Do you need an extra push to get things moving? You might consider bringing a friend along. Safe ways to exercise with friends or other fitness enthusiasts are available. Research shows that social support can increase your workout results.
It is possible to motivate yourself by being around people who exercise.
A study by MIT was published in April 2017 in Nature Communications. It looked at five years’ worth of data from over a million runners and found that exercise is “socially contagious” which means that more people who know runners are more likely to get out for a run. The data was collected by digital fitness trackers from runners and included information such as geographic location, social network ties, and the pace, duration, and calories burned for each run.
Exercise with a partner can help you increase the intensity of your workouts.
“Starting an exercise program is simple — the hard part is keeping it up,” says Hirofumi Tanaka, Ph.D., who is a professor of kinesiology at the University of Texas in Austin. He says that the support of others is a key predictor of success when it comes to persistent exercise.
You can do your exercise outdoors if you are looking for a safe place to work out with a friend during these COVID-19 times. You can meet up with a friend at the park to do a strength-training session or yoga, but you must stay six feet apart. The CDC recommends that you wear masks if you or your partner are not vaccinated.
The American Council on Exercise recommends doing a video workout together. You may also be able to exercise safely indoors together. Many gyms require proof that you have been vaccinated. This can help protect against COVID-19.
1. You will be more committed to your goals
The research found that over half of those who exercise as a New Year’s Resolution end up quitting before the summer. If a friend saves a mat for your yoga class, are you really going not to go? Dr. Tanaka believes that exercising with a partner is a great motivator to achieve your workout goals.
According to other research, exercising with a friend (even virtual) can encourage people to exercise longer than they would if they did it alone.
2. It’s less likely that you will become bored and quit.
It is easy to fall into a routine. Research from Scotland shows that having a friend can help you exercise more. A study published in April 2015 in the British Journal of Health Psychology found that emotional support from someone you trust can be a powerful reinforcement for your fitness goals.
3. It will help you feel less stressed
Many times, we rely on our friends and family to help us through difficult periods of life. A partner can also be helpful in reducing stress during exercise. A small study was published in November 2017 in the Journal of Osteopathic Medical. It found that exercisers in groups reported a 26.2 percent decrease in their perceived stress levels. This was higher than those who exercised alone. This is in addition to the fact exercise, whether with or without a friend, provides stress relief and pumps your body full of feel-good endorphins. It also improves your mood, according to the Mayo Clinic.
4. You will push yourself to work harder
A study that was published in Sport, Exercise and Performance Psychology found that lower-level athletes had greater gains when they competed as part of a team. According to the American Psychological Association, the researchers wanted to determine if the Kohler effect (a psychological theory that motivates individuals in groups more than individuals working alone) was true.
This effect was also shown in other research. Adults who did strength exercises with their partners worked harder (holding a position for longer) than when they were doing planks alone.
5. This could help you stick to your weight loss goals
Previous research found that a group effort can help you lose weight more effectively than if you do it alone. Participants in the study who attempted to lose weight using the support of their family and friends (everyone took part in a program that included counseling sessions, dietary modifications, and a physical exercise program) were more successful than those who did the program alone.
This is more proof that surrounding yourself with motivated people who work towards achieving their goals can help to keep you on track.
6. It’s usually safer
A partner can help you lift weights. This means that they are more likely to help you with heavy lifting than you would be alone. Tanaka says, “There’s no doubt that it’s safer to have a partner” if you are inclined to lift weights with free weights. The National Academy of Sports Medicine states that using a spotter to help with heavyweights increases safety and reduces the chance of injury.
Safety is also in numbers when running: The Road Runners Club of America says that running with others will increase your safety.
7. You may even live a few more years
According to a large study, if your fitness regimen is social, it could help you live longer. This was proven by nearly 9,000 people who were followed for 25 years. The September 2018 Mayo Clinic Proceedings study found that people who participate in group sports such as tennis or soccer lived on average a few more years than those who exercise alone, such as jogging or cycling.
This post was written by Darryl Johnson, Co-Owner of Apex performance. At Apex performance we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of one-on-one training, small group classes, and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, sports training, and body goals!