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Study Says A Strong Life Purpose Helps You Make Healthy Choices

Having trouble meeting your fitness expectations? It’s easy to set a goal. On the other hand, following through and capitalizing on your goals can be tricky.

We might just have the answer to why it’s hard for some of you to stick to a strict fitness routine.

In fact, new research may indicate that achieving your goals starts with your mindset.  Specifically, this means finding a life purpose for yourself.

According to a new study done by the University of Pennsylvania, individuals with a strong sense of life purpose may be better at achieving health-related goals. 1

The study, which involved 202 participants, set out to see whether or not it would take less effort to make health related decisions for those individuals with a strong sense of life purpose. Of these 202 test subjects, all were either overweight or obese.

To test this theory, participants were given a survey and we’re asked if they agreed or disagreed with statements like “I have a sense of direction and purpose in my life” or “I don’t have a good sense of what it is I’m trying to accomplish in life.”

Next, MRI scanners recorded brain activity when participants were shown images depicting physical activity. The MRI scanners indicated whether or not these individuals felt conflicted when exposed to physical activity.

Sure enough, those participants that reported having a solid sense of life purpose and direction were less likely to feel conflicted about ideas of physical activity.


Take Home Message

You know that age-old question “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”. As hard as it is to reply sometimes, finding that answer could help you in the long run.

If you’re not achieving your fitness goals, dig within. Find out what it is you love, what it is that gets you out of bed in the morning and find your life purpose and direction.

According to recent studies, this may help aid your fitness journey.

Our advice: Find your calling and work towards it every day.

  1. Yoona Kang, Victor J. Strecher, Eric Kim, Emily B. Falk. Purpose in life and conflict-related neural responses during health decision-making.. Health Psychology, 2019; DOI: 1037/hea0000729

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Ian Roden

Ian Roden

Writer and expert

A Fordham University graduate, Ian majored in communications and media studies with a focus in journalism and a minor in anthropology during his time at college. Here, he wrote for the university newspaper ranked top ten in the nation.

A competitive athlete for most of his life, Ian has spent almost a decade working as an ocean rescue lifeguard in New Jersey. Within that role, he has competed in endurance sports competitions against other lifeguards for the last 8 years.

As a lifelong surfer, Ian spends most of his spare time in the ocean regardless of the time of year. He also enjoys distance running, photography, and frequently spending entirely too much money on concert tickets.

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