I opened my eyes at the break of dawn this morning and the first thought that ran through my head was that I should get up and hit the treadmill. (It’s been a few days since I’ve exercised.) I ended up rolling over and going back to sleep for another 45 minutes.
Maybe all I needed was a phone call.
According to a new study, people are likely to exercise more frequently if they receive a call or e-mail from their friends or family with a gentle reminder. From yesterday’s Wall Street Journal article “The Power of a Gentle Nudge“:
Unable to push herself to exercise, Ruthanne Lowe joined a research study aimed at motivating the sedentary with a surprisingly simple technique—an occasional telephone reminder.
“It really did work,” says Ms. Lowe, a 66-year-old housewife in San Jose, Calif. Three years after the study ended, she says, “I’m doing more exercise than I ever did in my life.”
The study, conducted by Stanford University, belongs to a growing body of research showing that small amounts of social support, ranging from friends who encourage each other by email to occasional meetings with a fitness counselor, can produce large and lasting gains against one of America’s biggest health problems—physical inactivity.
I guess people are motivated by different things. Yes, a phone call may have helped this morning but the thing that drives me to work out is comfort and frugality. Meaning, I hate tight fitting pants and I refuse to spend money on new clothes.
What motivates you to exercise?