Looking for a fun and easy way to stay on the workout wagon and hit some new personal bests? Grab a friend! Studies show that having a buddy along boosts adherence. You’re more likely to honor your workout commitment when a friend holds you accountable. Friends also make workout time more fun. That means you’re less likely to beg off. Here’s more about how bringing a buddy along means better workout outcomes for you.
Research confirms that friendly competition pushes you to work a little harder. After all, who wants to look like a slacker? Exercising with a fit friend forces you to do more because you will want to keep up.
Most of us feel more comfortable breaking promises to ourselves than we do to others. Let that work to your advantage with exercise. Make a date to meet your exercise buddy at the gym or the track. Chances are you will be more likely to keep the date because you know your friend expects you than you would if you were going it alone.
Exercise is just more fun when you add a friend. Researchers at the University of Southern California found that study participants reported greater enjoyment of exercise when they didn’t have to go it alone. Does exercise usually feel like a dreaded chore? Try asking a friend to join you. You may just find it isn’t so bad after all.
Hit your target faster
Having a workout buddy means you will exercise harder and more consistently. That also means you will be more successful with meeting your fitness goals. You’ll have someone to celebrate your progress with, too! Your buddy will be there with you as you achieve fitness gains and count pounds lost.
Choosing an exercise partner
• That has clear fitness goals and is motivated to meet them.
• Who is emotionally healthy enough to provide appropriate encouragement.
• Who shares your exercise interests.
Finding the time…
• Head for the park and do a few laps instead of meeting for dinner.
• Invite a friend to exercise with you at lunch time.
• Grab a neighbor for an after dinner or before work walk.
• Ask your spouse or partner to join you in signing up for a race. As the old saying goes, the couple that plays together stays together. The bonus – you’ll get a medal and researchers have found that exercising together also improves your sex life.
Think of exercise as a social activity rather than a chore. You’ll get all the benefits, including better stress management and reduced likelihood of chronic illness, plus you’ll have more fun.