Want to boost your workout performance without changing your routine? Try exercising with a virtual workout buddy. Tired of depending on unreliable friends for motivational support at the gym? Remedy the problem by adding a virtual buddy to your workouts.
A report from Michigan State University concludes that virtual workout partners can provide the same level of encouragement as human partners. But what sets the virtual workout buddy apart is its unwavering reliability. As long as you have a TV, computer screen, phone or tablet available, a virtual workout buddy can and will provide motivation throughout the entire workout. In fact, some of the newer consoles—like the Kinect and PlayStation Eye—not only track your movements, but also display a virtual character that mimics those movements. The digital partner need not be too realistic, just have enough form and feature to simulate real competition.
As long as your virtual partner’s output is superior to yours, your performance will get a subconscious boost. The MSU researchers refer to this as the Kohler effect—part competitive instinct and part social support.
What’s more, your virtual partner will never judge you. In this digital world, we can all use a virtual motivator!