3 Reasons Why You Need a Workout Buddy
October 15, 2017
t’s almost time to Turn It Up! Whether you're riding with your bestie on a weekly basis or finding inspiration in the stranger on the bike next to you, clipping in is even better when you are part of a community.
This fall's Turn It Up challenge starts Tuesday! Whatever you're pushing to reach 10, 20, or 30 classes in 30 days, science says that adding a friend will amp up your likelihood for success. Which is awesome, since we you ride with a room of teammates in every SoulCycle class. All the better if one of them is your personal fitness buddy. Here’s why…
You’ll show up.
Hitting snooze and skipping a workout is a lot harder when you know you’ve got a pal waiting on the bike next to yours. “The biggest benefit of exercise and with a partner is that your motivation extends outside yourself—you’re obligated to maintaining not only your own exercise schedule but also your partner’s,” says John Raglin, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at Indiana University–Bloomington.
His advice: Pair up with a friend, sister, or acquaintance you care about. “They need to be important enough in your life so that missing schedule exercise session with them would be something you’d feel bad about,” he says.
… and you’ll break a better sweat when you do.
Working out with someone in better shape than you can help you kick it up a notch: Having a buddy who’s about 40 percent fitter than you can rev up your competitive nature and make you go longer and harder than you might otherwise, found a study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. “Exercise partners of unequal fitness or motivation can work out well because often the one who is less fit looks to their partner to be a source of motivation,” says Raglin.
Look for a buddy who can play cheerleader, as sweating with someone who says encouraging words makes you exercise more than someone who just never misses a workout, according to a new study from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland.
You’ll boost your mood.
Research has shown that people enjoy exercise more with a friend in tow, and it can help you relax too: When riding a bike for 30 minutes at a moderate intensity, people who pedaled with a friend felt more calm and less stressed afterward than those who cycled solo, found research from Santa Clara University. And there is no better way to kick of the new year than by feeling stronger and more confident with every single ride.