This neuroscience-backed tip will help you feel energised and motivated to get you through a tough workout.
We all know someone who gets up to run or do a gym session every morning before work, and for whom exercise never seems to be a chore. It’s like some people are just hardwired to love working out.
While it’s important to know that most people aren’t motivated all of the time, there may be some truth to the idea that exercise lovers regularly feel ready to train. And the best bit is that you can feel like that too.
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That’s because when you start doing exercise, you become more energised to do it again. The body and mind develop something called an ‘anticipatory circuit’.
On a recent episode of The School Of Greatness podcast, renowned neuroscientist Dr Andrew Huberman explained the theory, saying: “If you work out at the same time for three or four days, your body builds in an anticipatory circuit. You will feel an energy increase a few minutes before that workout.”
Yep, after just a few days of sticking to an exercise routine, your mind and body come to expect that you will be working out. Your adrenaline starts to rise in preparation for your run or HIIT class, which increases your energy and focus so getting that workout done starts to feel more second nature. And it only takes a couple of days for this reaction to take place.
Speaking on an episode of The Huberman Lab podcast, Dr Huberman added that the anticipatory effect is powerful enough to help us feel energised for those impossible-feeling morning workouts.
He explained that our circadian rhythms (our body clocks that dictate when we wake up and when we sleep) have “plasticity”, meaning they can be shaped and reshaped. The anticipatory effect can influence our brains to “want to wake up at the particular time that you exercised the previous three or four days.”
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While you may not always feel absolutely pumped to head out on that run, let this be a sign that exercise really does get easier. It might take a few days of pushing yourself through a workout when you’d rather be in bed, but kickstarting a routine will improve your natural motivation – you might even become the bundle of energy running out of the office as the clock strikes six.
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