It seems, some people keep on their good intentions with ease. They frequently do sports, do not immerse in indulgence and pay more attention to their general health conditions. What is their secret and why do so many people fail to achieve their goals?
Numerous scientific studies highlight: self-control makes the difference. It seems quite easy for a disciplined person to nurture a healthy lifestyle, compared to his hedonistic colleagues. Did you know that it all goes back to a reinforcing cycle? According to the latest research, healthy lifestyle has the same influence on self-control as self-control on our health.
These mental functions, with which we control our thinking and our actions, are responsible for our determination, attention and focus.
Executive functions and healthy lifestyle – a virtuous circle
Scientists from University of Aberdeen, Stirling and Dublin recently conducted a study on the “Relationship between Executive Functions and Health Behaviour”. The researchers examined data from 4,555 adults and found a reinforcing cycle, which can cause changes in both directions.
Thus, people with weak executive functions on average show less health-enhancing behaviours, like physical exercises. At the same time, physically active adults have shown particularly higher executive functions.
This cycle also works in the opposite direction. For example, smoking or increased consumption of alcohol inevitably leads to a decrease of executive functions over time. This, in turn, means that people who choose consciously for adequate sleep, regular sports and healthy diet do not only good for their body but also for their mind.
Every change starts with a first step: Strengthen your executive functions
Where is the simplest first step into this virtuous circle? How do you integrate this healthy behaviour into your life?
Studies show, self-control is similar to a muscle, with its distinctive performance. Similar to a tired muscle, a person whose self-control is exhausted will have a hard time to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Thanks to scientific brain training, you can train your distinctive performance and strengthen your self-control. Just like a muscle.
If you do not know where to start, we prepared the easiest first step towards a healthy life for you. NeuroNation’s scientifically developed courses provide personalized training to help you achieve your goals.
 Julia L. Allan, David McMinn, Michael Daly. A Bidirectional Relationship between Executive Function and Health Behavior: Evidence, Implications, and Future Directions. Frontiers in Neuroscience, 2016.