If you live in Australia you’d be no stranger to the fact that the weather is less than desirable at the moment. Not only does that mean as Aussies we go totally over the top with scarves, beanies and gloves, but it also means that our motivation to get out and about to exercise is at an all time low.
In fact, several recent studies have confirmed that as many as 95% of people don’t meet the amount of exercise the government recommends. While some of these researchers suggest that some exercise is better than nothing, others are looking at what motivates people who exercise regularly, and it’s not just to look good.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver had 104 people fill out questionnaires about their health and levels of optimism and purpose, then got them to wear accelerometers to calculate their physical activity over a 3-day period.
The report, which is published in the Journal of Health Psychology, found that people who reported having a stronger sense of purpose in their life were more physically active. “Reminding yourself what gives your life meaning and purpose, and connecting that to why you want to be physically active, could improve the chances that you stick with it,” one of the study’s authors Stephanie A. Hooker told TIME.