Here’s the secret to happy and hard workouts
We all know working out with a partner can up the fun and happiness factor of working out, but a new study shows that picking that partner wisely can boost motivation and calorie burn! The study found that those who exercised with someone they perceived to be 40 percent better than them at the activity increased their workout time and intensity by as much as 200 percent!
The study, conducted by Brandon Irwin, assistant professor of kinesiology at Kansas State, compared physical activity when people worked out alone, with a virtual partner, or competing against a teammate.
“People like to exercise with others and make it a social activity,” Irwin says. “We found that when you’re performing with someone who you perceive as a little better than you, you tend to give more effort than you normally would alone.”
The study also showed an increase in motivation over time when people worked out with teammates. “By the last session, participants in the team group were exercising almost 160 percent longer than those in the partner group, and nearly 200 percent longer than those exercising as individuals.”
Irwin’s team was surprised, but ultimately concluded, “If they’re constantly working out with someone who’s beating them, we wondered how motivated people would be to keep coming back and getting beat again,” Irwin said. “It turned out to be exactly the opposite. Over time, it can be very motivating, as long as the conditions are right.”
This research could give you the extra boost you need to ask that super-fit friend of yours to let you in on her workout sessions, join that sports league you’ve been eyeing, or participating in team training for a race.