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Daily Dose

Steps to get motivated and start exercising

With the harsher than usual winter, you may be having a harder time motivating yourself to exercise. Your challenge this week is to try one of these mind games to get moving.

1. Promise yourself that your workout needs to last for only seven minutes. It takes about six minutes of moderate activity for your brain to feel that first rush of mood-elevating hormones; once you feel a little boost in your mood, you’ll likely want to exercise for a little longer.

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2. Remember it’s a great antidepressant to ward off the seasonal blues. Research suggests that burning 350 calories, three days a week, can help ward off depression.

3. Listen to a few songs on your workout playlist before exercising. It will likely trigger a kind of Pavlovian response. You will associate the song with exercise, which will make you more likely to want to grab your workout clothes.

4. Schedule it in your calendar. This worked for a friend of mine. She treats her workout like a work appointment and heads down to the gym in her office building the minute the alarm beeps on her phone. “I can always re-schedule it if something comes up during the day,” she told me.

5. Try something novel, and consider it an adventure. I’m thinking of signing up for 10 classes at a local yoga studio just to break up my routine — or I may just try a new workout DVD or a new app for my iPhone that tracks my runs.

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