10 ways playing together makes you healthier and happier

10 ways playing together makes you healthier and happier

10 ways playing together makes you healthier and happier

By Published On: June 14th, 2024

It’s hard to believe that it’s almost summer!  

There’s nothing better than longer, warmer days to motivate us to get outside and play, especially with friends, family, or neighbours.

Play is better when we are together.  

Scientific research consistently shows that social support and group dynamics are crucial in increasing physical activity.

For instance, a study published in the American Journal of Health Behavior found that social support from a partner was significantly associated with increased physical activity.

Another study in the Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology highlighted the positive impact of social relationships on exercise adherence.

The increase in exercise levels observed in active individuals just twice a week with a partner can be attributed to several psychological and social factors. Here are 10:

  1. Accountability and Commitment – When you exercise with someone, you feel responsible and committed to each other. Missing a playdate (skipping a workout) feels like letting your partner down, which motivates both parties to stick to the routine more consistently.
  2. Social Support – A partner provides emotional and moral support, which can be particularly motivating when things become challenging – like when you can’t find your golf ball:) This social support helps overcome mental barriers and encourages persistence.
  3. Increased Enjoyment – Exercising with a friend or partner can make the activity more enjoyable. Social interactions make the time pass quickly and turn workouts into play – a fun experience rather than a chore.
  4. Healthy Competition – A little friendly competition can be highly motivating. Trying to keep up with or outperform your partner can push you to work harder and improve your fitness.
  5. Encouragement and Positive Reinforcement – A partner can offer encouragement and praise, which boosts self-esteem and motivation. Positive reinforcement from a partner can also increase confidence in one’s ability to perform and improve.
  6. Variety and Creativity in Workouts – Exercising with a partner often leads to trying new activities or exercises that one might not attempt alone. This variety can prevent boredom and maintain interest in the workout routine – like taking turns picking an exercise.
  7. Goal Setting and Achievement – Partners can set shared goals and celebrate achievements together. This collective goal-setting can provide a clearer direction and purpose, enhancing motivation to exercise regularly – like entering a race together and working towards it together.
  8. Structured Routine – A regular schedule with a partner can lead to more structured workout routines. Consistency is key to seeing improvements in fitness levels.
  9. Reduced Perceived Exertion – Studies have shown that working out with a partner can reduce the perception of effort and fatigue. People often perceive their workouts as less strenuous when engaged in conversation or activity with a partner.
  10. Mental and Emotional Benefits – Social interaction during exercise can also contribute to overall well-being, making individuals more likely to continue their exercise regimen over the long term because of their boosted mental and emotional well-being.

The bottom line?

Being active just two times a week with a partner has been shown to increase exercise levels by 78% over 18 months, which is amazing!

Why not call up a friend, family member or neighbour and get playing together?

Play on!

Your coach and friend,

Jan xo

PS: Whenever you are ready, here are 3 more ways I can help you PLAY for life:

  1. Click here to grab a copy of my best-selling book, The Play Book: How To Get In The Habit Of Good Health.
  2. Join the FREE 7-Days of Healthy Habits Course that can help you starting today.
  3. Do you want to work with me on your wellness goals? Click here to book a call and discover exactly what that can look like.

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About the Author: Janet Omstead

To re-ignite people’s passion for play (movement) to fight chronic disease while improving their quality of life as they age.

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