Studies have shown that having a positive attitude can provide a multitude of benefits from improving your heart health to even strengthening your immune system. Now, researchers are showing that your own expectations and beliefs about fitness can impact your overall mood and enjoyment when working out.
Simply having a positive attitude toward exercising will lead to a better mood, less anxiety, and greater personal satisfaction when working working out, according to an August study published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.
In the study, led by psychologist Hendrik Mothes from the University of Freiburg’s Department of Sport Science in Germany, 76 participants were randomly assigned into four groups. They watched different multimedia presentations suggesting that the subsequent exercise (30 minutes of biking) would result in more or less health benefits. The researchers also determined each participant’s “habitual expectations” by evaluating their previous fitness experience and beliefs regarding the benefits of exercise.
The research showed that the subjects derived greater psychological as well as neurophysiological benefits from exercise if they already had a positive attitude about the benefits of working out. “These results indicate that habitual expectations in particular affect exercise-induced psychological and neurophysiological changes in a self-fulfilling manner,” according to the study.
So if you’re not really in the mood to workout, try and change your mindset. Think of like a fake it till you make it type thing. Not only will you receive greater health benefits from the exercise, you’ll feel better overall, as well.