Believe in Your Fitness – believing exercise is working enhances performance

Believe in Your Fitness – believing exercise is working enhances performance – Brief Article

Want to stick to your exercise routine? Believe that you’re getting fit, suggests a new study, and you just might.

Exercise has long been shown to boost people’s sense of well-being. Edward McAuley, Ph.D., thinks that this emotional benefit may stem from “self-efficacy”–or feeling that you can control your surroundings.

McAuley, of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, asked 46 nonathletic college students to ride a stationary bicycle for about eight minutes. The professor of kinesiology and his colleagues then told half of the students that their cardiovascular response was much lower than that of their fellow exercisers, meaning they were in peak shape. He informed the others that they were in poor shape. Next, participants were told to climb a Stairmaster for 20 minutes. Women who believed they were in poor shape reported being more tired than those who thought they had performed well. Those who thought they were in peak form reported not only less fatigue but a higher sense of well-being.

People who feel in control of their workouts are more likely to ignore physical feelings of fatigue, notes McAuley. So believing that your workout is shaping up makes you less likely to ship out.

COPYRIGHT 1999 Sussex Publishers, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group