Harvard Researcher: Exercising With Friends Best For Meeting Goals

Struggling to find your gymspiration? You’re not alone. According to theCDC, 75% of people don’t get enough physical activity, despite knowing how much exercise benefits our minds, bodies and quality of life. But one industry expert suggests finding the motivation to workout is as simple as getting a little help from your friends.

Daniel Leibman, a Harvard paleoanthropologist and author of “Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do is Healthy and Rewarding,” says finding a workout buddy is the best way to stay motivated to move. “Nothing works as effectively as exercising with friends,” he explains. His research has found that people have “deep fundamental instincts” to avoid physical activity, but hitting the gym with a pal or a group of them helps promote social bonding and accountability with working out, which makes you more likely to stick with the fitness routine.

He explains that even folks who are consistent with their workouts can struggle to get motivated and it even happens to him. “I went for a run this morning but spent half an hour complaining,” Leibman says. “It’s as hard for me as anyone else.” So the struggle is real, but having a bestie to sweat it out with provides positive reinforcement and encouragement that can help you stay on track. He’s also a fan of using technology to keep us connected to workout buddies and says if it helps get more people moving, “we should do anything that works.”


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