Physical Fitness and Personality

There is a strong link between physical fitness and psychological/physical health (source). Physical attractiveness (body but not face) is also correlated to physical fitness to some degree (source). The more unfit you are the higher your resting heart rate and potential cortisol levels. Cortisol is a fight or flight chemical which if over produced inhibits mental functioning and increases the chance of a heart attack. There are numerous other chemicals that your body over or under produces when you have reduced fitness.

Aerobic/cardiovascular exercise increases slow wave sleep (the deepest, most restorative part of sleep), heart rate variability (which correlates to reduced mortality risk), and vo2max (the best current measure of aerobic / cardiovascular fitness), anaerobic exercise does not. Running is one of the best, most convenient cardiovascular exercises. A recent study in the Netherlands found that frequent running reduced mortality by a factor of 3.0 (frequent walking only scored 1.4). It would seem if you were going to choose just anaerobic or aerobic, aerobic is better at improving health / lowering mortality risk. However there seems to be some evidence that doing both is even better (source). Daily exercise is one of the more notable actualizable behavior traits that I've found to correlate to a higher Vital score on the MOTIVES test. The item 'I exercise every day' is associated (significant factor analytic score / correlation) with XOTXVXX on the MOTIVES system (i.e. high offbeat, thinking, and vital scores).

Ultimately, the best system is probably going to be whatever system you will stick to that is yielding some consistent long term results (increased fitness, better mood / energy level). For me, currently, it's calisthenics, two sets to failure of upper and lower abs and pelvic thrusts every day, legs and upper body on alternate days (lunges, squats, hover lunges, standing jumps, calf raises | pushups, dips, dead hangs, pullups) and running every day, and walking / staying active as much as possible the rest of the time. I've been experimenting for many years with real time indicators of when I need to slow down, sit around / rest, to avoid overtraining. Currently, it's persistent soreness in three out of four points in my feet (the four points being left and right footpad and left and right heel) when walking around. If I am at all sick that goes down to two point soreness. I only eat when I'm hungry and at the aforementioned soreness indicators as caloric restriction and intermittent fasting have some good research behind them (source). Improving your health/fitness is all about the long game, i.e. years, not months to achieve notable transformation.

Beyond physical fitness, the following actualizable behavioral items are associated with a higher vitality score (i.e. emotional stability, health, happiness).

I spend my leisure time actively socializing.
I cultivate my enthusiasm.
I see human nature in a positive light.
I motivate myself.
I am always looking for opportunities.
Taking care of myself is very important to me.
I don't spend much time thinking about whether I'm good enough compared to others.
I'm very easy on myself.
Negativity is always wrong.
I've really started committing to myself.
I don't sit around much.
When my life isn't working it's an exciting opportunity to try something else.
I will pursue my interests/passions even if it means ending up a poor failure.
I have a lot of gratitude.
I do a lot in my spare time.
I tell the truth.
I get most of my happiness internally.

In contrast, the next list of behavioral items is associated with a lower vitality score (i.e. emotional instability, poor health, depression)

I obsess about how I look.
I think a lot about how I rank compared to others.
I care a lot about money.
I try to get people to think I'm better than I am.
I tell people what they want to hear.
I give in to immediate gratification.
I give up easily.
I engage in violence/aggression.
I behave eccentrically.
I don't value the laws and customs of society.
I associate with difficult people.
I spend a lot of time alone.
I avoid contact with others.
I say yes to nearly all requests.
I focus on conserving energy.
I spend a lot of time awake laying around.
I don't relax much.

So, it would seem that by engaging in more of the behaviors in the first list, and less in the second, you will yield greater happiness / emotional stability. One of the highest correlating Vital items is "I'm excited for tomorrow". So, consciously curating your life to increase whatever actually makes you consistently more excited for the future seems to be key (which likely requires changing things up a lot as you experiment to see what works best at yielding excitement for tomorrow).

Below is list of all items that show a positive factor score on the MOTIVES Vitality factor...

I love my life. 786
I love life. 738
I look at the bright side of life. 726
I appreciate life. 712
I know how to be happy. 705
I feel secure, comfortable with self. 694
I live life with a sense of joy. 664
I'm proud of who I am. 661
I feel comfortable around people. 653
It is easy for me to communicate in social situations. 650
I am emotionally stable, not easily upset. 646
I appreciate myself. 628
I feel confident about myself. 626
I am excited about the future. 623
I'm excited for tomorrow. 622
I appreciate my life. 618
I find social situations easy. 597
I am relaxed, handle stress well. 596
I feel at ease in a crowd. 594
I know my worth as a human being. 593
I am relaxed, handle stress well. 587
I'm enthusiastic everyday I wake up. 584
I always choose to be optimistic. 567
I appreciate life. 554
I am a bundle of joy. 549
I spend my leisure time actively socializing with a group of people, attending parties, shopping, etc.. 546
I'm enthusiastic. 544
I just can't wait to wake up everyday. 532
I'm excited. 530
I am outgoing, sociable. 530
I motivate myself. 528
I see myself calm, emotionally stable. 524
I am a confident person. 520
I rapidly get involved in the social life of a new workplace. 520
I trust others. 519
I am eternally optimistic. 514
I have so much enthusiasm. 513
I make friends easily. 511
I enjoy social occasions. 503
I'm improving. 503
I talk to a lot of different people at parties. 502
I'm making progress. 501
I look forward to the future. 494
I prefer to work and learn with others. 488
I am fortunate to be alive. 482
I am full of energy. 479
I radiate joy. 478
I'm happy with how much the outside world values me. 473
I have a lot of fun. 472
I like what I do. 471
The secret to happiness in inside of me. 465
I recharge by being around others. 464
I am very social. 456
I love large parties. 454
I am full of energy. 453
The more people I speak to, the better I feel. 444
I smile a lot. 443
I don't want to change how I am. 443
I remain calm in tense situations. 441
I have good relations with my family. 441
I get energy from social interactions. 441
I believe that others have good intentions. 436
Enthusiast would be a good description of me. 434
Energizer would be a good descripton of me. 433
I am strong and active. 432
I trust what people say. 429
I'm important. 428
Most people think I'm a real optimist. 427
I love other people but I love myself more. 425
I think I'm great. 424
I am popular. 417
I enjoy having a wide circle of acquaintances. 417
I don't want to change who I am. 405
I think I'm amazing. 400
I see myself extraverted, enthusiastic. 400
I like my coworkers/classmates/colleagues. 399
I'm not a victim. 392
I'm in a perpetual state of great times. 391
I'm not shy. 389
I feel confident about others. 389
I'm very comfortable having my picture taken. 385
I am outgoing. 383
When with a group of people, I enjoy being directly involved and being at the center of attention. 382
I enjoy social occasions. 382
I do not get upset easily. 378
I identify as pretty. 373
I am extroverted. 369
I'm a family person. 369
I love people. 366
I am dominant, act as a leader. 366
I am always looking for opportunities. 365
I like my country. 361
I am a role model. 360
I'm very easy on myself. 360
I have unlimited social energy. 360
I am always cultivating my enthusiasm for life. 359
I make friends and network extremely well. 357
I like collaborating. 352
I know how to put every minute of my time to good purpose. 351
I prefer to live in an active / bustling place. 349
I know what my style is. 346
I like to be engaged in an active and fast-paced job. 346
Negativity is always wrong. 343
I have never ending energy. 343
I identify as beautiful. 341
I invest in myself. 341
I'm more outgoing than reserved. 341
I handle tasks smoothly. 339
I'm brave. 338
So far I have gotten the important things I want in life. 333
I want to live wherever the most optimistic people are. 330
I'm good at keeping people balanced. 329
I'm a public person. 329
My parents made me feel very special. 329
If I needed a big favor, I have a lot of friends that would come through. 326
I'm a good talker. 322
I prefer to eat with others. 322
I don't sit around much. 321
I feel like I was meant to do what I'm doing now. 321
When my life isn't working it's an exciting opportunity to try something else. 318
I always take intiative. 317
I am a very nice person. 313
I am intrinsically motivated. 313
I'm a morning person. 311
I never worry. 309
I complete tasks successfully. 308
I have a lot of gratitude. 307
I frequently and easily express my feelings and emotions. 307
I was very close to my parents growing up. 306
I do a lot in my spare time. 305
I just love human connection so much. 305
I'm a very lucky person. 304
I tell the truth. 304
I don't envy anyone. 303
I get most of my happiness internally. 301
I like to meet and be with others. 299
I'm a public person. 299
I'm ambitious. 299
I prefer high stimulation environments. 299
I like having my picture taken. 298
I know what I want. 298
I know when I need to rest my body. 295
I keep my promises. 293
I've always been one of the cool kids. 292
I never worry about my looks. 290
I have high self control. 290
I identify as an achiever. 288
I rarely sit around. 287
I talk to a lot of different people at parties. 286
Giving speeches in front of large crowds appeals to me. 285
I prefer to live close to family. 285
I'm good at keeping people level. 285
I operate with an 'Others are OK' belief system. 283
The most important thing to me is family. 282
I take charge. 281
I am strong-willed. 281
I'm always calm. 278
I don't get embarrassed. 278
Having children is very important to me. 278
I love work. 276
I know when I need to exercise my body. 275
I frequently do strength building exercise. 275
Family comes first. 274
I remain as calm as possible in difficult situations. 274
I am physical. 274
I work hard. 271
I do strength training every day. 271
Very few things affect me long term. 270
I carry out my plans. 270
I believe in God. 270
I frequently seek out human interaction. 269
I promote myself. 269
I know where I'll be in ten years. 268
I am a leader. 268
After breakups I tend to be more physically active. 267
I want to have a big family. 266
I like the country I live in. 265
I'm very popular in mainstream society. 260
I take charge. 259
I'm good at diffusing aggression. 259
The core of my identity is being proud of my culture. 256
I excel in what I do. 254
I promote myself. 254
I trust my thoughts entirely. 254
I'm very health and fitness driven. 254
I frequently do endurance building exercise. 254
I appreciate others. 252
I can fit in in any room. 251
I prioritize my happiness in making life choices. 251
I practise conscious enthusiasm. 250
I like to give speeches or talks. 249
I'm a public facing person. 246
I am immune to social shame. 246
I go running every day. 245
Having a family is the most important thing to me. 245
I like to cooperate with others. 244
I have a life plan. 244
I have amazing friends. 244
I like working with others to help them learn and grow. 244
I willingly watch a sports match at least once a week. 243
I have pictures that I'm in, on my walls. 243
I was very close to my parents growing up. 242
I see myself dependable, self-disciplined. 241
I am very consistent. 241
Family is everything. 240
I am good at making things peaceful. 240
I'm a star. 239
I am assertive. 238
I assume the best about people. 238
I identify as a golden boy/girl. 238
I prefer to do things with others rather than on my own. 238
Most of my past and current behavior fits in with conventional social norms. 237
I am destined for greatness. 237
I carefully control my health variables. 237
I love to regulate my emotions. 236
I am good at social chit-chat. 236
I'm proud of my ethnicity. 236
I don't measure my success by public opinion. 236
I have a lot of very close friends. 236
God is great. 235
It's important for me to think about the future generations of my family. 234
I respect police officers. 234
I spend my time in wholesome spaces. 234
I value keeping my country strong. 233
I live in the best country. 230
I'm a prize. 229
I pray at night before I go to bed. 228
I like to teach or train others. 228
I identify as a sexy. 227
I prefer to live near family especially if I have kids. 227
I respect my elders. 227
I am respectful, treat others with respect. 226
The more decisions I have to make the happier I am. 226
I am a high status person. 225
I'm carefree. 225
I'm stronger than average. 225
I want to live where the happiest people are. 225
I enjoy performing in front of an audience. 224
When I want something, I go out and get it without much fear. 224
Laughter is the best medicine. 223
It is important that I think I'm a good person. 223
I am cooperative. 222
I'm a public person. 221
I am business-like. 221
Fitness is very important to me. 221
I hit the looks lottery. 221
I love talking. 221
I don't experience shame. 221
The best use of money is learning experiences. 220
I am very thankful for the service of soldiers, policemen, and firemen. 220
I have a lot of pride in my country. 220
I am reliable, can always be counted on. 218
I try to lead others. 217
I am persistent, work until the task is finished. 216
I focus more on the present than the future or past. 216
I'm very alpha. 215
I like to admire myself. 215
I prefer high intensity exercise. 215
I operate with an 'I am OK' belief system. 214
Religion is a source of meaning in my life. 214
Whatever I'm doing, it's 100 percent. 214
I never feel tired. 214
I've very adaptable. 213
I love weddings. 212
I'm inspired by successful people. 211
I am the life of the party. 211
I dominate social situations. 210
Religion is important. 209
My motto is always maintain calm. 209
I have good control over my desires and temptations. 209
I exercise religiously. 207
I take my citizenship very seriously. 207
No weakness or difficulty can hold us back if we have enough will power. 206
I find myself drawn more strongly to people than to things. 206
Having kids is everything. 206
I get chores done right away. 205
I want to lead others. 204
I charm people. 204
I follow a daily health system. 203
I have a need to contribute happiness to the world. 203
I spend time outside in nature every day. 202
I see myself open to new experiences, complex. 202
I'm proud of my country's history. 202
I only lay down if I'm sleepy. 201
Socialite would be a good description of me. 201
I am rarely skeptical. 200
Being as I am is more important to me than being attractive. 200