“Exercise becomes very easy if you get into a habit – people who exercise all the time do not have to psych themselves up to go to the gym or sports ground as it part of their routine,” he said.
“But you are more likely to commit to exercise if you commit to it as a group, as one person acts as a check to the other. We are good at letting ourselves down but have to justify it more if someone else is going too.
“If exercise is a social activity, then you link it to something you enjoy doing, and are more likely to stick at it.”
Professor Lane said the best advice was to be open-minded about finding an activity you enjoy doing, and consider taking along a friend.
He said: “It is going to be awkward for a while, but people need to modify the way they think and talk about exercise. Saying, ‘I’m no good’ is very different to saying ‘this is difficult but I am getting better’.”
Notes to editors
Professor Andy Lane is an expert in psychological factors such as mood, emotional intelligence and mental toughness and their influence on performance at the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Sport, Performing Arts and Leisure.
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