What Motivates You to Go Exercise?
Are you trying to achieve a certain fitness goal? Do you want to build muscle and perform better in your high school sports? Already thinking about the prom? Are you getting married or finally getting back to the gym after having a baby? Are you going on a vacation that involves a high level of fitness? All of these scenarios can help inspire you to stick with a fitness program. Focusing on how you felt the last time you exercised can also boost your desire to go to the gym. Maybe it was the music or the incredible mood boost you had after your last workout that will keep you on track with an exercise program.
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire surveyed college students about their leisure-time habits to see if a memory associated with an exercise experience might motivate the individual to increase their effort. Some of the students shared a memory from a recent exercise experience that they felt might offer motivation. The next week, 61% of students with a positive memory, and nearly 50% of students with a negative memory, increased their overall exercise effort. That was compared to 37% of participants who shared a memory unrelated to exercise.
So the take away message may be to really focus on remembering how good you felt, how good the music was, or how great it was to see your workout buddies, and use those memories to inspire you to go exercise and let it inspire you to aspire to higher fitness goals.