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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 results (increased fitness, better mood / energy level). For me, currently, it's some running and lots of walking every day. I think it's important to only lay down when you can get to sleep (and then to sleep as long as you can), otherwise I'm sitting up, working, or out and about. I've been experimenting for many years with real time indicators of when I need to slow down, sit around, to avoid overtraining. Currently, it's persistent soreness in both heels. 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).

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

I cultivate my enthusiasm.
I explore.
I change things.
I try new things.
I work steadily and methodically.
I work hard.
When I stumble, I push through.
I finish most everything I start.
I tend to sacrifice present enjoyment for future gain/reward.
I give.
I caretake.
I take others interests into account.
I put faith in people.
I help others.
When I'm unhappy, I make changes to my life.
I ask for help.
I prioritize maximizing my happiness.

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