How To Exercise More Using Memories To Motivate You
Worldwide, over one-third of adults 20 years of age and older were overweight as of 2008 and 11% of those were obese.
We all know that exercise is important, not just to control weight but to minimise the risk of associated health problems.
Obesity is linked to serious health problems such as cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease.
A major stumbling block between the knowledge that we should be exercising regularly and actually exercising is often motivation.
A study recently published by researchers at the University of New Hampshire, USA aimed to examine if a memory-based experimental intervention to increase exercise activity. (Biondolilloa & Pillemera, 2014)
Participants were randomly split between 3 groups, 2 experimental groups and 1 control group.
In all three groups, participants first filled out questionnaires assessing exercise and fitness satisfaction, exercise attitudes, exercise motivation and past exercise as well
Participants were then asked to describe a positive motivational exercise episode, a negative motivational exercise episode or no memory depending on which group they were in.
This memory manipulation exercise was then examined to establish if it changed peoples intention and motivation to exercise.
For what sounds like a very simple intervention and technique that can be used to motivate you to exercise the research found some positive results:
As predicted, students in the positive memory condition reported significantly higher levels of subsequent exercise activity than students in the control group
The research showed that a single memory prompt increased reported exercise activities in a sample that was studied.