It’s official – exercising with friends is better than exercising alone, according to new research. With friends, findings show that we’ll work harder, last longer and burn more calories than we would alone.
The findings emerged in a study of 1,000 women, comparing the habits of those who prefer to go solo and those who prefer company when working out.
It shows that friends who exercise together will visit the gym more regularly, and of women who run, go to the gym or attend group exercise classes with friends, 64% push themselves harder than if they went alone.
31% of women actually consider their friends to be the motivation they need to stay in good shape.
“We all have a need to socialise and be with other people, it’s written into our DNA so it’s no surprise that a lot of people like to exercise with friends as this study shows.
“Sometimes having an exercise partner is the difference between sitting on the couch in the evening and getting up and out of the house.
“You are less likely to let your friend down if you arrange to meet them to go to a class or the gym.
“Many women will spur each other on, and provide their friends with the incentive they need to get going.
“Most importantly, having a friend to exercise with makes it more fun – and as well as training hard they can also catch up and treat the experience as another social event.”
The study shows that during the average exercise session, women who exercise with friends burn up to 236 calories- over 20% more than the independent ladies.
The average workout among friends lasts for 42 minutes, with the average run taking approximately 31 minutes.
For solo gym bunnies, sessions usually last for 36 minutes, with runs dropping short of half an hour.
Less than half of those people who exercise alone claim to push themselves hard when keeping fit – compared to 64% of girls in groups.
Interestingly, 62% of women who train alone claim they like to excel in a sport before showing off to friends while in contrast, 62% of women who train with others believe their friends offer the encouragement they need to take sport seriously.
27% like to have someone to compete against when exercising.
28% of girls are so opposed to working out along that they even prefer working out in big exercise classes than going out for a run, visiting the gym, or cycling on their own.
The research also shows that women who exercise in pairs or groups will go to the gym at least seven times a month, compared to lone trainers going six times.
However, women who train alone put in two extra sessions a month across all sports – doing 15 sessions compared to 13 for girls who exercise with friends – as they find it a little harder to arrange mutually convenient times to meet.
The study reveals that 27% of British women exercise with friends, compared to 73% who exercise alone.
Gillian Reeves for Virgin Active Health Clubs continues:
“Whatever gets you going – from walking or swimming to working towards taking part in an event like a triathlon, any form of exercise is will help you lead a healthier life and make you feel good, whether you prefer to work out on your own or in a group.
“We would recommend doing 150 minutes of physical activity per week – working out with friends in group exercise classes such as Zumba Fitness, Yoga and Body Pump is a great way to get active in a group environment and, most importantly, to have fun, tone up and burn calories in the process’’.
Top reasons for exercise for women who work out with friends include having a good gossip, long term health, to tone up, and to get out of the house.
Girls who train alone so do to give themselves more energy, and to look and feel good.