5 Ways to Fool Yourself into Exercising

by Shaun Dreisbach

Robert MitraRobert Mitra
We know: It's hard to pry your body out from under the covers this time of year. These little tricks do it.

Tell yourself, "I have to work out for only seven minutes."
And if you want to stop after that, give yourself permission. You probably won't: It takes only about six minutes for the feel-good hormones of exercise to kick in, says Wayne Westcott, a fitness researcher and instructor of exercise science at Quincy College in Massachusetts. And if you do throw in the towel? Seven minutes is better than nothing.


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Listen to your exercise playlist before exercising.
Cranking the tunes you work out to pre-workout will get you into the right head space, says Kristin McGee, a trainer in New York City. "They create an almost Pavlovian response," says McGee. "You hear them and you know it's time to sweat."

Work out with someone who is 40 percent more fit than you are.
Women in a Kansas State University study who did this exercised harder and longer than they otherwise would have--and didn't feel more tired. The researchers say 40 percent is the "sweet spot" at which your workout partner is good enough to inspire you but not so fit that you can't keep up.

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Schedule it into your calendar.
Then "invite" someone to the event. The person doesn't have to do the workout with you--the point is that your friend/sister/cubemate knows your agenda and can make sure you're sticking to it, says McGee. Remember to return the favor for her.

Stop debating the damn workout and just go.
"You might not want to exercise, and you know what? That's OK," says Beverly Hills trainer Gunnar Peterson, who works with Sofia Vergara, Khloe Kardashian, and Minka Kelly. "But it doesn't mean you don't do it. I see people hem and haw over 'Should I work out?' And it's like, Shut up! You could be done already."

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