The results of a new study show that if you feel as though you have a purpose in life, it can have a direct impact on your workout performance. Whether you're taking your daily brisk walk in the morning, trying to lose some weight or simply love that endorphin rush after exercising, you usually have a reason for completing your workout.
Previous research now shows that if you remind yourself of that goal, it will have a considerable impact on your motivation. This will help you to keep up the workouts and to perform better as you complete them.
That said, this more recent study has shown that if you have an even greater sense of purpose, not just a goal for the specific workout, it will help your workout performance even more. Having a broader feeling of knowing the reason you're alive can impact many of your goals in life, including those when you hit the gym.
The research was conducted at the University of Colorado, Denver. There, the researchers looked into the concept of having a sense of purpose in your life, regardless of whether that was a sense of pursuing success, your spirituality, or simply having a passion in life. They looked at the way this sense of purpose linked to improved physical activity.
Research had previously indicated that there was a link between a feeling of purpose and self-reported physical activity. However, the researchers in this study sought to look at the concept more deeply. They wanted to look into more than what the study participants claimed to have done at the gym.
At the beginning 100 participants filled out questionnaires that helped to determine their overall health as well as to gauge their sense of life purpose and optimism. They were then asked to wear activity trackers for three consecutive days. What the researchers found was that those who had reported higher senses of optimism and purpose were also those who were the most active. Those who reported feeling apathetic or meaningless in their worldview were less active.
This aligns well with the findings of prior research published in the journal of Psychological Science, which suggested that people who have a strong sense of direction, long-term goals and purpose were also more likely to live longer.
For those of us who would like to live longer, healthier lives and enjoy improved workout performance, it makes sense to take a deeper look at our lives and see why we're doing it in the first place.