Workout Buddies: The Secret to Getting More Out of your Workout
We all know that regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. But, with kids, work, family and other commitments jostling for priority, it’s easy to let your health and exercise aspirations slide.
If you are looking for a way to get out of the habit of putting exercise on the backburner, or just want to get the most out of your sessions, researchers have discovered a way to improve your workout by up to 200%. It’s not a special supplement, or new fad exercise plan… That special ingredient is actually a workout partner.
In a study by Michigan State University, participants would exercise up to 200% longer to achieve a score as a pair compared to working alone. It comes down to a desire to crush the workout as a team, where we gain strength from each other and focus less on our own personal failings.
But that’s not all that a buddy brings to your workout. The fun and emotional support we get from a bit of a laugh or a word of encouragement throughout a tough workout session is a great boost, and can actually get you to workout more often (according to a University of Aberdeen study).
So how do you find a workout buddy?
If you don’t already have someone who you can count on to join you, it can be hard to know where to start looking. There are lots of different opportunities out there, but one of our favourite options is an easy to join, friendly and inspiring group of women: Running Mums Australia.
Running Mums Australia was created to champion the everyday woman, bringing positive change and connection through shared exercise. It’s a safe and secure running community on Facebook which gives women the opportunity to talk about running, learn from more experienced runners and connect with other mums in their local areas.
Our editors at the Mother’s Day Classic were fortunate enough to speak to Nicole Bunyon, the Founder and Director of Running Mums Australia to learn a bit more about why she started the community and her tips for keeping motivated.
Nicole Bunyon, left, Founder and Director of Running Mums Australia
“I was looking to connect with people with a common purpose. Becoming a mum can be quite isolating,” Nicole explains. “When I created a group for all my online running friends, people added each other and it all took off quite quickly. Soon, we were large enough to have smaller networks of women connecting in their local areas.”
To Nicole, running is about connecting with other people. “When I first started, running was about reaching personal goals within the sport and achieving personal bests. Now, it’s more a vehicle to have different adventures and experiences, meet new people and see new places. I also love that running clears your head, and lets you get out in nature as well.”
“The best way to stay motivated is to find yourself a network to help you. Other than Running Mums Australia, there are all sorts of groups and clubs, like ParkRun, available to people who want to make a commitment to running. It makes it easier to get going when there’s someone waiting for you, and the run itself is a bit more fun, and a bit less hard.”
For Nicole, the mission of Running Mums Australia has gone beyond finding people to run with and making those shared connections. “While connecting women who have a passion for running is still important to us, Running Mums Australia has become more than that. It’s really a health promotion initiative, aiming to improve the physical and mental wellbeing of women and their families and communities. We’re supporting women to have the confidence to reach their goals and dreams and inspire the next generation to live a healthy, active lifestyle.”
The group not only provides a community for women to make friends and talk about their achievements, goals and challenges, but also helps to encourage each other to strive for special milestones and attend events (such as our Mother’s Day Classic). Through this positive association with running and the shared benefit of joint workouts, Running Mums Australia is having an amazing impact on the overall health and wellbeing of women and families in Australia.
How to get involved
Running Mums Australia welcomes anyone who is female and loves to run in Australia! Nicole let us know that you don’t need to be a mum to join, although the majority of people in the group are. Join their Facebook group to learn more about the different activities and events on offer. Even if you can’t go to the events or meetups, you can still gain inspiration from the passionate running conversations in the group. You can also visit their website to find out more about the organisation, become a member, or look at merchandise.
There are lots of events coming up that could be your ticket to that 200% improvement in your workout, and you might make some new friends in the process. We’ll see you there!