For 38% of respondents, the answer was lack of motivation, while 35% said they felt “too tired”. Significantly more women – 40% – reported exhaustion as the reason, compared to 29% of men. The divide was also marked between age groups. Nearly 50% of young people (25-34) said burnout was a factor, while 23% of those 55+ cited the reason. (Respondents could select more than one option.)
Lack of time, high gym fees and food prices were other reasons people were dissuaded from being or eating healthier, according to the survey.
How exercise leads to sharper thinking and a healthier brain
“People have hectic schedules, and we know that for many the last thing they might want to do when they’re tired or lacking motivation is to start cooking from scratch or start cooking from scratch. ‘Go to the gym,’ Matt Lambert, information and health promotion cancer fund manager, said in an email. However, he added, taking small, achievable steps can help without the pressure of overhauling your life.
Movement can increase energy levels through physiological changes, such as increased oxygen circulation and the production of more mitochondria. “Mitochondria are known as the powerhouses of cells because they create fuel from the glucose in the food you eat and the oxygen in the air you breathe. Having more of them increases the energy supply of your body,” noted researchers at Harvard Health.
According to researchers, a regular exercise regimen can also improve or promote sleep.
“We have strong evidence that exercise actually helps you fall asleep faster and improves sleep quality,” wrote Charlene Gamaldo, professor of neurology at the Johns Hopkins Center for Sleep at Howard County General Hospital. .
A better diet can also help. Fruits, vegetables, and legumes are especially good for promoting a healthy gut microbiota, which can improve sleep. A healthy gut can also impact motivation, according to some studies.
How exercise can help you build resilience at any age
Although the benefits of a healthy diet and regular physical activity are clear, for many the struggle remains real. A third of American adults don’t get enough sleep. The pandemic has disrupted routines and increased stress.
The internet is full of tips and tricks for sleeping well and finding the motivation to exercise, so why does it seem so daunting?
An expert has speculated that it’s not just a sign of weakness. In a 2015 article, Daniel Lieberman, a professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard, wrote that it’s “natural and normal” to be physically lazy.
Our ancestors, wrote Lieberman, sought to conserve energy given the struggle they had to endure to survive, which explains our predisposition to rest. Other experts have offered different reasons for low motivation, including negative childhood physical activity experiences.
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