Science backs the positive effects of upbeat self-encouragement to power through workouts.
Need to finish that last mile? Channel The Little Engine That Could.
A new study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that upbeat self-talk during exercise can stave off fatigue. Scientists recorded heart rate, pedaling power, and pace of 24 healthy, active young people riding stationary bicycles to exhaustion. Afterward, one group continued their normal exercise regimen for two weeks, while the second group repeated positive phrases such as “feeling good” and “you’re doing well” (and, we imagine, “I think I can”) during workouts.
Two weeks later, all study volunteers climbed back on the bikes. Although the control group experienced no change in performance, the self-talk group was able to pedal longer and noted that the ride felt significantly easier than the previous attempt.