For decades, the benefit of routine exercise has been touted far and wide: it will help you to lose weight, keep heart disease, cancer, and diabetes at bay, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and protect your bones. You would think this would be enough to have us leaping from the sofa to lace up and go for that 2 mile walk. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us have been resistant to becoming, and remaining, physically active.
Now, research by psychologists strongly suggest it’s time to stop using the status of our health, weight loss, and disease prevention as motivation for exercise and focus on the strategy marketers use to sell products: portray exercise and physical activity as a way to bring about immediate happiness and well-being.
Studies suggest we may be more sold on exercise when is not offered up as a rigid medical prescription for health or punishment for bad numbers on the scale, but as a highly effective stress reducer that can easilty fit into our hectic lifestyle. Imagine 30 minutes of daily devotion to stress reduction, mood improvement and enhanced production of feel-good neurotransmitters. Seeking out activty for the immediate rewards will help sustain our desire and commitment to keep moving. Health benefits? That’s just a nice side effect!