A study (which included 136 participants) found that exercising with someone else actually makes us feel calmer (and so reduces our stress levels), compared to exercising alone.
It also found that participants felt more tired as a result - suggesting that working out with others increases the amount of physical exercise we do, giving us a solid workout.
But teamwork doesn't just mean finding a running partner. The support network you surround yourself with is crucial for staying fit and healthy. This means the people you work out with, but also the people you surround yourself with - for support, encouragement and inspiration. The people that provide you with these tools are crucial members of your team.
In practical terms, what does that team look like? Well, without a doubt, it can include your running partner, but it can also include your family (who are proud of the two kilometre run you did on the weekend), your fitness instructor (who will push you and your body to new limits), your nutritionist (who will introduce you to new methods of nurturing your body), or your best mate (who knows her kale from her spirulina, and makes a mean turmeric smoothie).
A personal trainer can be an invaluable support when it comes to achieving your fitness goals, but it's important to invest your time wisely. Choose an instructor who has a long-term focus (and not just a 'no pain, no gain' mentality).
A recent study conducted for Les Mills, carried out by Perth's Curtin University, found that choosing a trainer skilled in motivational communication is as important as choosing one with the right qualifications. Open, positive and relatable communication from an instructor can mean the difference between sticking with it and sticking it.
Working with a dietitian helps you to understand how to fuel your body to work at full capacity. They can provide guidance and advice for meal preparation. Each person has individual dietary needs, and a dietitian can help you map out the best foods for your body.
Make sure that your chosen dietitian or nutritionist is registered with either the Dietitians Board of New Zealand, or has a Professional Registration with the NSNZ Register of Nutritionists.
Often an overlooked aspect, but the people we surround ourselves with can have a big impact on the way we live our lives. Choose to surround yourself with people on the same wavelength as you - those who are interested in fitness or have a passion for looking after their bodies.