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Why You Should Consider Finding a Workout Buddy

Written by Kate Ferguson, Friday, October 28th, 2016 in Featured, Fitness

man-1245658_640A lot of people enjoy working out by themselves and aren’t super drawn to the idea of a workout buddy, but some recent research is suggesting that it might be just the thing you need if you’ve been trying to increase the frequency of your workouts.

A woman named Pamela Rackow led a study done at the University of Aberdeen in the UK to try and find out if working out with a buddy really was an beneficial as they say it is.

To test out the theory, they split a group of participants in half and asked one half to find a workout buddy while the others were told to keep doing what they normally did for eight weeks.  The group that went and found workout partners was asked to rate how supportive they were both emotionally and instrumentally. Whether they made the experience an upbeat one, but also whether they made them stick with their goals and not skip workouts.

Pamela pointed out that they didn’t assign the workout buddies, but rather let them choose their own just like you would.

“This study is unique in that it reflects natural life relatively well because when you decide to exercise with a friend—you ask someone in your normal social network regardless of whether they fit certain criteria or not.”

At the end of the study they found that indeed, the group who found a workout buddy ended up doing more workouts over the course of the study, and not only that, but the people with the emotionally supportive workout buddies accomplished even more.

Something to consider?

“Once we found that having a new exercise companion increases exercise frequency we wanted to find out why this is beneficial and what quality of support they offer that has this effect. Our results showed that the emotional social support from the new sports companion was the most effective. Thus, it is more important to encourage each other than doing the actual activity together. ”

So basically, all you need to do is find a friend who is going to act as your personal cheerleader during your workout and you’re good to go. If you don’t happen to have a friend who seems like they’d be a reasonable option, there are actually apps out there that can connect you with like-minded people in your area. And that’s not a bad way to meet some new people either!

As a reminder, you should be aiming for about 45 minutes of exercise most days of the week if you can, especially if weight maintenance is a goal beyond just general health. Those walks around the block are good for the heart but they don’t burn a ton of calories, so find a workout buddy that’s on the same page as far as goals go and get to it.

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