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Positive Thinking May Enhance Exercise Benefits

Positive Thinking May Enhance Exercise Benefits

(Copyright DPC)

By    |   Friday, 12 August 2016 01:12 PM

There are many benefits to positive thinking and this is also true when it comes to exercise.

A new study shows that people benefit more from exercise when they believe it will have a positive effect.  Moreover, the study also found that people can be influenced in this regard – both positively or negative – even before engaging in the activity.

Researchers at the University of Freiburg in Germany decided to whether thinking positively about exercise could also enhance its effect on a person’s wellbeing so they designed an experiment to find out.

They invited 76 men and women aged between 18 and 32 years to their research laboratory, where they had to exercise for 30 minutes on a bicycle ergometer, which is a stationary handlebar device.

Beforehand, the test subjects were separated into different groups and shown one of several short films that either praised the positive effects of cycling on health or not. In addition, the researchers asked the test subjects whether they had already believed in the positive effects of physical activity before beginning the study.

The participants filled out questionnaires asking them about their well-being and their mood before and after the exercise. Moreover, the researchers measured the participants' brain activity with an electroencephalogram (EEG).

Those who already believed the physical activity would have positive effects before participating in the study enjoyed the exercise more, improved their mood more, and reduced their anxiety more than less optimistic test subjects.

In addition, the study revealed a neurophysiological difference between the test subjects: According to the measurements of brain activity, the participants with greater expectations before the beginning of the study and those who had seen a film about the health benefits of cycling beforehand were more relaxed, their brain activity showed. 

"Beliefs and expectations could possibly have long-term consequences, for instance on our motivation to engage in sports. They can be a determining factor on whether we can rouse ourselves to go jogging again next time or decide instead to stay at home on the couch,” says lead researcher Hendrik Mothes of the study, which appears in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine.

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A new study finds that if you have think an exercise will benefit your health, this will increase the sense of well-being that you get from it.
exercise, benefits, positive, thinking, mind, body
Friday, 12 August 2016 01:12 PM
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