As you age gracefully in a relaxing retirement home, it’s all the more important to get up and exercise regularly.

Grab your neighbour or significant other and head over to the local park for a brisk evening walk or even some aqua aerobics. A study has found that exercising with a close friend or romantic partner can actually increase your own fitness levels. Read on to find out how.

Fun fitness with a friend

Of course, exercising, in general, is bound to bring many benefits to your healthy lifestyle and wellbeing.

We’ve already taken a look at certain activities you can engage in if you have arthritis, and how regular fitness boosts your quality of life by lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

However, did you know that if you workout with a friend, you’re more likely to perform better?

This study, published in the Psychology of Sport and Exercise journal, found that when working out with a friend or partner with whom you have a close relationship, you’re likely to influence each other’s fitness habits due to the perceived support you receive from each other.

The patterns demonstrated are as follows:

If the exercise levels of the participant were average or higher, then the friend or partner would exhibit more social support. At this range of effort, the participant would mimic the other’s fitness habits to better their own.

It was hypothesised by the researchers that this was because the participant viewed the modelled behaviour as desirable, and that due to the close relationship with the other, the participant viewed them as someone to be respected.

It also allowed an opportunity for socialising and fostered a more intimate relationship, as it provided both participant and friend/partner a mutual activity to bond over.

Call it friendly competition if you must, but jogging with a close friend will help you jog better.Call it friendly competition if you must, but jogging with a close friend will help you jog better.

What does this mean for me?

For seniors and people over 65, it’s likely that you’ve built up a lifetime’s worth of relationships, so find someone today to join you on the path to getting fitter and healthier.

Health Direct Australia recommends a moderate-intensity aerobic exercise. In layman’s terms, it’s something that will quicken your heart rate to cause a light sweat. Also, minimising your time of sedentary behaviour will also help in the long term, so make sure you break up those hours of watching television and reading.

Grab someone near and dear to your heart to join a yoga class or a refreshing swim today – it’ll even help your mental health!

Active Lifestyle