Did life under the government shutdown leave you feeling unbearably lonely? Maybe you gained the dreaded “quarantine 15,” and you want to tone up now that swimsuit season has arrived. Why not kill two birds with one stone?
There are multiple benefits to working out with a partner. You beat boredom and push each other to new heights. You also hold each other accountable for sticking to your goals. Here are seven reasons to adopt the buddy system for your workout today.
When you work out solo, you can find yourself looking at the clock every few minutes — are you there yet? However, throw a partner into the mix, and you might not want your gym time to end. Camaraderie makes the time fly.
Studies show that people who work out with a partner spend more time exercising than those who go it alone. If you can’t go five minutes on a treadmill without watching the countdown timer, a gym buddy could help you invest the time you need to reach your goals.
If only your brain came equipped with a tape recorder. You would probably shock yourself with the amount of negative self-talk you give yourself while working out. Thoughts like, “Look at her — I could spend all day on the elliptical and never look that good” and, “I’ll never learn to dance” impact the quality of your fitness routine, and your commitment to it.
Working out with a partner benefits everyone, but it is a godsend for those recovering from injuries. Athletes in rehabilitation run a higher risk of mental illness due to experiencing a range of new emotions, including loneliness, resentment and fear. Your buddy can remind you how far you have come and encourage you to keep going if you fall into this camp.
Maybe you wouldn’t dream of taking a Zumba class alone, but a workout pal can make the first day more comfortable. You can laugh at each other’s mistakes, and you always have someone to chat with during water breaks. Perhaps you previously shied away from the free weight portion of the gym due to hulking brutes, but with your gym buddy by your side, you can brave the crowd of behemoths.
One of the best perks of working out with a friend is comparing your progress. When you do so in a healthy way, you can push each other to new fitness heights. You can also help each other work past negative mental blocks that hinder your progress.
Is your fixed mindset claiming you’ll never manage to do the splits at your age? With the right encouragement and a consistent stretching routine, there’s no reason you can’t accomplish impressive physical feats at any age.
You might feel tempted to say, “The weather is too miserable. It won’t hurt me to miss my run for one day.” Before you know it, you’ve spent the entire week on the couch watching Netflix due to a little drizzle.
It’s much more challenging to make excuses for not working out when your partner’s waiting for you at the gym. Unless you genuinely have an emergency, you know that missing your Pound class means leaving your friend sitting there alone. That’s enough to get many people off the couch.
Having a partner opens up new fitness horizons beyond those classes you feel too intimidated to take alone. It also gives you an additional piece of “equipment” that can push your ability levels. You might find it impossible to get into Eka Pada Sirsasana by yourself, but a partner can gently guide your limbs or help you with balance if you attempt the more challenging inverted version of the pose.
Having a cheerleader helps — especially when other folks seem determined to derail your goals. Maybe your mom pouts when you would rather hit a HIIT class than stick around for a second slice of pie. However, your fitness center best friend awaits you with enthusiasm.
Making positive changes in your life is challenging — but worth it. The difficulty level does increase when everyone around you seems content to dwell in couch-potato land. Hang out with friends who embrace healthy practices that you hope to emulate, and watch your habits improve more quickly.
Working out with a partner helps you elevate your fitness in several ways. Now that you know the benefits, pick up the phone and dial a friend.