Dreading the gym? Have a cup (or two) of coffee before you go. A 2014 study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that when participants consumed caffeine 90 minutes before and 30 minutes after riding a stationary bike, they found their workout more enjoyable and a little easier than when they did the same routine without the stimulant. Bonus: The caffeinated exercisers tended to consume about 170 fewer calories during their next meal.
Lace Up Later
There’s value in getting fitness out of the way first thing in the morning, but research shows that an early evening stroll may pay off even more. One small study discovered that when postmenopausal women walked at the end of the day, they lost more fat than A.M. exercisers.
Find a New Workout Buddy
A canine companion may be a more effective motivator than a human gym buddy: One study found that dog owners who routinely take their pet for walks are more likely to meet the recommended exercise guideline (150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity per week). In a University of Missouri study, older adults who walked with a furry friend saw a 28 percent increase in their speed over the course of 12 weeks, while those who were accompanied by a spouse or an acquaintance increased by only 4 percent. Grab the leash and get moving.