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This Simple Mental Trick Can Keep You From Sabotaging Your Workout

Take time to remember one positive thing about your workout that day.

A small study from the University of New Hampshire found that people who were asked to think about positive exercise memories actually worked out out more than people who had no memories about their exercise. In fact, people who had negative memories meant to inspire them to exercise also worked out more than the zero-memory participants—but not as much as the positive memory participants.

Don’t make it a competition! Think about exercise as a game.

In a study of Division 1 soccer players, researchers found that levels of the stress hormone cortisol and anxiety rose after playing a match, but not after practice. With that in mind, since most exercisers aren’t actually playing an official game, there’s no real reason to stress yourself out as if you were playing in one, according to celebrity trainer Lacey Stone, who likes to emphasize sociability and fun at her classes instead of rivalries (no matter how friendly they are).

“Don’t go against your friend, play with your friend,” Stone told HuffPost. “We’re trying to have fun together, which gives you an endorphin rush rather than a cortisol rush.”

Transform exercise into social events.

This concept goes way beyond accountability buddies, who can sometimes guilt or pressure you into working out. Instead, gather a group of people who have the same passion for fitness as you do, and then pick new activities for all of you to try together.

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