A New Technique Helps You Focus on Fitness Goals

Posted 02/27/2015 | By HealthCorps

Do you struggle to stay motivated once you get to the gym?  Is staying the course through an hour of cardiovascular training, or thirty minutes of weight training almost impossible?  A new approach called attention narrowing may be the solution you need. This technique asks you to focus your attention on the finish line, a kind of “keep your eyes on the prize” approach.  That means avoiding all the peripheral activity going on around you.

In the study (Motivation and Emotion, 2014; doi: 10.1007/s11031-014-9432-3), one group of exercisers was told to wear ankle weights and to walk forward towards an orange cone, really focusing their eyesight on the orange cone. Another group with the ankle weights was simply told to notice the cone at the end of their walk, before they started.  The exercise was performed by both groups in a busy gym.

Researchers found that the group told to focus on the cone at the end of the walk perceived the cone or the target as being closer. The other group, who spent time looking around and noting other things going on in the gym as they approached the cone, felt the cone was farther away.

So the question remains – Will this type of attention narrowing technique help you in your fitness quest? Why not give it a try!

-Amy Hendel, PA/HealthCoach

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