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3.28.17

Read the full article by Betsy Mikel on Inc.

Time for a New Year’s resolution check. We’re about to close out the first quarter of 2017. Have you been able to stick to your resolution to amp up your exercise game? If you’re still struggling to reach gym rat status, don’t worry. The results of a new report from adtech company Dstillery offers insight that could help you get to the gym more often.

Dstillery examined the frequency that people went to the gym, using location-based data gathered from 7.5 million mobile devices. Between mid-February and mid-March, they tracked how often people went to prominent fitness centers and how far they had to travel to get there. According to a summary of the results published in Wall Street Journal, the most frequent gym goers had one of these two qualities in common:

1.  Their gyms were close to home. Those who consistently visited the gym lived four miles or less from their fitness center.

2.  They were members at premium gyms or workout studios, such as Equinox or SoulCycle.

The data found the longer people’s commute, the less frequent their trips to the gym. “People who go to the gym once a month travel a median distance of 5.1 miles,” Wall Street Journal reported. “Those who go five or more times a month travel 3.7 miles.” Fancy-pants gym members traveled twice as far. Those who had memberships at faraway high-priced gyms went just as often as those who lived close to their low-price gyms.

Harkening back to your New Year’s resolution, here’s what you can do to nudge yourself to exercise more often: Find a gym that’s close to home, or pony up for a membership at a high-quality gym.

Finding a gym less than four miles from home isn’t the magic bullet to boosting your attendance. But the close proximity and convenience make it harder to make excuses not to go. When you’re not feeling motivated, it can be difficult to drag yourself off the couch if you have a long way to travel or deal with traffic.

A similar case can be made for those who pay for higher-priced memberships. Their gyms boast a better experience, including higher cleanliness, better variety of classes, newer equipment, and perhaps the lure of visiting the steam room or sauna post workout. With all those bells and whistles, you might be more likely to get your butt there more often.

The worst-case scenario? Being a member at an inexpensive gym that’s far from home. If that sounds like you, it could be time to switch things up. Start of Q2 strong by finding a gym closer to home — or one that’s so expensive, you feel obligated to get your money’s worth.