Having a workout buddy can keep you motivated, focused and engaged. It might even bring our your competitive spirit, leading you to achieve more.  Learn why a fitness buddy or group can help bolster your workouts.

We know that poor health can be contagious. The flu, colds and various bugs can pass from one person to the next. But did you know that good health can be socially contagious too? At least, that’s what a recent study on exercise and motivation shows:

The study, published in the Journal Nature Communications by scientists of the MIT Sloan School of Management, analyzed the daily exercise patterns, geographical locations, and social networks of more than 1 million people over the course of five years. They found that exercise truly is socially contagious — in general, we are inspired by the workout patterns we observe in other people in our social networks. If we observe that one of our friends ran a certain distance at a certain speed, we’re usually motivated to run even farther and faster than we otherwise would.

The study focuses on how fitness trackers and social networks can help motivate us to do more. That’s great, but we’d suggest moving from the virtual to the “real world” realm. Our coaches frequently recommend finding a workout buddy. A fitness partner can really strengthen your motivation and commitment to your exercise routine. It could be a friend, a colleague or a spouse. Or it could even be a group.

Here are some good reasons why a fitness buddy works:

  • It will strengthen your commitment because you have someone besides yourself to answer to. On that rainy day when it would be easy to stay in bed, it’s harder to do that if you have to cancel on a partner.
  • A shared activity will feel more like fun and less like work or a “must do.” Plus, it has social benefits beyond just health benefits: it’s good for your emotional well-being, too.
  • You will motivate each other to achieve more and try harder. Studies show that people who workout with others push themselves further.
  • It’s safer. You’ll always have a running partner, a spotter or someone to comment on your form. There will also be someone around if something goes wrong, like a fall or a twisted ankle.

It could be more than one buddy – team sports and group exercise are great ways to foster commitment, too. They also afford the benefits of socializing while getting healthy. See the Health Benefits of Working Out with a Crowd.

We found a fun article and infographic from The Fix: Double Your Workout with a Fitness Buddy. It talks about the benefits of having someone to exercise with and offers excellent tips on “How to find and be a good workout buddy.” It also suggests a few workout routines.

Source: Fix.com Blog


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