It’s tempting to want to start your workout with the easiest part, and build up to the more intense stuff by the end. But if you’re having trouble motivating yourself to come back for another sweat session, flipping your workout around could leave you with better parting memories.
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A study earlier this year, from the Journal of Sport and Exercise Physiology, tested that idea by asking some participants to start cycling easy and ramp up to a hard intensity by the end of a 15-minute workout. Another group had the opposite workout, starting hard and ending easy. That means their experience felt better and better over time. People in this group were more likely to say that they enjoyed the exercise, and more likely to say they would enjoy doing it again.
This fits with my experience, too. Days that I finish a run feeling great are the days I can’t wait to come back and do it again. I show up to each workout knowing that the beginning will probably feel awful, but after that will get better. As long as you’re warmed up enough to feel comfortable pushing the pace, front loading your hard work may be the best way to make sure you’ll come back for more.
Does Starting Fast Make Exercise More Enjoyable? [Runner’s World]