Get a gym buddy if you want to get the most out of your exercise routine.
Having a companion increases the amount of exercise people take and the best kind of partner is someone who is emotionally supportive.
Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have found that people with who linked up with a “gym buddy’ exercised more than those who just followed their own routine.
Two groups – one with gym buddies and the other without – were compared by Dr Pamela Rackow from the Institute of Applied Health Sciences at the University.
“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,” she explained.
The team were also interested in what qualities makes a good partner. They asked participants to rate how supportive their partners are and what kind of support was most effective.
They divided support into two types, emotional and instrumental. They found that people exercised more when their companion offered emotional support and encouragement and rather than practical support like never missing a session.
“Our results showed that the emotional social support from the new sports companion was the most effective. Thus, it is more important to encourage each other than doing the actual activity together,” said Dr Rackow.
The study is published in the British Journal of Health Psychology.