New research conducted at the University of Aberdeen has found that having a new exercise partner can increase the amount of physical activity you do.
The study compared two groups, one whose members worked out with a new companion and another whose participants followed their usual routine. The subjects who had buddied up did much more exercise.
The study also looked at what type of support from en exercise partner was most beneficial. Results showed those who offered ‘emotional support’ were more effective than what the researchers termed ‘instrumental’ methods of support, such as ensuring their mate never missed a session.
Dr Pamela Rackow, who gathered the data, said: “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."
Conclusion: get a friend to start running with you right now and only ever offer them words of encouragement and love, and an arm round the shoulder when they feel down. If you start shouting at them like a sergeant major they’ll sod off and find someone else to run with.
Still not prepared to ditch your solo runs? Friends with benefits should convince you. If you’re in need of a supportive and encouraging network of runners, there is no better place to find it than right here at the Running Bug!