Soon, your life could be changed once and for all, with the help of a pill. No, not one of those amphetamine-based duramides, instead one replicating a natural brain hormone.

Erythropoietin (Epo) increases the motivation to exercise and when elevated in mice, causes them to run around a lot harder.

Most probably, Epo has a general effect on a person’s mood and might be used in patients suffering from depression and related diseases,” Max Gassman from the University of Zurich in Sweden says.

A report of the study appeared online in The FASEB Journal.

Its Editor-in-Chief, Gerald Weissmann, said: “If you can’t put exercise in a pill, then maybe you can put the motivation to exercise in a pill instead.

“As more and more people become overweight and obese, we must attack the problem from all angles. Maybe the day will come when gyms are as easily found as fast food restaurants.”