Excel At Life--Dedicated to the Pursuit of Excellence in Life, Relationships, Sports and Career
CBT Jealousy Depression Relationships Conflict Self-efficacy Happiness Goal-setting Motivation Wellness Sport Psych

Popular Articles

Crazy-Makers: Dealing with Passive-Aggressive People

Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

When You Have Been Betrayed

Struggling to Forgive: An Inability to Grieve

Happy Habits: 50 Suggestions

The Secret of Happiness: Let It Find You (But Make the Effort)

Excellence vs. Perfection

Depression is Not Sadness

20 Steps to Better Self-Esteem

7 Rules and 8 Methods for Responding to Passive-aggressive People

What to Do When Your Jealousy Threatens to Destroy Your Marriage

Happiness is An Attitude

Guide to How to Set Achieveable Goals

Catastrophe? Or Inconvenience?

Popular Audios

Panic Assistance

Motivational Audios

Mindfulness Training

Rational Thinking

Relaxation for Children

Loving Kindness Meditation

Self-Esteem Exercise

Lies You Were Told

Choosing Happiness

Audio Version of Article: Crazy-Makers: Passive-Aggressive People

Audio Version of Article: Why Are People Mean? Don't Take It Personally!

Audio Version of Article: Happiness Is An Attitude

All Audio Articles

PsychNotes Index

More PsychNotes: Performance, Success and Goal Attainment

January 10, 2018       
print

Staying Motivated with a New Exercise Program
by Monica A. Frank, PhD

stretching on a pier Many people start exercising this time of year because they know it is healthy for them and to get back into shape after the holiday indulgences. Unfortunately, many people don't continue after the first few weeks.

One way to stay motivated and return to your plan day after day is to increase your positive memories of the exercise according to researchers Zenko and colleagues (2016). How can you do this when starting exercise is often painful and unpleasant? And a basic principle of motivational theory is that we tend to do what is pleasant and avoid what is unpleasant?

Simply decreasing your intensity at the end of your exercise session can increase your positive memories of the exercise. The most important aspect of exercise isn't how vigorous it is but whether you can develop a routine of regular exercise. Intensity can be increased over time as you are able to tolerate it.

So, do something easier and more pleasant at the end of your exercise session and you are more likely to return. Oh, and once you are in an exercise routine, this same method can apply to other activities such as unpleasant work tasks.

Zenko, Z., Ekkekakis, P. and Ariely, D. (2016). Can You Have Your Vigorous Exercise and Enjoy It Too? Ramping Intensity Down Increases Postexercise, Remembered, and Forecasted Pleasure. Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology, 38, 149 -159. DOI:10.1123/jsep.2015-0286.

Questions and Comments


All comments and questions require approval so you may not see your submission immediately.

More PsychNotes
Performance, Success and Goal Attainment

  • Uncertainty, Decision-making, and Stress
  • Can't Think When You're Hungry?
  • An Easier Way to Achieve Goals that Require Self-control
  • Motivational Psychology: Or, How Everyone Can Benefit From Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
  • Will-power or Strategy?
  • How to Practice Like an Expert
  • Predicting Regret to Help Make Decisions
  • Setting Goals Isn't Enough for Success
  • Exploring Possibilities for Identity Achievement
  • Life is Like...Planning a New Vegetable Garden
  • Improving Performance by Mindfully Reducing Self-interruptions
  • Mindfulness and "To Do" Lists
  • What Are Reasonable Goals?
  • Helping Children Achieve Their Potential
  • How to Succeed at Goals (or Why Goals Fail)
  • Efficiency: Determining the Difference Between Perfectionism and Striving for Excellence
  • Do We Really WANT to Educate Our Children?
  • Do You Want an Education or Do You Want a Grade?
  • Why Do You Have Trouble Delaying Gratification?
  • What is an Achievable Goal?
  • Why Set Goals If 50% of New Year's Resolutions are Broken by Three Months?
  • What Determines the Success of New Year's Resolutions?
  • Choose Your Own Dream: Don't Pursue What You “Should”
  • Demands vs. Mindfulness for Enhancing Performance
  • Listening to Your Heart Helps Moral Decision-Making: But is it Good for Fear Avoidance Decisions?
  • Be the Best You Can Be: On Mindfulness and Performance
  • Improving Attention and Quality of Effort
  • How Both Overly Positive and Negative Misperceptions of Performance Can Affect You
  • Are People Who Set More Extreme Goals At Risk for Depression or Mania?
  • Kindle Books by
    Dr. Monica Frank



    Recent Articles

    Analyzing Your Moods, Symptoms, and Events with Excel At Life's Mood Log

    Why You Get Anxious When You Don't Want To

    Why People Feel Grief at the Loss of an Abusive Spouse or Parent

    “Are You Depressed?”: Understanding Diagnosis and Treatment

    15 Coping Statements for Panic and Anxiety

    Beyond Tolerating Emotions: Becoming Comfortable with Discomfort

    Emotion Training: What is it and How Does it Work?

    How You Can Be More Resistant to Workplace Bullying

    Are You Passive Aggressive and Want to Change?

    When Your Loved One Refuses Help

    Newest Audios

    Building Blocks Emotion Training

    Hot Springs Relaxation

    5 Methods to Managing Anger

    Panic Assistance While Driving

    Autogenic Relaxation Training

    Rainbow Sandbox Mindfulness

    Mindfulness Training