Whether you need to get back on the exercise bandwagon or were never on it in the first place, it’s never too late to incorporate fitness into your routine. Here are five ways that make it easier:
Want a great workout? Think happy thoughts…about previous workouts. Remembering a fun spin class with friends or a great run can help motivate you to exercise, researchers found. In fact, even thinking about negative memories of exercise motivates people to exercise more than not recalling any exercise memories at all … but we prefer to think positive!
Find the Right Buddy
A friend at the gym can help motivate you to run farther and squeeze out a few extra crunches—but only if they’re better than you. Researchers have found that the optimal workout buddy is one that’s 40 percent more skilled than you.
Put Money On It
Can the threat of paying up motivate you to exercise? Scientists say yes—when a group of people were given the choice between working out or paying an extra 20 percent for health insurance, almost half chose to exercise—and 97 percent of them reached their goal of taking at least 5,000 steps a day. Care to make a wager? Sites like DietBet.com allow you to join a weight loss challenge with your own money—and the promise of cash if you meet your goal.
Get a Pedometer
If you haven’t exercised in a while (or ever), a walking routine could be the jumpstart you need… just make sure you have a pedometer. Researchers have found that pedometer users walk at least 2,000 more steps a day than non-users, and that using a pedometer increased their physical activity levels by 27 percent.
A green workout t-shirt or yoga mat might do wonders for your workout—a study at the University of Essex found that green hues may enhance motivation and enjoyment when it comes to exercise. Study participants who rode a stationary bike while looking at an outdoor scene with a green filter felt like their were exerting themselves less compared to when they saw a red or gray filer.