Ever hear someone say: if you want to workout more you should schedule exercise appointments with yourself? Literally, pencil yourself in.
Which sounds great in theory. But to us, whenever our self-appointed Google alert goes off, something always seems to get in the way.
A work project creeps up. The cat is sick. It starts to snow. Or maybe we’re just not feeling that well (probably picked something up from the cat…)
The problem is, it’s too easy to cancel appointments we make with ourselves.
It involves nothing more than - doing nothing at all.
So if you’re in the I too cancel appointments with myself often camp, don’t sweat it.
Because: study after study after study shows that if we want to stick to our exercise routines, it doesn’t have to be about keeping appointments with ourselves, but rather, keeping appointments with others.
So what’s the key to exercising more? Science says:
Find yourself a workout buddy.
But not just any old workout buddy (cue: our favorite word, possibly of all time):
Officially defined - by us, just right now - as:
“A partner who will hold you accountable for showing up to - and getting through - your workouts.”
Intuitively, the success of an exercise-buddy-system makes sense.
Canceling no longer seems so easy. Rather than doing nothing, you have to do the opposite of nothing: You have to tell your friend you’re bailing. Whether by call or text or carrier pigeon, it doesn’t really matter – it never feels good to let someone else down.
But intuition aside, we’re delighted to report that this is actually a super well-researched topic with a ton of scientific evidence to back it up.
Check it out:
Studies show that working out with the right partner can result in:
- More frequent exercise
- More intense workouts (see: the Kohler Effect)
- Improved performance
- Longer workout sessions
But wait. There’s more.
It turns out, there’s a lot of supplementary science-backed research that sheds light on another piece of the buddy-system puzzle.
Which is that:
Our habits are greatly impacted by the habits of those around us.
Which means habits, for better or worse, are contagious.
Here are just a few examples:
- This study on the spread of obesity states, “obesity appears to spread through social ties”.
- This study on smoking found that people don’t really quit smoking as individuals, but rather, as groups.
- And this study on fitness suggests when it comes to exercise habits, people “gravitate towards the behavior (high fit or low fit) of those around them”.
What does this mean for us?
Two important things:
- Picking the right Accountabilibuddy is essential.
Now we’re not saying to ditch your bestie who tends to gravitate towards the sport of unhealthy habits. No, no. (We love your bestie.) Just be conscious of the fact that the workout partner you choose should either be:
A person whose fitness-level you admire.
Someone who is just as motivated as you are to make a change in his or her fitness habits.
The second thing the above research on habits teaches us?
- Our environments have a much greater impact on our health than we realize.
If there is one message we want to convey here at 6AM Health – this is it.
In fact, we want to spread this message to help change the way people fundamentally think about how to achieve - and sustain- a healthier lifestyle.
Altering our everyday environments, even just slightly, can have a big impact on our health.
But we don’t just want to talk about it. We want to be about it. And actually help people achieve healthier lifestyles by making nutritious food more accessible than ever before.
Because we think it’s a problem that the most readily available, easiest-to-grab, easiest-to-consume options are usually of the junk food variety. Fast-food restaurants. Salty-snack-vending-machines. Donuts at the office.
So with that said…
We’ve got some exciting news to share with our Greater-Boston friends!
Fresh Fridges by 6AM Health have arrived! These are the first ever of their kind in our community and are quickly starting to pop up all around you.
What's a Fresh Fridge you ask? (Ah, good question.)
Think of our fridges as the healthiest vending machines you've ever seen - dispensing crisp salads, cold-pressed juices, and nutritious bowls with just the touch of a screen.