When it comes to the effectiveness of your workout regime, a lot can be attributed to your state of mind. Studies have found that your mindset towards working out is just as important as the actual type and amount of exercise you partake in.
That being said, when it comes to pushing your body to its’ physical limits, maintaining consistent motivation can be quite tricky for many. Here are some surprising, but scientifically supported, techniques for increasing the drive you need to continue working towards your fitness goals:
Strike a Power Pose
Picture you now: standing fiercely in front of your mirror, chest puffed out, workout sneakers on and ready to go! While you might think this sounds a bit silly, researchers at both Columbia and Harvard have found that striking a power pose for a few minutes can significantly increase testosterone levels, giving you a renewed sense of confidence and a positive, “can-do” attitude.
If you’re struggling to find motivation before entering a particularly intimidating workout or an unfamiliar new fitness class, you’ll find that striking a pose with your chest lifted, head held high, and arms either up or propped firmly on the hips will give you the boost you’re looking for. While we’ve all heard the familiar old moniker, “Fake it ‘til you make it,” this research suggests that faking may actually help you make it.
Give yourself Ample Positive Encouragement
From time to time, it’s important to give yourself a positively encouraging pep talk. What you might not realize is that how you phrase your pep talk is just as important as giving it in the first place. Recent research has actually suggested that giving positive encouragement in the second person can actually be more effective than first-person encouragement.
According to a series of experiments published by the European Journal of Social Psychology, people who use encouragements in the second person, such as, “You will run five miles,” perform better at tough tasks than those using the first person encouragement, “I will run five miles.” Researchers believe that this phenomenon could be caused by our familiarity with following commands, which are typically given in the second person.
Prioritize “Who You Are” Over “What You Do”
According to a joint study completed by Harvard and Yale, individuals that label themselves according to who they are, like an athlete or runner, typically yield better performances than others that label themselves according to what they do, such as “I work out.”
Tying your fitness goals to your personal identity and deep-seated sense of self is ultimately quite important to your actual achievement of those goals. It’s easier to simply not do something that you do sometimes, such as workout, than it is to go against your identity as a person, such as a high-achieving athlete.
When going into any workout, your state of mind can ultimately play a pivotal role in the overall effectiveness of that physical activity. Knowing yourself intimately is essential to designing a healthy workout routine for long-term success!