When it comes to fitness two heads (and four feet) are often better than one. Need a little nudge off the couch? A buddy might be just the thing to get, and keep, you going. That’s because working out with a buddy is one of the best ways to boost your fitness level. Your buddy is likely to help you stay motivated, be accountable and even work a little harder. If you want to do a little less couch surfing and get a lot more active, ask a friend to join you for best results.
It is harder to make some vague promise about working out when you have a partner. One of the benefits of including a friend in your workout plan is you do have to actually plan. Having a workout buddy forces you to schedule days and times for exercise. There is another benefit of having a workout partner. Once you commit, you are more likely to follow through because flaking out means letting your buddy down.
Human beings thrive on connection. Having a workout buddy is a healthy way to foster connections and have fun. Sharing a laugh on the bike trail or a bit of harmless gossip on the run is beneficial for your physical as well as emotional health.
There is nothing wrong with a little friendly competition. Working out with a buddy can make you work a bit harder than you might when working out alone. You are also more likely to take on new challenges, such as trying a different stroke in the pool or pose on the mat. Supportive workout buddies can help each other reach new fitness heights.
Especially when the going gets tough a workout buddy can encourage you to stay the course. Whether you worry about making that last mile or losing another pound, knowing someone is rooting for you can make the difference between giving up or going harder.
Choosing a workout buddy
Here are a few general guidelines for picking your workout buddy.
- Choose someone that is ready to commit to exercise and willing to set a date.
- Choose someone that demonstrates a habit of follow through in some life areas. This life skill can be transferred to successfully develop an exercise habit.
- Think about convenience. If you have to travel too far, the partnership might not work.
- Think about fitness level. Some might choose to work out with a partner that has reached a similar level of fitness. Others might opt for a buddy a bit above their fitness level that can challenge them to work harder.
You and your workout buddy will do some amazing things together. Remember to celebrate every milestone. More than anyone each of you will know how far the other has come and what it took to cross that distance. Have fun!