Competitive athletes have long known the benefits of including mental training in their regimens. According to recent research published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine, this investment of positive mental energy works for non-athletes too.
A study conducted the University of Freiburg, Germany, correlated mindset and workout effectiveness. Participants who believed that exercise would positively influence their health experienced a more enjoyable workout and reduced anxiety. The opposite was also true – a negative mood resulted in a less enjoyable workout.
The researchers said their next step will be to investigate if positive brain energy also results in increased exercise intensity. It seems a logical extension that if you are enjoying your workout, you will be willing to exert more effort and, as a result, burn more calories. Once again, we realize that our minds and bodies are intimately connected.
If you’re cranky about exercise, don’t throw in the towel just yet. Grumbling through one or two workouts should prime your endorphins and cheer you up. Then, you can begin reaping the neurophysiological benefits from investing your newfound positivity into your workouts thereon.
Think of your brain as just one more muscle you get to flex. Shape up your attitude, and your physique will follow.