Don’t just exercise, have fun doing it! You will lose more weight by making better food choices after you finish. How so?
According to this article published in the journal, Marketing Letters on May 15, 2014, 2 groups of women were told to walk the same one mile course in 30 minutes. One group of women was told to walk the course for exercise, while the other group of women was told to walk the course as a form of enjoyment. The enjoyment group was told that the purpose was to have fun. They were given music to listen to and instructed to rate the clarity of the music at 6 stops along the way.
When they returned, the women from both groups were invited to the same “all-you-can-eat” buffet. They were also given an option of applesauce for dessert or chocolate pudding and a beverage of either water or Coke.
While the groups of women consumed the same amount of calories from the buffet, the women that walked for exercise were significantly more likely to choose both the sugary dessert and the sugary beverage and consumed more of them, thus increasing their overall calorie intake when compared to the women that were instructed to exercise for fun!
They were compensating for their excellent exercise behavior by eating more sweets and sugary beverages. WOW!
They also measured levels of fatigue and mood after the exercise. Women that exercised for the sake of exercise experienced more fatigue while the exercise group doing it for fun reported a more positive mood. Remember, having a positive mood improves many health outcomes and leads to more success with health behavior changes.
So don’t just exercise, ENJOY IT!
Here are some articles exploring how to do just that!