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Exercise: The Ultimate Habit?

April 20, 2014 by Carl Nelson

We all know that exercise is a wonderful habit to have. It builds muscle, reduces fat, increases energy levels, increases confidence, promotes better sleep, etc., etc. These are benefits that everyone is aware of. But, exercise helps with so much more than that.
In his book "The Power of Habit", Charles Duhigg talks about keystone habits. A keystone habit is a habit that people introduce into their routines that unintentioanlly carry over into other aspects of their lives. In other words, they can be a small change that have a ripple effect into other parts of life creating a larger, unexpected change. Exercise is one of the well-documented keystone habits which Duhigg describes as:
"When people start habitually exercising, even as infrequently as once a week, they start changing other, unrelated patterns in their lives, often unknowingly. Typically, people who exercise start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed." 
Researchers have conclusive evidence that exercise spills over and makes other good habits easier. I can personally say that lifting weights consistently over the past 14 years has had a tremendous impact on my life well beyond my physical abilities. The biggest changes I've noticed is increased productivity, more confidence, and less stress. So, if you haven't been exercising as much as you probably should, I hope that this post will provide some incentive to get out there and do it.
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