How Much Does Working Out with Friends Help Your Exercise?
Friends make so many activities in life more enjoyable and fitness is not exception to that. Having a buddy join you for a run or work out with you at the gym can help avert your attention away from the strain of exercise.
Beyond just the personal experience of fitness, however, can friends actually improve your workout consistency?
Researchers at Kean University examined that question and found that, “Peer interactions have been identified as a critical factor for increasing a population’s physical activity.”
Among other things, the study drew the following conclusions:
- Social interaction is critical for habitual exercise to persist in a population
- Interventions and strong cultures prevent return to sedentary behaviors
- Sedentary individuals can socially draw the moderate-active population toward sedentary behavior
Researchers expounded on the first point, adding “When present, social interactions regarding physical activity can have different impacts on the individuals’ long-term trends. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate that a sedentary individual will more likely transition to the extremely active group when interacting with extremely active individuals and to moderately active group when interacting with moderately active individuals.”
Peer pressure is often associated with its ability to allure people into bad habits, but sometimes it can do the same for good disciplines. Seeing other people do something you know you should do – like exercise –adds the extra motivation necessary to get you over the hump.
Whether it’s signing up for a group workout class or getting your friend to exercise with you, adding some social interaction may make a big difference in the long run.