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Buddy up to get the best out of your fitness regime

Health
1 YOU’RE MORE LIKELY TO REACH YOUR GOALS

Buddying up, whether it is joining a sports team, borrowing a dog or getting a gym partner will make you more likely to work out.

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen found that a new training companion increases the amount of exercise a person took.

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MOTIVATION: Buddying up with a friend at the gym or taking a dog for a run will make you more likely to work out.

2 YOU WILL BE HAPPIER

Team players are happier than those who train on their own. A recent study from the London School of Economics of athletes from a wide range of sports found that those in a team were happier and more satisfied with life overall.

This was linked to both the social aspect of being part of a team, as well as a feeling of belonging and social identity.

3 REDUCE ACHES AND PAINS

A 2009 study of Oxford rowers found that when team members performed identical workouts in a group, compared to individually, their ability to tolerate pain was twice as high.

4 WEIGHT LOSS IS INFECTIOUS

People trying to lose weight are more likely to be successful if they spend time with fit friends, according to a 2016 study of 9335 overweight Americans.

The researchers at Baylor University, Texas, also found that the more frequently the dieter was in contact with friends or family members whom they perceived as fitter or thinner than themselves, the greater the weight loss.

5 AND SO IS OBESITY

Another reason to join a team of sporty individuals is to cut the risk of putting weight back on once it has been lost.

6 YOU’LL WORK HARDER

Working out in a team or with a partner you believe is fitter than you can triple both the time and intensity of your session, a Kansas State University study found.

Towards the end of a four-week period, the subjects who were part of a two-person team were able to use a spinning bike for 160% longer when competing against a better partner, and 200% longer than those who exercised on their own.

7 GET LIKES

Even joining a Facebook group of people with similar health and fitness goals can be enough to boost your motivation. A 2014 University of Texas study found that members of an online weight-loss programme who used social media to speak to other participants weekly were five times as likely to get encouragement and support online or offline than those who did not do so.

8 MAN’S BEST FRIEND

A workout pal does not necessarily have to be human. A 2014 study of over-65s in Scotland found that those who owned a dog were 27% more physically active than those who did not.

9 WARD OFF DEPRESSION

A 2016 study of German professional athletes found that team players, such as those playing volleyball, rugby and football, were less likely to experience depression than solo sportsmen, such as runners, cyclists and triathletes.

10 DARE TO GO HEAVIER

A companion in the form of a personal trainer can boost both motivation and fitness level. A 2016 study of gym-goers found that those who trained alone were more likely to underestimate how heavy they were able to lift, with those selecting their own weights while supervised by a personal trainer going more than 26% heavier on a bench press and nearly 16% heavier on a leg-press machine. - Mail on Sunday

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