Two for Tuesday, two birds of a feather, a One Two Punch, two peas in a pod, two birds in a tree, two of a kind. These are just a few sayings
extolling the benefits of two, or a pair. Does that though correspond to exercise
and fitness? Researchers looked to answer that question with
a study and the results were released in
February by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. The researchers wanted to see if there was a link between “peer influence” on exercise and enjoyment of exercise of those who exercised together and those who worked out solo.
The study took twelve men and twelve women. They were put through various tests. These were a solo run, then being matched with a sex fitness matched familiar peer, and the last group was a sex and fitness level match with an unfamiliar peer. They were tracked via GPS for distance covered, average speed over that distance, and exercise duration.
The results found that there “The presence of a familiar or unfamiliar peer did not alter recreational runners’ running behavior, liking, or perceived exertion during sub maximal exercise. However, exercising with others may have other benefits (e.g., reduced attrition) not examined herein.”
So what does this mean for you the reader? Well that depends upon how motivated you are. If you are a self-starter, and can stay motivated despite those days when you do not feel like exercising I would say keep doing what you are doing. If you find you need the motivation, and like having someone with you when you exercise, invite a partner to exercise with you. It might not make you run faster, or longer, and it might not make exercise more comfortable, but you might find it helps you stay consistent with your workouts. At the same time you might be doing the same for your friend or your partner.