Take the work out of your workout

Take the work out of your workout

The new year has only just begun, and already, millions of Americans are already trudging through their runs, hanging clothes on their elliptical machines and trying to find ways to trick their Fitbits.

About half as many people who begin new exercise programs drop out within six months, according to scientific research. One of the keys to sticking to a workout is doing one that doesn’t feel like work at all. Find exercise that’s fun for you, and you’ll be more likely to keep doing it, says University of Utah psychologist Nathaniel Lambert, Ph.D.

There might be more efficient ways to burn calories than the one you choose, Lambert points out, but none are more effective than the exercise you’ll keep at day after day, week after week and month after month.

Walking is the most popular form of exercise, Fitbit research shows. You might think you’ll need to invest too much time walking to see much of a benefit, but life expectancy can increase by two hours for every hour you walk, according to the American Heart Association – so walking can make twice as much time as it takes.

Other ideas include dancing, fantasy sports camps, and using music and audiobooks to distract your mind from the workout, as WebMD suggests.

Getting discouraged is common for anyone who starts a new exercise routine – that’s why finding a way to encourage yourself is so important.

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