Exercising with a partner might be the answer.
Around this time of year, the initial enthusiasm you had for fitness glory around New Year’s could be waning. If you’re feeling less motivated, working out fewer days and just not putting the effort into workouts that you did earlier in the year, consider a workout partner.
Research has shown that committing to workouts with someone else helps keep you disciplined. If you have someone else waiting for you at the gym, you’re less likely to skip out. It’s much easier to pass on the tough stuff when no one is holding you accountable.
In addition, workouts feel a lot shorter when you’re shooting the breeze during your morning run with a good friend. One study found that during an average session, women working out with a friend burned 18 percent more calories than those working out alone. Less than half of those women who exercised alone claimed to push themselves very hard during exercise, compared to 64 percent of women working out with others.
Research has also found that you get even greater results sticking to your routine when you work out with a spouse. Men tend to really kick up their workouts when their wives are already committed to a workout program. When wives are reaching their goals first, 70 percent of husbands start stepping up their routines. An additional study of 3,700 couples age 50 and older, either married or living together and exercising together, also found encouraging results. Of those exercising together, 70 percent were still exercising together two years later. Only 25 percent of those exercising separately were still exercising two years later.
The moral of the story is that many people find motivation with others.
If you have someone you know you can count on to be your workout partner, get started together now.
If you need to look outside your family and friends, group exercise classes tend to lend themselves well to easy friendships. Instructors and other participants often develop bonds that keep each other accountable.