suggest quite the opposite. Poor diet and stationary work are slowly transforming Americans into an medical disaster.

Medical professionals continue to urge how important physical exercise is for the body. Study after study confirms this. Basic intuitive knowledge confirms this. Why then are Americans becoming less active? “If getting to the gym seems like a challenge, the struggle is real and it’s happening inside your brain,” states a Matthieu Boisgontier at University of British Columbia.

New research suggests that our brain is innately attracted to sedentary behaviors. A similar study by International Journal in Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience (Neuropsycholgia) found that our brains simply may be wired to prefer lying on the couch. 

Energy conservation has played a crucial role for all organisms throughout all of history. If energy is to be spent, it is seen as a major investment where returns are tangible and expected. If there is no direct need for an organism to expend energy, the smart thing to do has been to conserve it for a time when it is necessary. Boisgontier concludes, ’“The failure of public policies to counteract the pandemic of physical inactivity may be due to brain processes that have been developed and reinforced across evolution.” The average American life in the 21st century does not demand physical activity to survive or even thrive in modern day society. However, this does not mean that biology is so quick to agree with this new lifestyle. Americans long term health continues to decline in correlates with poor weight management and lack of physical movement day-to-day and year-to-year. 

Americans, as do all living things, need an incentive to drive activity. The American culture of today does not provide these incentives near to the degree of eras prior. If Americans are to become physically fit again, it will like revolve around the emergence of real, tangible incentives that drive physical productivity.

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