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Exercise Is Harder for Inactive People

Have you ever heard the expression, 'If you want something done, give it to a busy person'?

In other words, it seems that those that do more, can do more.

It makes me think back to when I was in university. It seemed like the busier I was with the academics, the better my GPA. But when I took a lighter class load I didn't do as well.

Looking back this makes sense. 

When we're invested in  something, we do better. But when we dabble or aren't fully committed, the results aren't great.

A new study helps to explain why this may be.

What this study did was look at how less exercise led to the reduction in a particular protein, Piezo1. 

With further inactivity, this made exercise even more difficult. 

Previously, explanations for a less active population would include injury and living in a computer age. 

Maybe a painful joint prevented movement? And the convenience of being able order everything online means never having to leave the house.

But it now it appears that Piezo1 may be related to our ability to exercise.

What the researchers did was have two groups of mice; one group was the control and the other had a disrupted Piezo1 protein. 

The researchers then monitored the exercise levels of the mice for 10 weeks. Exercise included running, walking and wheel activity. 

The mice with the disrupted Piezo1 protein had a reduction in their activity levels. But this wasn't attributed to less interest in exercise because all mice exercised. It was only that mice with the disrupted protein did less wheel running, walking and regular running at a lower speed.

It appears that a disruption of this protein decreases the ability to exercise.

And while the study involved mice, the Piezo1 protein is found in humans as well, and would be logical that a similar outcome may be observed with people.

So it makes sense that those that are in the habit of exercising may be find it easier to continue to do so. And for those that are inactive it is reasonable why it may be harder to find the motivation and accountability to get started and maintain an active lifestyle. 

Bartoli, F., Debant, M., Chuntharpursat-Bon, E., Evans, E. L., Musialowski, K. E., Parsonage, G., & Beech, D. J. (2022). Endothelial Piezo1 sustains muscle capillary density and contributes to physical activity. The Journal of clinical investigation.

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Friday, 01 December 2023