This study investigated the associations of personal goals with exercise activity as well as the relationships between exercise-related and other personal goals among older women. Both cross-sectional and longitudinal design was used with a sample of 308 women aged 66 to 79 years at baseline. Women who reported exercise-related personal goals were four times more likely to report high exercise activity at baseline compared to those who did not report exercise-related goals. Longitudinal results were parallel. Goals related to cultural activities as well as to busying oneself around home coincided with exercise-related goals, while goals related to own and other people's health and independent living lowered the odds of having exercise-related goals. Helping older adults to set realistic exercise-related goals that are compatible with their other life goals may yield an increase in their exercise activity, but this should be evaluated in a controlled trial.
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