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Fitness: It’s Not Just How Much You Exercise but How You Compare to Your Friends

The BBC examined a recent Stanford study and found that mindset plays a huge role in the success of your health plan. The study examined 61,000 adults for over two decades. Dozens of metrics were used to measure exercise and how participants thought they compared to others in their same age cohort. 

What the researchers found was that people who thought they were not exercising as much as their peers died younger than those who felt they exercised more. This occurred even when the actual amount of daily exercise was the same. 

The takeaway from this study is that exercise is extremely important but so is your mindset. The study’s author, Octavia Zahrt, was driven to conduct it because of her personal experience. She was an avid exerciser in London, but suddenly felt unfit when she transferred to sunny California. Her concern was that feeling less fit and active could negatively impact her health. According to the study, the answer is yes. 

One explanation for how mindset can play such a huge role is stress. The solution is to adopt energy psychology techniques, such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques. These can be very effective for reducing anxiety by correcting the bioelectrical short-circuiting that causes your body's reactions—without adverse effects.

I believe that exercise is a powerful tool that greatly influences your ability to be fully healthy. Combine it with the other pillars of health — proper nutrition, sufficient high-quality sleep, stress management and holistic living — and you've got the perfect formula to help you move up the ladder to good health.

Many people think that exercise is all about shedding excess pounds and getting toned abs and glutes. But these are actually just a fraction of what exercise does. Being physically active, even when initiated later in life, can provide you with profound health benefits.
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