This Harvard professor explains why we were born to resist working out

October 1, 2016

Imagine you’ve set your alarm to go for an early-morning run before work. But when it goes off at 6, the embrace of your warm, cozy bed is too enticing and you never make it out the door. Or perhaps you’ve packed exercise clothes with plans to hit a spin class after work. But then the allure of happy hour, or even your couch, persuades you to skip it. 

 

Even those with the best of intentions often struggle to motivate themselves to workout. There’s almost always a powerful temptation to do something, or anything, else.

 

This can feel like a personal failing, as though the decision not to exercise was a sign of weak character, or at least willpower.

 

But you can stop berating yourself now. You may just be giving in to humans’ evolutionary instinct to be lazy.

 

At least that’s the theory of one Harvard professor who believes our ancestors exerted so much energy hunting and gathering that they sought rest whenever they could. We are predisposed to want to conserve energy.

 

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