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Co-Fitness: Having a Fitness Buddy / Partner / Companion

Updated: Aug 15, 2020

Researchers in the University of Aberdeen found that finding a new exercise companion increased the amount of exercise people took. This was increased even more when the new partner was emotionally supportive.

If you've been struggling to keep to your fitness regime, it is time to get a fitness buddy. The journey to stay healthy and fit is a long one like a marathon. Having someone alongside with you in the process does good to both.

This study is unique in that it reflects natural life relatively well because when you decide to exercise with a friend -- you ask someone in your normal social network regardless of whether they fit certain criteria or not.

Dr Pamela Rackow from the Institute of Applied Health Sciences

at the University of Aberdeen

Spouse / Buddy

I am sure we all had days when we didn't feel like exercise and we carried on sleeping or stay in the office or continue watching TV programmes. Sometimes our motivation level is so low that we just couldn't bring ourselves to even put on our sports attire. Worse of all, from that one time it happened again the 2nd time and the "I'll do it tomorrow" multiplies and before you know it, you stopped exercising totally.

What if we have a fitness buddy who is able to encourage us and motivate us when we don't feel like exercising?

My wife and I have been active physically for at least 10 years now. We have different exercise regimes - she jogs at least 3 times a week for her cardio which is followed by some strength training exercises while I hit the gym at least 3 times a week for both my cardio and strength training exercises. Although we don't workout together, we support and motivate each other to exercise. The fact that exercising now is 2nd nature for us, we know we have to keep up with each other to stay lean, fit and healthy.


Similarly if couples family members can workout together the intangible benefits would be building stronger bonds between the couple or among the family members. Working together towards a common goals does help to develop relationships as they are doing things together and they are learning more about each other (couples) or one another (families). Furthermore I feel TVs and digital devices not only make us more sedentary, they also cause couples and family members to drift further apart. I firmly believe that doing activities together like workout, sports and games can promote couples' relationship and family ties.

Find out more about Co-Fiitness (for couples) and Take-5 (for families) in


Journal Reference

Pamela Rackow, Urte Scholz, Rainer Hornung. Received social support and exercising: An intervention study to test the enabling hypothesis.British Journal of Health Psychology, 2015.

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