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How often have you planned to go to the gym only to have your plans foiled by having to work late or encountering an unanticipated barrier?
Being able to think flexibly in these moments may be the key to maintaining a high level of physical activity.
In a recent study that had people logging their physical activity into a diary for 14 days, two researchers at Kent State University, Drs. Scout Kelly and John Updegraff, found that being able to think flexibly in these moments may be the key to maintaining a high level of physical activity.
In particular, they found that people who were generally efficient at task-switching (the ability to shift back and forth between mental tasks) were also really good at finding alternate forms of physical exercise, even when their initial plans fell through. So for instance, maybe someone missed their yoga class but took a quick walk around the block in a spare moment instead.
Among these individuals with a high degree of task-switching flexibility, perhaps there was a healthy recognition that life is unpredictable, but even when things don’t go as planned, opportunities to fulfill our goals still exist as long as we are flexible enough to see them.
So, if you want to exercise more (or want to commit to any action) but are stifled by unanticipated barriers, look for the opportunity in the barriers. And next time your plans are thrown off track or you’re stuck at home, know that there are exercises that you can do without even leaving your bed!
Please share how thinking flexibly helped you burn some calories this week and your tips and stories in the Comments box below.
Introduction To Thinking Flexibly
According to Dr. Viktor Frankl, psychiatrist and author of Man’s Search for Meaning, “When we are no longer able to change a situation…we are challenged to change ourselves.” Frankl seems to suggests that finding meaning in life often involves learning to think flexibly and see the world and ourselves in new and different ways. Watch video for more…