This article details new research on the power of beliefs. The conclusion is that if you believe you are inactive, even if that belief isn’t true, you are more likely to die than others who believe they are active.
This is important because many of us are actually more active than we give ourselves credit for.
The reason is that “activity” means all life activity – essentially any time you are on your feet or walking around – and not just time spent in formal “exercise.” One of the things I found when I first started wearing a fitness tracker was that I was more active than I thought. Days doing housework, laundry, or shopping were high activity, as well as high steps. Walking around a museum or even entertaining in the garden reflected as active – and very enjoyable – minutes.
As you transition from a lifestyle of dieting it’s important to also address your beliefs and practices for “exercise.” Just as we want to find pleasure in eating, we want to find pleasure in moving our body. Yet, too often we have come to equate movement with exercise that we have to do as a punishment for eating.
Feel free to stop doing any form of exercise that you hate or feel is punishment. Start looking for ways to move that give you pleasure – and get useful things done to boot. Being pleasurably active, and maybe even just believing you are, can add years to your life (and life to your years).