Updated: May 4
Exercising with someone might sound simple enough, but there are profound benefits from having an exercise partner that is worth exploring.
Some people just go to the gym, hop on the treadmill, throw in their earbuds, and do their thing. Others like to take a power hike or mountain bike trip alone in nature. Sometimes that meditative experience is important and they don’t want to necessarily share that special time in their mind with someone else. There are certain martial arts traditions that encourage you to work out alone just for the meditative quality of the experience.
If your workout time isn’t engaged in some meditative aspect, you should strongly consider and seek out someone to work out with you.
One of the biggest benefits of having a workout partner simply boils down to having another person offering you encouragement. There are days when it’s really easy to just stay in bed and you don’t want to get up and put in your workout. If you have somebody you’re meeting up with, it holds you to a higher degree of accountability and a certain amount of social peer pressure.
For some people, there’s also an element of friendly competition. People can push each other, in a well-intended manner, to go that extra tenth of a mile, or an extra 10 miles.
There could also be an element of safety involved. People that lift weights routinely need another person to spot them during a wide variety of exercises. It allows them to safely lift a little bit more weight and push a little bit further through the wall than they are used to pushing. Many martial arts involve doing forms to master routine movements. Some of them, like aikido, is greatly improved by having another person related to the form or even to provide added dynamic motion.
There is a social aspect to it as well. Talking to someone through the course of your workout is in itself added stimulation. Just be smart about it and make sure that your conversation isn’t taking away from actually completing your workout in a timely and effective manner.
Social interaction is critical to brain health and development. When you combine this with other activities like exercise, the compound benefits are something we can’t even measure but are incredibly helpful to the brain. Contributor Author: Dr. Michael Trayford is a Board-Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Founder of APEX Brain Centers in Asheville, NC. For additional information, and to learn more, please visit our Author's page. The opinions expressed by contributing authors are not necessarily the opinions of the Dementia Society, Inc. We do not endorse nor guarantee products, comments, suggestions, links, or other forms of the content contained within blog posts that have been provided to us with permission, or otherwise. Dementia Society does not provide medical advice, please consult your doctor. www.DementiaSociety.org