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Exercise With a Partner for Better Results

Update Date: Dec 16, 2012 12:36 PM EST

While we read and hear almost every day that exercising is the best way to stay healthy and also the best approach to get a fabulous body worth flaunting, very few of us successfully end up motivating ourselves for the hard work. While for a lot of us beginning is the problem, many of us struggle to keep it going after a certain point.

A new research suggests that in order to extend the duration of exercising, one can perhaps try exercising with a virtual partner. Apparently, the results for an increased duration of exercising are even better with a moderately superior partner.

In order to investigate and examine the influence of a virtually present partner on participants' motivation during aerobic exercise, researcher Brandon C. Irwin, Ph.D., from Michigan State University in East Lansing and colleagues randomly assigned 58 females, aged 20 on an average, to exercise on a stationary bike.  

The exercising sessions were conducted on six different days under three different conditions: with a coactive condition (exercising alongside another person, independently), a conjunctive condition (performance determined by whichever partner stops exercising first) with a superior partner, or to an individual condition, Medical Xpress reported.

The findings of the study revealed that the duration for which the participants in the conjunctive condition exercised was significantly longer than the participants in coactive conditions and those in individual conditions.

"The current findings contribute to a growing body of research on the existence and performance of motivation gains in experimental groups, and the likely utility of these gains, in this case, in aerobic exercise tasks," the authors write.

"These findings lend support to the notion that group motivation gain effects can influence exercise performance (most potently under conjunctive task demands with a moderately more capable partner) over several trials."

The study was published in the October issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 

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