Sense of Purpose Makes You More Likely to Exercise

What drives you to exercise? Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver had 104 people fill out questionnaires about their health and levels of optimism and purpose. They then monitored the physical activity of these participants over a three-day period. Lead study author Stephanie Hooker explains the results, saying, “We believe that having a strong sense of purpose in life gives people reasons or the ‘whys’ of engaging in healthy behaviors…connecting physical activity to one’s innermost values and goals may increase the likelihood that people engage in these behaviors on a regular basis.” Hooker says that sense of purpose can be cultivated through things like reflective journaling, values strengthening exercises, and long-term goal setting. Though the study was small, researchers argue that purpose should be examined as a target for increasing physical activity. (Time