A Moment of Science

Eat, Exercise and Be Merry

Writing down what you are thankful for may give you that extra boost you need to hit the gym.

give_thanks

Photo: Katheryn Harper

Need a boost to get you out of your food coma? Make a list of things you are thankful for!

As we gather around the Thanksgiving spread of plump turkeys, sweet pumpkin pies and steaming apple cider, it’s not difficult to evoke feelings of gratitude.

But could this same sentiment be the thing that gets you on the treadmill this holiday season?

The Grateful Vs. The Grouchy

A study found that people who kept a weekly ‘gratitude journal’ on average exercised an hour and a half more per week than those who did not.

For 10 weeks, participants kept a journal which they wrote in once a week. One group listed 5 things that they were thankful for, while the other group jotted down their bothers and annoyances.

Why the difference in activity level?

From Emotion To Motion

Some psychologists have speculated that those who are grateful for their health, may be more motivated to keep their bodies in motion.

Another reason could be that those who kept the gratitude journal also described feelings more enthusiastically and determined, which could affect their motivation to exercise.

So this season, eat, exercise and be merry. Your body will thank you!

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Molly Plunkett

is a journalism student at Indiana University and an online producer for A Moment of Science. She is originally from Wheaton, IL.

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