As one who’s constantly changing her exercise regime due to boredom (and injury), I’ve been intrigued by several recent studies about people that are more likely to be in shape and to stick to their exercise regimen. Two studies in particular grabbed my attention:
Forget the treadmill. Get a dog. As a dog owner who went to the University of Missouri (one of the cited research facilities in the New York Times story), it was nice to see a study backing up what I’ve always believed — that having a dog gets you out of the house and moving. Granted, as a bulldog owner, I don’t go very far. And I do often wonder: Is it the dog that gets you moving, or the more active person that gets a dog in the first place? Probably a little of both. (Even if you’re an active person, when the dog comes to you with the leash in his mouth, you really don’t have much of a choice.)
For best exercise, don’t be lonely or late. I had a mixed reaction to this one. Now that I work from home, I’ve been able to workout at a variety of times throughout the day. My Wednesday morning Pilates class was recently switched to a 6:30 a.m. start time, and that has been difficult to do, week in and week out. (7 a.m. was a much easier time to make for me, but still not the easiest.) But it didn’t surprise me at all that those working out in groups or with a buddy are much more likely to stick to their regime. The social component of knowing that others will be there to help you through the class or to finish the run is a great motivator, and one that’s kept me going to classes for a long time. At Physiquality, my boss agreed, which is why we wanted to do an entry on the topic.
Want to stick to your workout? Don’t do it alone.
Fall is coming, and with it, weather that keeps people inside and sweaters that hide a lot of bulges. So how do you stick to your workout routine? Don’t do it alone!
Recent studies have shown that people who work out in groups have a much higher adherence rate than those who work out on their own. Bert Carron, a kinesiology professor at the University of Western Ontario, told the Los Angeles Times that “Human beings are wired to be in groups. … Exercising alone doesn’t work for the majority of people.”
You’re also more likely to stick to your routine if you find a group of people with similar goals, ages or exercise ability. Take a look at the gyms in your area to see what types of classes are being offered; chances are high that you’ll find a class tailored to your specific needs and demographics. Physiquality partner and GRAVITY® Master Trainer Rob Glick points out that there are a wide variety of classes available on GRAVITY machines, from easier levels that focus on functional exercises to High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes in the Tabata style.