Fitness Formation column

Ryan Donohue.
Ryan Donohue.
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We all know how exercise makes us feel. Great, that’s what.

I’ve been in the industry for several years now, and I’ve seen a common theme on more occasions than I care to remember.

Those people who look like they would rather be anywhere else but working out. Is there really any point in dragging yourself to a workout, if you dislike it?

I recently read a new study into the motivation and effects of exercise. Two groups were asked to take a walk around a beautiful, scenic lake. One group was told to do it for ‘exercise purposes’, whilst the other was told the walk would be ‘scenic and fun’.

The groups were then observed eating lunch, almost immediately afterwards. The group who were told to walk for ‘exercise purposes’ ate over 200 calories more than the ‘scenic and fun’ group.

They had both done the exact same things, only with a different mindset.

One group felt refreshed, and happy, whilst the other felt tired, and unhappy. The ‘just for exercise’ group felt the need to reward themselves for doing something that they disliked. The other group felt the workout was a reward, in itself.

Whilst a positive mindset will massively benefit you during your workout, doing something you hate, simply won’t. Ask yourself, are you doing the same? Are you doing a certain session just for the hell of it because ‘it’s a workout at least’.

Then, are you going home and ‘rewarding’ yourself with stuff that is only going to make you feel worse in the short term, and set you back in the long term? Is this a common theme? A very simple, but very effective study, I think you will agree, and something that we can all learn from.

I always say to someone when they ask what a session is like or all about, to give it go. Try it once. You might like it. You might hate it. At least you can say, you’ve tried.

If this applies to you, surely this is enough reason to do the workouts or sessions that you love, then you won’t feel the need to ‘reward’ yourself for doing something that you hate.

Exercise is good for us but only if you enjoy doing it. If you would like anymore advice you can email dan@fitnessformation.co.uk or pop your head into our studio.