Written by Nicole Brennan, editorial intern
Childhood is all about trying new things. When I was a kid I tried it all! From ballet, gymnastics, rollerblading and Girl Scouts to soccer, basketball, volleyball, track, and lacrosse. Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all for me. I found out very quickly that I was more of a tomboy and preferred sports to dancing around in a pink tutu and ballet slippers. But looking back I’m glad I tried all of these things and I realize that I did it all because of my friends.
So what if I only lasted a week trying to perfect a cartwheel in gymnastics? My best friend was the reason I signed up and tried it in the first place. She is also the reason I still play lacrosse to this day. A child’s best friend can be more influential on physical activity than you think… As a youngster, best friends strongly impact how much you move, a study found. "Boys and girls who take part in physical activity with their best friend engage in higher levels of physical activity,” says one researcher involved in this study.
The influence of friendship is demonstrated and reinforced by best friends modeling each other’s physical activity and spending time together being active. The frequency of this activity was also important, as it was linked to more minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day. And if you're playing outdoors, then you're not sitting on the couch on a nice sunny day!
We also know this concept is still true for adults. Having a gym buddy is one way to stay on track and push yourself to exercise harder than you could have on your own. Little did we know, we may have been partaking in this buddy system effect all of our lives.
If you have a friend that's helped you stay in shape, tell us about her (or him!). What's your favorite get-fit activity you do together?