Memories of a Workout Can Spur Future Workouts

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2014-03_6b28a379e8.jpgJupiterimages/Thinkstock (NEW YORK) -- Remember that two-mile run you went on and how good it made you feel? Hopefully, you did feel good afterwards because remembering that experience in a positive light might motivate you to do it again. That’s what University of New Hampshire researchers discovered after asking student participants to recall either a positive or negative memory about working out while those in a control group weren’t asked about their exercise experience.

A week later, students who remembered working out in a favorable manner reported higher levels of exercise than participants in the control group. Even students who didn’t have a particularly good exercise memory were still more motivated to work out than students in the control group.

The bottom line, according to the New Hampshire University researchers, was that the “results provide the first experimental evidence that autobiographical memory activation can be an effective tool in motivating individuals to adopt healthier lifestyles.”

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