How often do you make excuses for not going to the gym? Sure we all need the occasional off-day, but would you be just as quick to make an excuse if you knew a friend was waiting for you? If you knew that you’d be letting them down? Ahhhhh the logic behind a workout buddy. See where I’m going with this?
Well, the proof is in the pudding (I’ve never quite understood that expression, but it applies here, right?). According to a recent study “college students were significantly more likely to be active if they had social support of their friends and family.” In addition, a simple motivational phone call has proven to increase one’s level of physical activity.
Thinking about it, this really should come as no surprise. Of course knowing your decision directly affects someone other than yourself will push you a bit further. But look at the opportunity to socialize and get in some quality time, as well! When the Mister started working out with me, we both couldn’t believe just how much extra time we were able to spend together. And power-walking with my mom allows us to catch up on each other’s lives, too.
When choosing a fitness partner, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
Fitness level – If you are beginner, you might not want to choose someone who spend their spare time competing in triathlons. Look for someone who will encourage you and who you’ll be able to motivate, as well.
Goals – If your partner is looking to lose 50 pounds, but you’re looking to just build muscle, you might want to rethink your workout buddy selection. Different goals require different exercises, so you’ll want to review your goals to make sure the exercises you’ll be focusing on will benefit both of you.
A fitness partner brings many benefits to your workout regimen, including:
Variety – They may introduce you to some exercises you’ve never heard of (or have been avoiding!). Have you been wanting to try out a particular exercise? Mountain biking, perhaps? Now you have a friend to take on the challenge with you!
Motivation – Sometimes all you really need is someone else to point out your progress. Each workout spent with your partner is one step closer to your goals. Having someone to cheer you on along the way certainly won’t make it harder.
No more excuses! – Sticking to a schedule will keep you accountable and limit your opportunity to cop out.
More time in the gym – Being at the gym alone can become pretty boring. Having someone else with you will make the time fly and before you know it, you’ll be logging in more time than you had anticipated — leading to faster results!
Good form = fewer injuries – Your built in spotter! Your partner will point out any errors in your form and make sure you are getting the most out of your workouts.
Need help finding an exercise buddy? Think about the people you work with, classmates, family members, people at your church, people you volunteer with — there is bound to be SOMEONE with similar workout goals whose company you enjoy
Still having trouble? Try one of these sites:
Do you have an exercise buddy or do you fly solo? Do you notice a difference when you are working out with someone else rather than alone? Please share your thoughts!