Can't seem to get yourself to the gym? Tap into the motivational power of social support. In a study from Stanford University, over 200 people were given health-education lessons during which they set a weekly walking goal. From there, they were split into three groups: One that received encouraging phone calls from a live person, another that received the same number of phone calls from an automated computer system and the last that received no follow-up.
The phone calls paid off: A year later, the group that received live calls increased their weekly walking time on average by 78 percent, or an additional hour and 18 minutes! Whether you like to work out alone, with a buddy or in a large group, keep yourself in check with the following tips: