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The Secret to Staying Motivated

Forget simply losing weight! Here, five much better reasons to get moving

Exercise Rewards

1. INSTANT REWARD 1: Boost Productivity and Brainpower

2. INSTANT REWARD 2: Make Healthy Connections

3. INSTANT REWARD 3: Get Glowing Skin

4. INSTANT REWARD 5: Sleep Better


Exercise Rewards

When it comes to managing a hectic schedule, daily to-dos that don't have tangible and immediate payoffs usually find themselves falling off your checklist. That includes exercise. "The reality is that physical activity constantly competes with everything else we do," says Michelle L. Segar, Ph.D., associate director of the Sport, Health, and Activity Research and Policy Center for Women and Girls at the University of Michigan. "For us to believe an activity is worth our time, it has to offer something very important to our daily life." In a 2011 study, Segar and her colleagues reported that women who tracked instant results after a workout—like feeling happier, more energetic, and less anxious—exercised 34 percent more over the course of a year than those who focused on weight-loss or appearance goals. It makes sense: Physical changes can take weeks and months, which can make working out feel like just another chore.

Instead, focus on these five instant rewards—they'll help reboot your motivation to break a sweat.

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