Take-it-easier strategy: Work out with a friend.
The evidence: When people team up with a training partner they exercise an average of 23 to 42 minutes longer than solo sweaters do, according to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.
The explanation: “Exercising with other people is simply more entertaining than exercising alone,” says Genevieve Fridlund Dunton, PhD, MPH, assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California. “It can also put you in a more competitive mind-set. Both effects may motivate you to go longer.”
Do it yourself: Four-legged workout partners count, too. Research published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health found that dog owners who exercise their furry friends are more physically active overall and log about 30 minutes more of walking each week than non–dog owners. Bringing your pooch along might even spur you to walk a little faster: 23 percent of study participants said their dogs make them move somewhat faster, while 9 percent said they go a lot faster with their dog than without.
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