8037022_MWe have heard it before – work out with a partner to motivate you. However, sometimes the problem is not the frequency or the time, but the intensity.Studies show that working out with a partner who is a little better than you can make a big difference, even if this “partner” is virtual.

The study was done at Michigan State University and was overseen by Dr. Brandon Irwin at Kansas State University. The 58 female exercised on stationary bikes for six 60-minute sessions over four weeks to create a baseline.

When the participants returned, they were told that their “partner” in another lab rode their bikes 40 minutes longer. The “partner” was actually a looping video rather than a live feed of other female exercisers. Because of this challenge, the participants increased their workouts. After several sessions where the participants thought they were part of a team, they exercised 160% longer than the baseline and 200% longer than when they exercised alone.

So, just as with eating habits, if you surround yourself with those who make good choices, you will be more inclined to do so yourself. Just make sure you do not pair yourself with someone whose exercise capacity is too far above yours as this may have a demotivating effect instead.

Brandon Irwin, Ph.D., assistant professor, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan.; Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief science officer, American Council on Exercise, San Diego; Annals of Behavioral Medicine

Courtesy of Exercise ETC, Compiled by Laura Abbott, MS, LMT

*Valeo Personal Training encourages our clients to grab a buddy and join together for sessions. It’s not only more cost-effective for each person, it increases energy, creates a strong bond and is a blast to do!

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