Working out with a buddy, or in a group setting, has many benefits. While there are times I enjoy quickly lacing up my running shoes and hitting the pavement alone, I also love exercising with friends. Whether it’s a workout class at a gym with a friend, an early morning exercise video with girlfriends before work, or walking my dog with neighborhood friends, I greatly enjoy having workout buddies. The social and physical benefits of exercising with others makes me feel great overall.
Do you have a workout buddy? Here are six reasons to consider working out with a friend.
1. You’ll have accountability
If you’re like me, you’ll show up to appointments you make with other people but it’s harder to keep commitments you make with yourself. Having a workout buddy provides you both with accountability. When you have a workout buddy, it motivates you to get to the gym at a certain time. It’s easier to get into the habit of exercising consistently when you put exercise on your schedule and you know someone else is counting on you to show up.
2. You’ll have someone to try new things with
Being bored with an exercise routine is a common reason people stop exercising. Trying new activities can help prevent boredom with your workout regimen. Often, people are intimidated to try new things. Exercising with a friend can help give you the courage to try new workouts.
Whether it’s a new competitive sport, a fun and unique recreational physical activity, a group exercise class you’d be scared to do alone, or a weightlifting technique you haven’t tried, having a workout buddy can give you the push you need to get started with a new type of exercise. Varying your exercises not only relieves boredom, it allows you to strengthen different muscle groups.
3. You’ll always have a spotter
With certain weightlifting exercises, it’s important to have a spotter to prevent injury. Working out with a buddy guarantees you’ll have a spotter near you at all times. As always, if you have any questions on spotting technique, seek the assistance of a certified strength and conditioning specialist or certfied personal trainer.
4. You’ll push yourself harder
Sometimes doing things in a group makes you push yourself harder. I know this is true for me; I’m not going to skip my last couple repetitions of a strength training exercise if I know someone is watching.
Working out is often the precursor to doing other awesome things in your life. When you prove to yourself you can push through those last two repetitions, or crush it in bootcamp class, or run that first race, you begin to realize you can do amazing things, and this confidence can transfer into other areas of your life.
5. You’ll get social time and workout time
This is one of my favorite reasons to exercise with a friend. Not only do we get our workout accomplished, we get some socializing in too. Although I love socializing over happy hour, exercising with a friend allows me to get my “friend fix” while working on out fitness goals, and I always return home feeling recharged socially and stronger physically.
6. You’ll benefit from the camaraderie
The majority of people are social and enjoy spending time with others. Exercising in a group setting gives you the opportunity to interact with others in an invigorating environment.
Many people who start a workout class together have a common goal of improving their fitness, and along the way, they become good friends. What a great way to start new friendships.
In today’s world, where we are constantly connected over email and texting, putting down our phones and getting involved in group exercise can give you real, in person, connection with others as you work to get fit.
It’s time to get out of your house, grab a friend, and get your workout on!
Featured photo credit: DSC_0270/Gregor via flickr.com