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Mind & Mood
Exercise can add to your sense of purpose — and vice versa
- By Matthew Solan, Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch
In the journals
It’s well established that regular exercise can improve one’s mental outlook. A new study found the connection also works in the other direction: a sense of purpose makes it more likely you’ll stay physically active.
Researchers used information from the Health and Retirement Study, an ongoing project involving about 18,000 middle-aged and older adults. As part of the study, participants were asked questions designed to evaluate their sense of purpose in life and how much physical activity they regularly engaged in. The authors defined a sense of purpose as "having goals and aims that give life direction and meaning."
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