Friday, July 20, 2018

How Exercise Can Become a Positive Reinforcer

“Operant conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. Through operant conditioning, an individual makes an association between a particular behavior and a consequence” (Skinner, 1938). 

Many people have different views and opinions on exercising, some enjoy it and most dread it. But we can all agree that exercising leads to numerous health benefits. For instance, exercising regularly can lead to a positive shift in your mental, physical, and emotional health. Physical activity produces endorphins which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers, which reduces stress and improves sleep. Furthermore, the more one engages in physical activity, the easier it will be to lose weight/ and or maintain their current weight!

How Does It Relate to Operant Conditioning?
 All of the benefits that come from exercising can be considered ‘rewards.’ Thus, exercising elicits a positive response (you look better and feel better) which in return will encourage you to engage in the behavior (physical activity) once again to obtain those positive feelings until exercising becomes a habit, or a learned behavior that generates a healthier lifestyle.


  1. Hi Aloni! I enjoyed your post because I think everyone should be exercising to maintain their overall health and wellbeing. It is hard with such a busy schedule to justify taking an hour out of my day to run, however when I do I instantly feel better. It is essential to raise your heart rate and train your muscles. Exercising is also a great alternative to anxiety medications for some people. I believe my mother was operantly conditioned to exercising through spin class. She hardly ever misses a class and when she does, she doesn't feel well at all!

  2. Speaking from personal experiences, exercise is an amazing motivator and helps aid in prioritizing your affairs. On all aspects of health, physical emotional, and mental, it truly helps improve all qualities of a individual life. Great post

  3. This was a topic that I am able to relate to. I definitely feel rewarded after working out. It makes me feel better throughout the day, and when I stick to exercising and eating right I feel so much better about myself. Seeing result and feeling more motivated and healthy has benefit my life in such a positive way. This is a lifestyle that is rewarding and can even be fun.