Rich and I enjoy helping people make and achieve exercise goals. Walking our talk means doing what we share, and we do, too. We take long walks together, ballroom dance, and enjoy taking up movement exercises, such as Tai Chi. It works for us, but does it work for everyone?
An article came out in Scientific American Mind (July/August 2011) entitled “The Partner Paradox” by Wray Herbert that entertains the question, “Does it help to buddy up to help achieve goals?” The results were really interesting! Right away, I would have said, “Yes!” Yet, there are variables.
An interesting experiment asked groups of students (in romantic relationships) to do a task that depleted them and a second group was given a simple task. Afterwards, students were questioned about commitment to health and fitness and how they would put time and efforts toward that. Then, they were also asked to think of a partner’s support in their goals. The results came out that women who had done the task that made them feel depleted tended to “outsource the work to their partner.” The women committed less time and effort to their health when they had less “discipline in reserve” that they could draw upon. Hmmm.
Now take a moment and wonder… based on this, how can women best serve their needs in balancing health, fitness, and well-being? One step could be to be aware of what depletes the woman. Then, plan and pause for rest breaks, so that the “discipline has more reserve.”
There is more to that article. You can read it here: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=the-partner-paradox