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    A Psychiatrist Shares 4 Ways to Get Your Brain to Truly Enjoy Exercise

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    You may be very motivated in the morning to go for a run at five o’clock in the afternoon, but by five o’clock, you’re not feeling it (can you relate?). Experts do, however, share a few science-backed ways to get your brain on board—here are her go-to tips for getting started on your exercise:

    Please leave your sneakers by the front door

    A Psychiatrist Shares 4 Ways to Get Your Brain to Truly Enjoy Exercise

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    Don’t underestimate the power of subliminal messaging: Make the desired behaviour easier to achieve. If you want to go for a run, put your sneakers on the night before, pack your gym bag, and maybe even wear a [jogging bra] that day if you’re going to the gym.

    Many health experts will inform you that one of the most crucial components of healthy habits is convenience—this applies to both nutrition and exercise.

    Temptation combining

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    If there’s something you really enjoy doing, allow yourself to do it only when you’re running. That’s a pretty consistent way to get people to show up and do something they want to do but can’t seem to get past.

    Exercise with friends

    A Psychiatrist Shares 4 Ways to Get Your Brain to Truly Enjoy Exercise

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    “Flake factor”: When you make a verbal commitment to another person to go to the gym and run, you are far more likely to follow through. You don’t want to let them down, so your chances of success are much higher. In fact, a 2015 study discovered that finding a new exercise companion increased the number of exercises people did, with an even greater increase if that new partner was emotionally supportive.

    You’re getting a cardiovascular workout while conversing and engaging your brain in conversation. That’s a happy hat trick right there. So, if you can [exercise] in the company of another person, you’ll get more health benefits from it—and it’ll be a lot more fun.

    Allow yourself to be free

    Yes, workout schedules can help you stay on track, but being too strict can backfire. When you have a high expectation, such as “I’m going to the gym five or six days a week,” and you don’t make it by Tuesday, you think your week is ruined. You’ll just throw it away.

    Having a plan is important, but be prepared for it to be pushed back by 15 or 20 minutes, or you may only be able to run for 25 minutes today. Be a little more understanding about it.

    The main point

    Exercise has many brain-healthy benefits, but getting into the workout mindset may require some brain hacks. No need to worry: Boardman’s tips have been tried and tested and are supported by science to help you feel motivated.

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