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Want to exercise more? Try these two research-backed motivation strategies

When it comes to exercise, finding the motivation to start your workout is usually the toughest part. Research published in the International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity has found that when it comes to motivation, two key factors can make a big difference. 

Using the fitness app Carrot, researchers explored what motivates people most to exercise. They found that partnering up and using healthy rewards were the two most prominent motivation factors. 

When users were offered discounts on items like gas and movies in exchange for a certain number of steps, their average step count increased by 600 steps per day. 

Next, the app offered users the opportunity to buddy up with fellow users. Partners could pool their points and compare their activity. The partnerships led to 1,100 more steps on average per person. 

Despite the small nature of the rewards (for example, 12 weeks of use earned users about enough for a free cup of coffee), it seems that reward-based motivation, coupled with the accountability of an exercise partner, is a winning combination for getting active each day. 

Fortunately, you don’t need any apps to institute these strategies in your own life. Set fitness goals with small rewards for each milestone reached and find a buddy who also wants to up their workout routine. This partnership can be as simple as setting exercise goals for the week and checking in to see if the other achieved them. 

When it comes to exercise, sometimes getting back to basics is the best strategy. If you’re struggling with motivation, try these two simple strategies to give new life to your workout routine.

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