Have They Found the Perfect Formula for Sticking to a Workout
As the new year approaches many of us will plan a diet & exercise program to help us get healthy in the new year. Here's how it goes for me: Research. Plan. Buy healthy foods. Go to the gym. Decide to not go to gym. Decide "screw it". I'll just eat pizza and drink beer tonight and get back on the horse come Monday. Then Monday comes and guess what? I'm so tired from the weekend all I want is some deep fried soaked in sauce Chinese food and the cycle and I fall of the wagon for good.
According to NBC News scientists may have found the perfect formula for sticking to a workout. So maybe I'll give this a try. Because Science.
- Plan them in advance
- Set reminders for each one
- Reward yourself for working out.
But here's the most important part: If you miss a day, you have to give yourself an EXTRA reward for not missing two in a row.
Researchers designed a bunch of different programs that offered incentives and the best one that garnered the best results followed the "plan, remind, reward" model. Each time they went to the gym, they earned 22 cents. But if they missed a day, they'd get an extra nine cents for not missing their NEXT workout. So, 31 cents instead of 22. And that extra incentive made a big difference.
The researchers think it's because skip days make us feel like we failed, and that kills our motivation. But they're also inevitable, so you have to factor them in.
I can see myself skipping just to get the incentive but I can also see me not doing anything at all.