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The benefits of regular exercise are plentiful, but working out is often a chore—unless you commit to having a good time while staying fit. It’s relatively easy to make working out so enjoyable that you forget that you’re doing something healthy.

5 Dear Diary

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Hold yourself accountable for your activity by keeping a fitness journal or log. Keeping a journal can also help you achieve your fitness goals. Chart your improvements and evaluate your progress so you can make changes as you go.

4 Strength in Numbers

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Don’t sweat alone—get a fitness buddy. You don’t need research to tell you that working out with a friend can keep you motivated, even when you’re ready to give up. Rather than meeting a friend for coffee, go for a walk—the time and miles will both fly by.

3 Run for the Money

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If the reward of fitness itself isn’t enough, exercise to win prizes and money. Exercise gamification apps—such as Nexercise—allow users to earn tangible rewards for just about any type of calorie-burning activity. Sign up if earning gift cards and discounts motivates you to get up and move.

2 Let the Games Begin

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Let your inner warrior reign and work out with a fitness band. These fashionable pedometers measure the steps you take each day, calories burned, distance traveled and even your sleep patterns. Compete against family, friends and coworkers to see who can stay the most active. Sync the devices with an iPhone or computer to share your stats online or challenge others. What’s more fun than good old competition? Staying fit at the same time.

1 Moving and Grooving

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Pump up your workouts with a killer playlist. Music not only makes exercise less boring, but according to veteran sports psychologist Costas Karageorghis, music increases motivation and raises endurance. If your inner DJ is lacking, look online or on iTunes for suggested workout mixes and just get moving.

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