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Don't go it alone. The buddy system can be a great motivator.
When it comes to exercise, when and where you do it -- and who you do it with -- are big predictors in just how effective they are for you.
Generally, working out early in the day and doing it with a group of people help you stick with it over a long period of time, according to the L.A. Times.
Some highlights from the article:
- A person engaging in a less calorie-burning but more enjoyable exercise is more likely to repeat it; so when choosing an exercise, choose "maximum enjoyment over maximum results."
- A person is more likely to exercise if they schedule it for the morning; according to a exercise and sports professor quoted in the Times, the stress a person experiences during the day gradually erodes their willpower to exercise.
- A person exercising with other people in a group is more likely to continue the activity. The more assimilated a person is, the greater the likelihood the person will sustain the exercise (the Times cites an example of a marathon training program turning out a 95 percent success rate over a period of 10 years, and instructors who see the same people returning for their Spin or circuit training classes). Even if you go to the gym to work out alone, you're still essentially working out in a collective group, seeing the same people and even making friends there.
What time of day do you prefer exercising? Do you work out best when you're alone or with friends?