Buddy System Has Fit Benefits

If you want to take your workout to the next level in the New Year; consider teaming up with a  fitness buddy whose strength and commitment you admire.

New research suggests that when women workout with a fitter, stronger partner they not only push themselves harder; they don’t complain of being any more tired when their exercise session is done.

Indeed researchers at Kansas State University found that when women even believed (sometimes erroneously) that their workout partner was working out at a more intense pace; they were willing to step it up in the spirit of teamwork.

When researchers in a lab setting had women ride stationary bikes and projected an image of a partner working similarly in another lab; they found the women picked up their pace if they were told the other women was riding at a faster pace. (Sometimes those virtual riders were actually prerecorded partners whose looped images were being projected on a screen.)

The findings were reported recently in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers said their conclusions–that women were able to pick up the pace and work harder and longer when paired with a seemingly fitter partner–is important to fitness experts who are seeking ways to get Americans to engage in more vigorous exercise for longer durations.

And, of course, it could be a smart and collegial approach to reaching your own fitness goals in the New Year.