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 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!