Having a buddy to work out with is well known to make us train harder and keep us on track when we otherwise might be tempted to cut that workout short (who hasn't been out for a solo jog and walked the last couple of kilometres, because who will know?). It's also a compelling reason to get out of bed for that early morning training sesh - you can't leave your wingman standing on a pre-dawn, pitch-black, Friday The 13th-style running track alone. And now science has proven that comparing and sharing workout habits motivates us to train more often and go harder.

Scientists at the MIT Sloan School of Management recently published a study in journal Nature Communications charting the daily exercise habits, geographical locations and social networks of more than one million people over the course of five years. The scientists looked at how much people using fitness tracker devices like Fitbit or shared training apps were influenced by sharing their training via the technology. The results?  #fitspo is real.

According to the study we're inspired by how seeing how our buddies in our social networks exercise and, sharing our training via technology pushes us to train harder. So if our best friend is a marathon runner and shares their daily running diary - we're more likely to hit the running track.  However, there is caveat: Professor Sinan Aral, the co-author of the study says you need to be sharing and comparing workouts with similarly motivated people, speaking to The Cut, Aral said, "People who are less active influence people who are more active with a greater magnitude than the other way around. Couch potatoes influence marathoners more than marathoners influence couch potatoes." 

Apparently this extra training motivation happens even if we don't train together - as long as we share it with similarly motivated people in our social networks. 

Science says this will motivate you train better, faster, more often