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Need motivation to exercise? Try positive memories

Tuesday, March 25, 2014 by: J. Anderson
Tags: exercise, motivation, positive memories

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(NaturalNews) Finding the motivation to exercise can often be hard. Many times we remember the times where we crushed a workout and felt amazing afterwards, but other times we have memories of struggling to finish a workout or memories of being incredibly sore afterwards.

It turns out that one way to motivate yourself is to use these positive memories. Positive workout memories can motivate us to exercise more, according got to a study published in the journal Memory. The study was the first of its kind to illustrate how simply recalling positive memories can influence future bouts of exercise.

The Study

The study asked 150 college students to recall a positive or negative exercise memory to use for exercise motivation (a control group wasn't asked to recall a memory) The students were then interviewed a week later to see their physical activity level. The participants that experienced the positive memories were more likely to exercise than those that recalled more negative memories. That being said, the negative group still exercised more than the control group.

The researchers indicated that this could provide a easy way to motivate individuals to exercise more, "Without explicit direction or encouragement, our sample of college students, amidst the innumerable distractions afforded by life at a large, public university, increased their reported exercise activities from their habitual levels," almost all due to motivational memories!

The Mind and Exercise

It is well known that exercise can have some massive effects on our mentality. For instance, it has been shown that exercise has been shown to decrease the symptoms of depression along with reducing anxiety and stress! Many of these mental attributes of exercise can be attributed to the rush of endorphins (hormones) that result from vigorous exercise. These endorphins cause us to achieve a sense of well-being and elation. When you put your body to the test your brain gets a shot of endorphins, which cut stress, anxiety, and some symptoms of depression!

While it is well known that exercise can change our mental outlook, this study is one of the first to illustrate that our memories can actually motivate us to exercise to being with. This can help motivate individuals to get up and active which in turn increases their mental outlook post-exercise; chain reaction! The researchers hope the study can help determine more effective ways to motivate people to exercise instead of the old traditional ways that may not be working, "From a public health perspective, identifying factors that can motivate individuals to engage in regular exercise is vital."

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About the author:
Living healthy starts at-home and it starts by educating yourself! To learn more about living a healthy, natural lifestyle visit DIY Active.

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