Did you know that thinking positively about physical activity can actually change the way you experience it? According to a study in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, people tend to enjoy physical activity much more if they already believe that the exercise will make them feel better.
Start thinking of physical activity as a treat instead of a chore:
- Remind yourself of times when physical activity was fun! Recall how you felt playing softball or racing your bike as a kid.
- While engaging in physical activity, be mindful of the pleasant effects it’s having on your body. Think: “I’m breathing more deeply!” “It feels good to be using my muscles.”
- Enlist friends and family as cheerleaders. Celebrate your small successes on Facebook or Twitter—“Just walked two miles in 40 minutes. Not out of breath!”
- Pair physical activity with the things you already enjoy. If you’d like to spend more time with family or friends, take a group hike with them. If you’d like more time for yourself with a good mystery, get an audio version of the book and listen to it on the treadmill.
For more tips on indulging in the luxury of physical activity, visit food.unl.edu/fitness-indulgence.