Feeling Good About Fitness

Few would argue that exercise promotes a good feeling in its practitioners. Their mood improves, they have more physical energy and mental sharpness, plus they're generally upbeat about the whole idea of doing something good for their body. But does feeling good translate into more exercise?

Research published in the December issue of the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology investigated the influence of morning mood on exercise, the duration and intensity of exercise on mood enhancement, and daily mood on exercise vs. rest days. The subjects, who were in an obese weight loss program, were more likely to exercise longer and harder when they were in a good mood. Also, overall mood improvement was associated with the intensity and duration of exercise.

The Bigger Picture: Those of you who are committed to regular gym visits will not be surprised to learn that previous studies have very well documented the positive effect that exercise has on mood. Now it appears that being in a good mood makes people want to exercise. From this finding, it isn't too much of a leap to assume that, the more you exercise, the easier it becomes to stick with your fitness program.
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