The struggle is real for all of us. Everyone has had that thought run through their head, should I go to the gym today?
We all know that exercise is good for us and our body wants to move, but what is slowing us down? The brain, that thing that controls the human body.
“Conserving energy has been essential for humans’ survival, as it allowed us to be more efficient in searching for food and shelter, competing for sexual partners, and avoiding predators,” said Boisgontier, a postdoctoral researcher in UBC’s brain behavior lab at the department of physical therapy, and senior author of the study. “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 research used participants who controlled a avatar in a computer game. They were instructed to move the avatar towards images/depictions of activity vs inactivity. The participants were also monitored for brain activity during the game.
The results were everyone moved towards the activity image compared to the inactivity; but the brain had to “work” harder to move towards the activity image. This suggests the body and brain know that activity is good and should be done, but the brain feels like it has to work harder to get there; thus we may self-convince our self that today is not the day to workout.