Keeping your eyes on the prize can help with exercise, study finds

October 1, 2014
Science Daily/New York University
The adage that encourages people to keep their 'eyes on the prize' may be on target when it comes to exercise. When walking, staying focused on a specific target ahead can make the distance to it appear shorter and help people walk there faster, psychology researchers have found.

Those in the narrowed attention group perceived the cones to be 28 percent closer than did those in the natural condition group. In addition, those in the narrowed attention group walked 23 percent faster than did those in the natural attention group. Finally, those in the narrowed attention group reported that the walk required less physical exertion than did those in the natural condition group -- a finding that may serve as an incentive to exercise.

"Physical activity is an important component of a healthy lifestyle," Cole remarks. "Interventions that train people to keep their 'eyes on the prize' may play an important role in health and fitness. When goals appear within reach, and when people move faster and experience exercise as easier, they may be especially motivated to continue exercising.

"Given the alarming obesity epidemic in America, strategies that encourage or improve exercise may be particularly important for aiding the nationwide effort to combat obesity and promote healthier living."
Science Daily/SOURCE :http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141001090324.htm

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