Memories Can Help You Exercise

Exercise is good for you. Many of us are also aware that regular physical activity can have desired effects on mental health and wellbeing. So why don’t we exercise more? The reasons that people give are usually pretty predictable, and equally predictable are resigned acknowledgments like I know I really should get more exercise.

Good news, friends. Here is one more resource that you can use if your goals include working out more: your own memories.

Just remembering a pleasant past exercise experience can motivate us to exercise more.

The findings of an interesting study by psychologists Mathew J. Biondolillo and David B. Pillemer (2015) at The University of New Hampshire suggest that recalling a pleasant memory involving exercise helps us perform better during exercise, and can be used as a resource to motivate us to exercise more regularly.

Want to get to the gym more? Ready to start those morning runs again? The first step may be as effortless as recalling a pleasant memory.


Biondolillo, M. J., & Pillemer, D. B. (2015). Using memories to motivate future behaviour: An experimental exercise intervention. Memory 23(3), 390-402. doi: 10.1080/09658211.2014.889709

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