If you don’t already have a consistent workout routine, depending strictly on willpower isn’t going to get you out of bed at 5am to hit the gym. Luckily, studies show that there are effective ways to increase your workout motivation so you stay consistent with your healthy habits instead of the hitting the snooze button.
An easy way to increase workout motivation
Getting out the door is 90 percent of the battle, but workout motivation can be tough to find at the crack of dawn or after a long, exhausting day. Luckily, this simple problem has an equally simple solution, according to a new study just published in Health Psychology. And that miracle fix can be summed up in two words: instigation habits.
An instigation habit, a subcategory of a regular habit, is where an internal or environmental cue—like an alarm on your phone or gym bag placed near the door—automatically kickstarts a decision in your brain.
“It’s not something you have to deliberate about; you don’t have to consider the pros and cons of going to the gym after work,” explained study author L. Alison Phillips, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Iowa State University to TIME.
In the study, researchers interviewed 123 people about their exercise routines and motivations. While the participants reported using a variety of tricks to motivate themselves to workout—including planning workouts out in advance or mentally rehearsing what they needed to do—the most consistent exercisers used methods that all fell into the category of instigation habits.
While many of the subjects relied on audio cues (like an alarm), visual cues also worked well. For instance, putting a Post-It note on your desk, hanging a paper calendar with days you worked out checked off (don’t want to break a streak!), or tacking a fitspiration picture on your bathroom mirror are all effective instigation habits. Each is a simple effort, but it can make all the difference between heading toward a Netflix marathon or an actual marathon.
Full Story: Cue Workout Motivation With a Simple Trick
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