If spring fever has you itching to get outside and jumpstart a new exercise routine, you may want to think about recruiting a buddy to tag along.

Workout partners, whether they’re your spouse or a friend, serve as a physical and mental cue to stick with it and have fun! Check out these 4 reasons why finding a workout partner could be one of the best things you do for your health:

More Accountability

Whether you’re looking to slim down or simply commit to daily exercise for your health, being accountable to someone other than yourself will go a long way in helping you stick with your fitness goals.

Skipping a Zumba class at the gym or flaking on your daily walk isn’t as easy when you have to cancel with a partner who was counting on you.

On the flipside, you become invested not only in your own success but your partner’s as well, taking on important roles in supporting and encouraging their hard work.

Research agrees. A study from the American Psychological Association, for example, found that people who were recruited into a weight loss program with friends had a 95% completion rate, while those who were recruited solo only finished 76% of the time.

Push Yourself Harder

Ever heard of the Kohler effect? This psychological phenomenon partially captures how people feel compelled to work harder when they are doing so as part of a group, specifically if they are the least capable member in the group.

An interesting 2011 study published in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology found that in a health games’ setting, working in tandem with a more capable exercise partner generated a motivation gain that triggered participants to persist with a task longer than they would have on their own.

Step Outside of Your Box

If you are feeling a bit humdrum about your workout routine, but still haven’t found the inspiration to try something new, a willing partner may just give you the nudge you need.

Kayaking, hiking, paddle boarding, outdoor yoga, cycling… the list goes on of great low-impact activities that are even more fun with a friend.

Spring and summer foster the perfect environment for stepping outside, both literally and figuratively, of the box.

Even if a new activity is uncomfortable because of a learning curve, it’ll be easier to give it a go when you have a friend by your side who is ready to face a new challenge with you.

Great Social Interaction

According to the National Institute on Aging, social isolation continues to be a risk factor for morbidity and mortality in older adults, contributing to everything from high blood pressure to depression.

While exercise alone can help combat age-related physical and mental illness, so, too, can social relationships reinforce good health outcomes.

A workout buddy is both someone you exercise with as well as a person with whom you share common interests and goals.

Oftentimes, exercising together will be followed by a coffee or lunch date, extending the period of interaction and continuing to boost your mood and feelings of positivity.

Quick Workout Reminders

Just like when you were younger, you’ll want to make sure that you don’t push yourself too hard when working out with a partner. Keep an eye on any aches or pains that follow exercise, and remember these important tips:

Warm Up

Loosen your muscles and joints prior to a workout – try a brisk walk or dynamic stretching.

Tend to Sore Muscles

Use ice therapy on sore muscles and joints to reduce inflammation and pain. Ice packs that wrap around your neck, for example, can stay in place even when performing ADLs (activities of daily living) after a workout.

Stay Hydrated

Drink water before, during, and after a workout to replace fluids you may lose through sweating.

Protect Your Skin

Remember to wear sunblock and protective gear (hats, sunglasses, etc.) when heading outside to exercise.

Final Thoughts

Teaming up with healthy partners can also have an effect outside of exercise. Research has shown that even your diet choices are influenced by the healthy eaters around you.

Spending more time with partners and friends that are committed to healthy living could be your key to managing a healthy weight and staying active!

Have you thought about teaming up with a friend? How do you team up with a partner to meet your exercise goals? Please give us your advice on best partner exercises and the benefits you reap of each encounter.

Jessica HeggJessica Hegg is the content manager at ViveHealth.com. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living a healthy lifestyle. Through her writing, she works to share valuable information aimed at overcoming obstacles and improving the quality of life for others. You can find her on Twitter @Jessica_Hegg.

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