We know that exercise has numerous health benefits and even psychological benefits, yet many don’t make the time to include it in their regular schedule. Vigorous exercise is hard and therefore people tend to view it as undesirable, boring, or something to be dreaded. Those who say their exercise is “fun” and “enjoyable” may be viewed with skepticism. What if there was an easy way to make exercise more enjoyable without adding time or decreasing the benefit? According to a study published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, it may be easier than you think!
Researchers divided participants into 2 exercise groups. One group started their workout with vigorous intensity and then decreased as the exercise came to a close. The second group started with an easier pace and worked up to the vigorous exercise at the end of the workout. Both groups did the same amount of time of easy/vigorous intensity. They simply reversed the order in which they were done.
After the workouts were completed the participants were surveyed. Those who started out with the vigorous exercise and decreased intensity through the workout said they enjoyed their workout MORE as it went along. They reported “improved post-exercise pleasure and enjoyment, remembered pleasure, and forecasted pleasure”.
However, those who started with the lighter intensity and increased to vigorous exercise said they felt worse as the workout progressed. This difference in how the exercise session was viewed persisted at least a week. Since we know that performing the same action is likely to have the same result in the future, this means those who started slow and ramped up their intensity will point to the fact of the exercise being unpleasant as reason to believe future exercise would also be unlikeable.
While there is a vast number of options when it comes to choosing an exercise, the only ones that work are the ones that people actually do and continue to do. Keep this in mind when you are designing your wellness plan. If there’s a type of exercise that you don’t enjoy at all, don’t feel like you HAVE to do that exercise.
Find a form of exercise that you can enjoy. If a portion of your workout is more difficult and you find yourself dreading it, try starting your workout with that activity to get it over with. Then you can enjoy the rest of your workout. If you’re having a rough day, modify your workout so that easier, favorite and/or more enjoyable movements are at the end. That way you end on a high note and keep that motivation until the next workout.
Select a workout and give it a try for a few days. If you find you are not enjoying it, change up the order and try it again. If it’s still not enjoyable, try a different exercise. There are so many options available, you will be able to find one that suits your life and health needs. Try different things until you find what works for you and then stick with it. Talk to your chiropractor about exercise options available in your area that would be safe and beneficial to your health.
SOURCES: “Can You Have Your Vigorous Exercise and Enjoy It Too? Ramping Intensity Down Increases Postexercise, Remembered, and Forecasted Pleasure”, in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, Volume 38 Issue 2, April 2016
This Tiny Change Can Make Workouts Way More Enjoyable, by Marissa Laliberte on http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/fitness/this-tiny-change-can-make-workouts-way-more-enjoyable/ar-AAth0t1?ocid=spartanntp