For many of us, working out is a major chore. But we still try. We sign up for gym memberships. We buy a new pair of sneakers. We start going to that dreadful 6am bootcamp workout. But a few weeks later, we’re back where we started: on the couch watching reruns of Friends.
But maybe more friends is actually the fitness answer you’ve been ignoring all along. Here are some fantastic reasons to find yourself a workout buddy and give that bootcamp class a second chance!
THERE IS NO BETTER MOTIVATION.
Everything is easier (and more fun) when you have a friend by your side. According to a 2016 study, people who work out with a friend are more likely to continue going to the gym, and go more often, than people who choose to work out alone.
It’s exactly what you need when you’re feeling under-enthused, because you know you have someone relying on you showing up. Plus, having the emotional support of a friend is one of the most valuable motivation tools. In fact…
YOU’LL PUSH YOURSELVES HARDER.
We’re all a little bit competitive, and sometimes that’s a good thing. Mainly, most of us just don’t want to get left behind. Having a workout buddy encourages us to climb higher, move faster, and push harder than we ever would on our own.
No matter the activity, you’ll instinctively push your perceived limits to keep up with you friend. You may even push beyond the confines of your comfort zone—gasp–and grow as a result. What an incredible thing!
YOU HAVE AN ACCOUNTABILITY BUDDY.
No skipping sessions! You have a friend counting on you to show up, so don’t let them down. You and your cardio partner can hold each other accountable for sticking to your goals.
Working out together also comes with the added benefit of fostering a sense of community and belonging—which is a great feeling to foster around exercise, if you want to really keep it up over the long term.
YOU’LL HAVE MORE FUN.
Obviously, working out with a friend will be more fun—although flying solo once in a while does have its benefits, too. Choose activities that you both find fun… and also a few that maybe sound a little intimidating and scary.
If you’re both uncomfortable with dancing, sign up for a hip hop class together. Or maybe you decide to try top-roping at the rock gym and tackle your fear of heights. Whether you’re being silly as you grunt through squats or you’re pushing your bounds, you’ll definitely make lasting memories that are as valuable as your new commitment to an active lifestyle.
LOOKING FOR A WORKOUT BUDDY?
It’s not that hard to find a friend to work out with. The most important thing is to find someone who a) you enjoy and b) shares a similar schedule and workout goal to your own. It’s just not going to work out if you like working up a sweat around dinnertime and your friend prefers rolling out of bed with their sneakers pre-laced at 5am.
Your workout buddy doesn’t have to be your best and only friend. Maybe it’s someone from work, or maybe it’s a friend of a friend who happens to go to the same gym as you. All that matters is that you find a buddy for workout support. Once you have one, you’ll both be fitter (and having more fun) in no time.