This Could Be The Best Motivation To Exercise

Photographed by Jens Ingvarsson.
The best workout motivation might not be accountability partners or compliments, but punishments. Shape reports that a recent study found punishment, rather than positive reinforcement, to be the best incentive for participants.

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Participants in the study were asked to play a game in which they either listened to clicking noises and identified which ear they heard the noise from, or they saw lights on a computer screen and labeled which side of the screen had more flashes. For every question answered correctly, they were given a token. For every question answered incorrectly, tokens were taken away. Shape explains the “scientists did indeed find that both methods helped improve performance. However, punishment was far more effective than reward — two to three times more incentivizing, in fact.”

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Shape noted that you can apply this to your workout routine by setting up small incentives or punishments for yourself by deciding what “you'd personally hate to lose — like watching Game of Thrones on time so you can gossip about it at the office the next day”

Just be aware, as sports psychologist and therapist at Saint Francis University, Ariane Machin, PhD, explains, "An individual needs to be thoughtful about what they are using as 'punishers' because they don't want to become demoralized or discouraged.” So as long as your punishers don’t make you feel worse, this could be just the trick to get in gear.

Related: How Quitting The Gym Changed My Body For The Better

Click through to Shape for more about exercise incentives. (Shape)
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