If you have made a home for yourself on your sofa and the mere prospect of exercise drains you of energy, it could be laziness OR it could be that you are missing some key genes!
Researchers made this discovery by removing two genes from the muscles of mice which are essential to exercise. The genes that were removed control the protein AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme that is switched on during exercise. Mice love to run, but those with the removed genes were very limited in the activity they did, if doing any at all!
A lack in muscle AMPK genes means that there is lack of motivation and/or ability to participate in exercise. If you don’t exercise, the number of mitochondria available for energy production decreases and an impaired ability for muscles to take up glucose during physical activity emerges. This cycle further re-enforces the negative feelings towards exercise and lethargy when trying to be physically active.
Steinberg G, Couch Potatoes Explained? Missing Key Genes may be Cause for Lack of Resolve to Exercise, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2011.