Implementing a new fitness plan is challenging. Not only do you have to carve out non-existent spare time in your busy schedule, but “working out” is truly work. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make exercise fun! One of my favorites is having a workout buddy.
Having a Buddy Helps You Stay Motivated
I have a couple friends who live close by.
Two mornings a week we meet up and exercise. Sometimes we just walk, sometimes we hit up the local stadium to run stairs and do sit ups and push-ups, or we drive to a trailhead and take a short hike.
We even walk to the local Recreation center and take an aerobics class. It doesn’t really matter what activity you do as long as you get moving. It’s much more fun than going alone! And on mornings when the alarm goes off and I just want to stay in bed, the thought of my two friends waiting in front of my house is all it takes to get going.
Thomas Plante, PhD, professor of psychology at Santa Clara University in California, has conducted several studies on exercising with a partner. He reiterates, “If you know a friend is waiting for you at the gym or won’t pound the pavement without you, it’s tough to bail.”
Having a Buddy Lends Support
Not only is exercise beneficial for our physical health, meeting up with a friend gives you the chance to connect emotionally. I get to catch up with two people I care about and share things going on in my life.
We are supportive for and uplift one another, especially when conversation veers toward relationships and raising children. Having those meaningful interactions regularly throughout the week can give you the support you need to keep trying and keep working.
Having a Buddy Helps Turn Up the Heat in a Romance
Helpful as it is to have a friend join you, working out with your significant other can be beneficial, too.
“Couples who work out together tend to have better sex lives because they feel better about themselves,” says certified personal trainer Helen Ryan. “They are more comfortable with themselves, and also it increases testosterone in both men and women, which increases sex drive.” She goes on to say that “Working out together actually helps you bond because you’re working for a common goal, a common issue and you really have that time together.”
Additionally, joining a gym with your significant other greatly decreases the chance that you will drop out, according to Jack Raglin, associate professor of kinesiology at Indiana University.
Having a Buddy Pushes You to Try Harder
One study, found here, tests how cardio performance is affected when motivated by a virtually present partner. The study concluded that women who had a virtual partner encouraging them could push themselves to exercise twice as long as women doing cardio alone.
It helps when someone significant is beside you encouraging you to keep going when you feel like stopping, especially when he/she is in better shape than you are.
Maybe a New Year’s goal was to get more active, or you are wanting to increase the quality of physical activity already present in your life. Perhaps you simply want to become more consistent. Wherever you are in accomplishing your goals, securing a workout buddy is definitely your best chance of success.
Comment below if you have a buddy or would like to try it out!