For all the extroversion vs. introversion tests you’ve taken, or whichever “personality” category you fall under - humans are inherently social. This means social connections are highly important to us, whether we like to admit it or not.
According to an article published by Harvard Medical School, strong social connections also “influence our long-term health in ways every bit as powerful as adequate sleep, a good diet, and not smoking...that people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”
Strong social connections also help us to be the best version of ourselves, helping us to stay on track with our health goals.
A study published in the scientific journal Nature Communications revealed that friends have a significant influence on an individual’s exercise routine, and that exercise is “socially contagious”. Researchers measured the contagion among peers using a fitness tracker, and found that not only are we inspired by our friends to exercise, but we also display our competitive streak by wanting to outperform them.
The need for interpersonal support is primal. By providing a powerful combination of support, accountability, motivation and healthy competition, sweat buddies help us stick to our workout schedule or to power through plateaus!
Research also shows that both social interaction and vigorous exercise can actually alter your brain chemistry. An increase in activity is seen in neurotransmitters that positively affect mood, attention span, motivation and perception, all of which increase the likelihood of us sticking to your goals.
The benefits to sweating it out with a buddy also extends outside of the gym. When you are pushing through a strenuous workout together, you develop a sense of camaraderie, and can possibly develop a deeper connection. This translates to a supportive relationship that you know will have your back - both in and out of the gym!
Killing two birds with one stone? Hell yea!
So how can you be the best SweatBuddy that you can be?
- Stick to the plan. Do your best not to cancel at the very last minute, or flake on your plans regularly.
- Be on time. Your SweatBuddy is equally busy, enough said.
- Be supportive and encouraging, negativity is a real downer.
- Keep things fresh and suggest new routines to prevent plateaus (and boredom).
- Keep communicating with each other through routine-breakers like travels and illnesses. This makes it easier for the both of you to get back on track later.
Are you looking to meet like-minded individuals and expand your social horizon? Are you looking for friends (or flames ;)) who want to stay healthy too?