Results from a new study prove that having positive thoughts about working out may give you the push you need. The study, published in the journal Health Psychology, suggests that the way you think about your workouts can affect your overall health and well being. So if I think skinny, I’ll get skinny? Not exactly.
The study looked at more that 60,000 adults over a 16-year period. They examined their level of physical activity and also examined how they thought about their health and their attitude towards working out. What they found was amazing and also surprising.
The results showed that thinking positively about where you are in your fitness journey was just as important as taking care of your body physically. Having a healthy mind will lead to a healthy life. We’ve heard the whole idea of “mind/body," but this study takes it to a whole new level.
The study found that those who compared their progress to others and judged themselves because of it were 71 percent more likely to die sooner than the people they compared themselves to. Even when their fitness levels were exactly the same, if the subjects thought they were less healthy than those who did “more” than them, their health suffered.
Personal trainer and basketball coach Carmine Rotolo also believes that comparing yourself to others can be very dangerous.
“The research [on the benefits of a positive attitude within fitness], I must say, is spot-on [Maintaining a positive attitude] is a challenge that I believe all humans face in whatever field they're in.”
So, do you find yourself looking around at the gym and comparing yourself to others? Do you get down on yourself when a friend had time to take a spin class and you didn’t? Don’t freak out. You aren’t going to die overnight because of some negative thoughts.
It’s time to shift your thinking. Reward yourself when you do have time to fit fitness into your life. Give yourself some credit for all the things that you do for your health everyday. You are doing more than you think you are.
The researchers stress that a majority of the people they studied underestimated how active they really were. You may be getting in more activities in an average day then you are even aware of. Some of your daily activities that seem like only errands could count as daily exercise.
Activities like walking your dog, shopping, cleaning and cooking can burn more calories than you think. So that, plus the 10-minute ab circuit that you fit in is more exercise than you think. Then if you are careful about what you eat, you are maintaining a healthy lifestyle without having to make yourself crazy about hitting the gym every second of every single day.
Chill out and give yourself some credit. Workout when you can and reward yourself for doing it. Stop comparing yourself to others. You are you and not anyone else. If you think positively about your fitness habits, you body will respond positively to your attitude.