Boost your Brain Power - Find a Training Partner!
Find a training partner - boost your brain power and lower stress
Having people to train with is probably the biggest motivating factor in running. You’ll not want to let them down, you’ll turn up when you don’t fancy running, you’ll help each other out when things get tough in the run, they’ll coerce you in to entering races etc. Mates are great when it comes to running, but there is a more scientific reason as to why you should find a training partner.
Psychologists in the US have come up with another reason as to why you should find a training partner - it could make you smarter than those who exercise alone.
Scientists at Princeton University made rats (actual rats, not gym rats), run on treadmills. Some ran alone, others in groups. The rats that ran in groups were able to grow twice as many new brain cells as the rats who ran alone.
Not only did they get this brain boost but they also coped better with stress (for the sake of the experiment this was being put in cold water).
So, say the scientists, it makes sense to find a training partner.
There can be different reasons. When you run various hormone levels are raised. One of these is corticosterone which is associated with stress. It seems that by running in groups the rats were better able to handle the higher levels of this hormone.
Other scientists have pointed at other benefits of running with a partner. They have pointed out that more areas of the brain are stimulated when you run with other people and this will have benefits on your brain.
Even if you are not exercising together more friends will help you stay fit. Research has found people who have more social interaction also have better physical and mental health with lower levels of stress.
Other experts point to the fact beginners (especially women) may feel self-conscious or lack confidence when they start to run or go to the gym. They say that this means having support from a friend or exercise partner is a great way of lowering worries or anxieties exercise may raise and boosting confidence.
People who exercise with others or have a level of accountability are also far more likely to continue to exercise.