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Who is the Ideal Workout Buddy?
Exercising with a partner - running

Exercise is a bit like love - when you’re in it, it seems like there is no other way to live. When you’ve been out of the dating scene a long time, however, it is easy to get stuck in your ways, and lose the motivation to invest time in finding a new partner. People motivate us, in love and fitness, with recent research showing that if you really want to increase the amount of exercise you do, a personal trainer or workout buddy can help lift you to higher ground.

Emotional Support from your Companion

Research conducted at the University of Aberdeen sought to investigate the benefits of an exercise companion, looking at the specific qualities that motivate others to work harder. They found that having a workout companion increased exercise frequency, which was expected, but were surprised to note that positive change was most dramatic in those who had received emotional support. To obtain the maximum benefits from exercise companions, pick people who encourage you, and make sure they know their stuff. One of the best things about a personal trainer is that they know exactly how to motivate you. They can provide you with someone to be accountable to, function as a source of inspiration for what you can achieve, and even help you with ‘spotting’ - providing crucial support to finish your last set of reps or allowing you to lift more than you could normally do safely.

Silence is Golden

World of encouragement like “Come on, you can do it!” may initially seem motivating, yet research shows that the opposite is actually true. One study carried out at the University of Kansas found that although it was known that the optimal exercise buddy is someone who is significantly better than you are at a particular activity, silence can be more efficient than stock phrases. As noted by Brandon Irwin, lead author of the study, “When exercising with someone who is better and who is not verbally encouraging, participants exercised longer than if conditions were the same but that person was verbally encouraging them. We didn't expect that." Researchers postulated that the reasons for their findings, were that when someone we know to be superior in a given sport or activity, encourages us verbally, it can feel like they are being condescending. On the other hand, when they are quiet, we find inspiration from the heights they can achieve. Your personal trainer will know how to gently lead you into ‘the Zone’, since a big part of their training is centered around motivation.

Exercise is an important pillar of good health, so if you find that your motivation levels have been lower than normal, find a new buddy who is inspirational and quietly supportive; for optimal safety, support and the right psychological motivation, a personal trainer is the ideal workout buddy. In addition to helping you with practical aspects of your workout, your trainer will knows exactly wish buttons to push to ensure you give your very best performance, every time you hit the gym.

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