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How exercise recommendations might actually work against us

How recommendations affect our behavior

Experiments conducted in America showed that low and liberal guidelines (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) led people to adopt a more positive mindset. These positive mindsets led to higher self-efficacy measures. And those with high self-efficacy were more likely to be active the week after viewing the guidelines.

These discoveries raise an important question: How useful are demanding, strict guidelines if they don’t inspire the desired outcome?

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How exercise recommendations might actually work against us

How exercise recommendations might actually work against us

https://www.fastcompany.com/90500811/how-exercise-recommendations-might-actually-work-against-us

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

Information vs action

Most of us actually know that exercise is important, but this is not enough to motivate us.

The idea that we only need to educate people and give them the right information and then they will behave better or change their lifestyles is not true.

How mindsets affect us

No matter how active we really are, we can hold the mindset that our physical activity level is adequate and healthy, or inadequate and unhealthy, and these mindsets may have real consequences for our well-being.

Improving public health messaging

Public health officials should collaborate more with psychologists and modify their exercise messaging.

Improving public health messaging could help people see all the ways in which they’re already getting physical activity in their everyday lives: walking, talking the dog out, or cleaning the house, for example.

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Staying physically active

... can reduce your chances of coronary heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. 

It can also give you more energy, help you handle stress, and activate your mind for productive tasks – all important skills to succeed in your professional career.

Implement a Workout Session

Implement a workout session in your organization, such as a free cycling session every month or a discount to a yoga class.

It’s even better if you can make this physical activity a communal effort to motivate everyone to take part in strengthening their health. Workout sessions will release these happy chemicals and create a stronger bond among coworkers and make the everyday work atmosphere fun and exciting.

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Exercise Defined

Exercise is a  movement of the body to enhance physical fitness. 

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Decrease in Human Strength

Historic evidence suggests that for many thousands of years, human beings were more active and stronger than today. 

The early humans had increased movement and activity, like going for long and tiring hunts, walking long distances that took weeks, making the prehistoric humans fitter than the best athletes today.

Technology as the Culprit

Technological breakthroughs have reduced our activity to a great extent ( vacuum cleaners, washer-dryers, self-cleaning ovens, and even cars).

The rise of the internet gave us a whole lot of technology, curbing our need to move even more.

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Improve your diet and start moving
  • Wholefoods such as leafy green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, lean red meat, and seafood, provide nutrients that are important for optimal brain function. 
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Reduce your vices

People with alcohol and drug problems have a greater likelihood than average of having a mental illness and have far poorer health outcomes.

Stopping smoking is an important step, as nicotine-addicted people are constantly at the mercy of a withdrawal-craving cycle, which profoundly affects mood. 

Prioritize rest and sleep

Sleep hygiene techniques aim to improve sleep quality and help treat insomnia. 

They include: adjusting caffeine use, limiting exposure to the bed (regulating your sleep time and having a limited time to sleep),  limiting exposure to the blue light from smartphones, and making sure you get up at a similar time in the morning.

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