Sometimes, finding the right motivation to exercise could be difficult, but researchers have found that finding a new exercise companion increased the amount of exercise people took. This was increased even more when the new partner was emotionally supportive.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have been investigating whether having an exercise companion increases the amount of exercise we do.
Dr Pamela Rackow from the Institute of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Aberdeen gathered the data whilst at the University of Zurich. Dr Rackow and her team asked half of the participants to find a new ‘gym buddy’ and the other half continued with their normal routine. The results showed that the group who found a new exercise partner exercised more than those who followed their regular exercise routine.
Dr Rackow said: “The idea of this study was to test in a very natural setting what is happening when two people get together with the aim to exercise more. I had read motivation tips in a leaflet that suggested that having an exercise companion would help me to exercise more but I wanted to know if this was true.
“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.”