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Exercise: your mindset matters

Ever wonder why some people seem to love exercise while other people appear to detest it? Whatever camp you fall in has a lot to do with your mindset. Mindset can be described as "a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations." There are many factors that can determine your mindset, including:

- Childhood experiences (parental role-modeling)

- Physical abilities

- Self-confidence

- Habit

- Motivation

- Cultural norms

- Age

- Body image

- Genetics

- Unconscious beliefs about exercise

- Being overweight (Many studies have shown that overweight or obese people tend to have negative thoughts and feelings about exercise, which may be both a cause and result of their weight gain)

- Self-efficacy (Researchers have found that people who perceive that they had control of their lives were more likely to exercise)

You likely have a negative mindset if you are physically able to exercise but do not do so because you think that exercise is too difficult, embarrassing, painful, exhausting, or time-consuming. However, if you have a pro-activity mindset, you are more likely to think that exercise is fun, relieves stress, keeps you healthy, and helps you stay sociable.

If you do have a negative attitude, how can you change it to positive? It's not impossible. Try different activities and stick with the one you like best. For example, if you like walking, start off slow than work up to brisk walking.

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