Trainers, need to fire-up your clients? Recent research by psychologists suggests that touting the far-off, ‘future’ benefits of working out—such as weight loss, body image and disease prevention—actually does little to encourage regular exercise.
Instead, experts recommend that you portray physical activity as a way to enhance current well-being and happiness. Dr. Michelle L. Segar, a research investigator at the Institute for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Michigan, is among those who believe that people won’t commit to exercise if they see its benefits as distant or theoretical.
“It has to be portrayed as a compelling behavior that can benefit us today,” she said. “People who say they exercise for its benefits to quality of life exercise more over the course of a year than those who say they value exercise for its health benefits.”