Summoning the will to exercise can be challenging at times, but according to a new study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, it becomes easier when you find someone to run the rounds with you. Researchers say that having an exercise buddy may help you stick to your fitness program more than exercising alone.
For the study, 58 women from university-based physical courses were gathered and asked to ride on a video game exercise bike under certain conditions. One group was asked to exercise with a virtual buddy; another group was paired up with a virtual individual and was told that their performance would be measured as a team. Meanwhile, the last group was asked to exercise on their own. The women who had exercise companions met their partners via a pre-recorded video chat and were told that they would be exercising with them at the same time in another lab. All of the participants were asked to cycle for as long as they felt comfortable.
Results showed that women who exercised as part of a team stayed, on average, two minutes longer on the exercise bike than those who rode the bike independently with a partner. Results also revealed that they stayed on the bicycle for twice as long compared to those who exercised alone.
The study presents strong evidence that finding someone to exercise with you and sharing your fitness goals is an effective way of sticking to your fitness plan. If you really want to make exercising a habit, find someone to join you. Having a friend or a family member makes even the most dragging of activities more fun.
(Photo by johnnyberg via sxc.hu)