Strength In Numbers: The Importance Of Fitness Buddies

Health

If there have been a way to twin your chances for fitness success, could you be interested? Think about a method to make exercise more pleasurable? A tool that automatically creates space and amount of time in your occupied routine for workouts? A successful way to assist you of a rut or through a plateau? It may all sound to too good to be true too, but countless fitness seekers have found that the right workout pal can do everything and more.

Exercise partners give a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation, and, in some cases, healthy competition. “They can play the role of a teammate, cheerleader, and co-coach – all while training,” says Michelle P. Maidenberg, PhD, MPH, clinical director of Westchester Group Works in Harrison, N.Y. Maidenberg, who consults on wellness-coaching strategies, says finding the right workout partner (someone you value and click with) dramatically increases your chances of success.

The dependence on social support is primal, says Andersen. “We are public animals. A 2011 research published in Psychology of Sport and Exercise discovered that the exercise practices of people you understand have an optimistic influence on your exercise habits. Another study, from the Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University, surveyed varied people who joined health clubs together and discovered that couples who exercised separately had a 43-percent dropout rate over the course of a season.

Those who visited the gym collectively, whether or not they centered on the same type of exercise, had only a 6.3-percent dropout rate. Ready to partner up? But before you recruit the first warm body you see, keep in mind that not all workout buddies are manufactured equivalent.

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“If you choose someone who does not discuss a similar commitment to fitness, that may be a distraction or a deterrent even,” Andersen says. Another key factor: the emotional connection. Your workout pal doesn’t need to be your best friend, but she or he has to be someone you prefer and whom you wouldn’t want to disappoint, Maidenberg says.

The most successful fitness partnerships get into one of three categories: the pal-based pal system, the tiny group, and the combined pair. Take a look at them all, then consider which collaborative agreement (or arrangements) my work right for you. A dynamic duo, friends, or colleagues typically, who teach collectively one-on-one or have developed a normal regimen of linking for fitness activities.

Best for: Those that shy away from gyms and fitness classes when solo, or who tend to be introverted. Great for those centered on specific, shared, or complementary goals (e.g., losing weight, getting more powerful, training for an event). Ideal for pals who want to spend more time and be more active jointly.

Also great for coworkers or stay-at-home parents. Plus, there’s a huge emotional advantage. “During a workout, more than our skin pores open up,” Thom says. “We find ourselves linking with our workout buddies more intimately than we may if we were just getting together with over coffee. Potential pitfalls: ”In case your workout partner is down on a regular basis, complaining, you will eventually lose motivation eventually,” Lombardo says.

Likewise, if she or he is too competitive, gives up too easily or is jealous of your success, it will down bring you. Success story: ”From past experience, I know that I am much more likely to visit the fitness center when someone is expecting me,” says Brandi Frommelt, 29, a mother of three girls who works out at LIFE Fitness in Tempe, Ariz.