Let’s be honest, we all have the intention of working out more often but our busy schedules and hectic lives sometimes scupper our plans. Most people would choose seeing their friends or partners over hitting the gym, but should we be inviting them to workout with us instead?
Time constraints may be forcing us to pair up and get active together, but there are more benefits for working out together than simply saving time. Having a workout buddy, or participating in a group exercise class, is a fantastic way to combine physical activity with our basic human desire to socialise with others.
Put those headphones down, because the next time you hit the gym you might want to reach for the phone and invite someone along after reading these 5 benefits of getting fit with a friend.
THEY KEEP YOU MOTIVATED
We’re all familiar with the expression that there’s strength in numbers, and this couldn’t be more true when it comes to exercising. There are times when you just can’t face your workout, but when you’re visiting the gym with friends you’ll have to bear the brunt of not turning up. Whether you are letting a whole team down, or they just simply don’t want you to fall behind, friends will give you a (well-intended) hard time about not working out.
There’s nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition. Teaming up with somebody who is moderately fitter than you can do wonders for your motivation. You’ll naturally want to keep up with your competitor which will encourage you to work harder during your sessions together. However, only work out with someone slightly fitter than you. Picking an athlete as a team mate when you have only just started will be demotivating as you will struggle to keep up with them, could become injured and want to give up.
When you exercise socially, for example in a class full of people, you eliminate the “Have I finished yet?” thoughts because you are focused on the fun sociable side of working out.
While exercising alone with nothing but your music and thoughts is a good way to relieve stress, it can also become repetitive and boring for some people. Exercising for an hour with a class full of people provides more fun and distractions, making the time fly by. Additionally, you will start to associate positive feelings from being with friends with exercise, which will make you feel more upbeat about your fitness in general.
TRY NEW THINGS
If you are more of an introvert, then exercising with another person is a good way to encourage yourself to try new things. People often feel shy about using new pieces of equipment in the gym on their own, in case they use it in the wrong way. With another person present, the sense of embarrassment disappears and if something does go wrong, you can always laugh it off together.
Classes may seem daunting on your own at first, but once you get familiar with the regulars attending, it will feel like you are working out with a class full of friends, who you will look forward to seeing every week, encouraging you to go more often.
COUPLES THAT SWEAT TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER
Working out as a couple can help to strengthen the bond that you share. Supporting and encouraging each other’s fitness goals and working towards a shared achievement can bring you closer together emotionally. For couples who lack time in their busy schedules, exercising is the perfect opportunity to spend time together. Get sweaty, let you heart race and watch your partner fall in love with you all over again!