Regular exercise is great for keeping you fit and healthy. Most of us, despite knowing the benefits of exercises, some people have a hard time making exercise part of their routine. So how do you counter that?
Thanks to a new study from the University of Freiberg in Germany, researchers have found that there are ways to trick yourself to start enjoying exercise more.
A total number of 78 men and women, aged between 18 and 32, were instructed to wear a sleeveless compression shirt made by a “well-known sporting goods manufacturer”.
The respondents were then randomly shown short videos which emphasize the benefits of cycling and wearing the compression shirt, before cycling on a stationary bike at a moderate intensity for half an hour.
Every five minutes the cyclists were asked what level of exertion they were experiencing and how they rated the exercise.
The study’s lead author, psychologist Hendrik Mothes and his team found that the respondents who had been primed about the benefits of cycling rated the test less strenuous and the more athletic the respondents perceived themselves to be, the stronger this effect was.
He explained, “Merely the belief that the shirt would help, did help the ‘unsporty’ subjects to have a lower perception of strenuousness during the exercise.”
Simply put, when you’re just embarking on your fitness journey, sometimes it can be smart to enlist help from supposedly useful sports items.
On the other hand, the physical active respondents didn’t benefit much from the compression shirt.
Mothes believes the study once again proves the power of the placebo effect, aka the placebo response, wherein a person takes something that he or she perceives will help.
“The findings impressively show for all those who don’t consider themselves to be great sportsmen and women, the right product really can make sport more pleasant — if only you believe in it.”
– Cover Image: onnit.com