Yoda might not have been a Superhero in the most conventional sense, but he was one of the most powerful Jedi in the Star Wars universe. One of the little green guy’s most memorable quotes? “Do or do not. There is no try.” While this was inspiring advice to Luke Skywalker as he prepared to take on the Imperial Forces, it also applies to many things in life — including taking control of your physical health.
If you have been struggling with how to get motivated to work out, read on for a roundup of reasons why thinking positive may make all the difference.
1. You will enjoy better heart health.
According to scientists at Johns Hopkins, maintaining a positive outlook can have serious heart health benefits. Specifically, research reveals that “people with a family history of heart disease who also had a positive outlook were one-third less likely to have a heart attack or other cardiovascular event within five to 25 years than those with a more negative outlook.”
(Swimming is another effective way to enhance cardiovascular strength. Sign up for an aquatic session to see for yourself.)
2. You may extend your lifespan.
People who think positively — and more specifically, people who think of themselves as healthy — are less likely to suffer premature deaths than those who think of themselves as less healthy, according to research from Stanford University as reported by The Independent. Said co-author Dr. Alia Crum, “Our findings fall in line with a growing body of research suggesting that our mindsets – in this case, beliefs about how much exercise we are getting relative to others – can play a crucial role in our health.”
The takeaway? Having positive feelings may be as important as actually working out. Continued Crum, “So much effort, notably in public health campaigns, is geared toward motivating people to change their behavior: eat healthier, exercise more and stress less. But an important variable is being left out of the equation: people’s mindsets about those healthy behaviors. It’s time that we start taking the role of mindsets in health more seriously.”
3. You are less likely to catch a cold.
What does a positive attitude have to do with keeping the common cold at bay? As it turns out, a lot. According to research published in Psychosomatic Medicine and reported by WebMD, people who are energetic, happy, and relaxed are less likely to catch colds than their negative counterparts. They are also less likely to complain about cold-related symptoms. So not only will you avoid the dreaded sniffles this season, but you will also feel better even if sickness strikes.
4. You will cope with stress better.
Reports ABC News, “It is very clear from research that’s emerging that in general, a positive mental attitude is, in fact, a huge protector against feeling unhappy when one is stressed out; but may also protect people from the physical damages that occur in the body as a result of stress. And this is probably because what a positive attitude does is it allows us to perceive stressful situations in ways that seem less threatening or less dangerous. And when that happens, our brain doesn’t tell our body to activate all these stress and inflammatory pathways that damage health.”
In other words, by minimizing stress and maximizing our ability to cope with stress, positive thinking beneficially impacts both mind and body.
The benefits of positive thinking do not end there. The Mayo Clinic also cites lower rates of distress and depression to increased focus and motivation as reasons to prioritize positive thinking. The best part? Exercise and positive thinking go hand in hand. Just as when you think positively you are more likely to exercise, when you exercise, you are more likely to think positively. So why wait to start working out and feeling better (and feeling better and working out)?
Sign up for a trial pass at Brick Bodies today.