This is a fascinating study about rats who were genetic couch potatoes – they started out with having fewer neurons in the pleasure-reward areas of their brains and were not genetically inclined to feel the rewarding benefits of exercise.

But through forcing the rats to do daily disciplined doses of exercise, researchers were able to increase the ‘pleasure’ neurons in these rats’ brains.

Wow. The implications here are fascinating – does this mean that, by creating a disciplined, sustained practice of pleasurable activities, we can change our brain chemistry, and therefore increase our capacity for pleasure, bit by bit?

I believe so.

Are You Programmed to Enjoy Exercise?

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