There are as many to avoid exercise as there are to actually do it. For every year you can live longer, there’s a valid reason to avoid going to the gym or lacing up your trainers.

Be it cost, anxiety or time restrictions, motivating oneself to put the work in is a challenge enough.

However, 2016 is the easiest time to exercise. With developments in trainers, clothing and companion technology, getting a sweat on has never been more comfortable and motivating.


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But what’s the #1 driving force that can pull almost every person out of their exercise-less routine?

In a study conducted by Duke-NUS and reported by Reuters, researchers dug deep into why the obvious health benefits of exercise were not enough to draw people into the gym by the droves.

Initially, they surmised that activity trackers like FitBits were making a huge difference for a lot of people in terms of getting lapsed exercisers back on track and enticing the unconverted.

However, these little gadgets haven’t been making a huge difference despite their massive popularity.

So what does motivate people to exercise? The promise of a more active future and the self-esteem to boot? Nope. Cold, hard cash [cue cha-ching sound effect].

In the study, it was found that the group of subjects that performed the best combined an activity tracker with the promise of a cash incentive.

The research looked at how a sample of people kept their motivating initiatives up across a year. By the last third of the year, where cash initiative were introduced,  the group with activity trackers were found to have exercised just 15 minutes more than the group without activity trackers.

It’s small but it matters.

It just shows that money kinda does make the world go round. Either way, signing up for that expensive gym membership with the knowledge that you can’t waste that money might be the motivating force you need.