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New Study Proves This One Thing Could Have A Huge Impact On Your Self-Control

October 10, 2017

Ever feel like health news is too overwhelming, fast-paced, or hard to decipher? Us too. Here, we filter through the latest in integrative health, wellness trends, and nutrition advice, reporting on the most exciting and meaningful breakthroughs. We’ll tell you exactly what you need to know—and how it might help you become a healthier and happier human.

If you've ever given in to a not-so-wise shoe purchase while on spending fast or taken a bite out of a delicious baguette while trying to test your gluten sensitivity, you've probably wondered if there's a magic pill for increasing self-control. The answer is no, but research indicates that exercise could help.

For a recent study published in the journal Behavior Modification, researchers decided to take a closer look at what they had long suspected: that mastering something difficult, such as a strenuous workout routine, could lead to feelings of greater control in other areas of people's lives. For the first part of the study, researchers had a very small sample size (just four people) take on a two-month walking and jogging regimen that they considered difficult. By the study's end, three out of four participants had developed greater self-control.

Wanting a larger sample size, researchers decided to conduct a similar experiment on 12 women of different ages, fitness levels, and weights. Again, they found that the more exercise sessions these women attended, the greater their self-control. And these feelings of self-control didn't just end with the exercise regimen: The self-control continued for a month after the experiment ended, even after they stopped exercising as much.

While this study is a small one, the results aren't that surprising. Other recent research has found that running with a group makes it easier to quit smoking thanks to a combination of peer support, endorphin, reduced stress, and triumphant feelings of mastering something difficult.

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