Sometimes, it can be pretty hard finishing a strenuous workout on your own. Especially in the cold and dark time of the year. Training with a partner (both male or female), however, opens up a whole new range of possibilities for motivation. Your training partner can help you hang tough and achieve your goals, regardless of how far away they may seem at first. We would like to share with you five good reasons to exercise with your friends.
1. More motivation and no lame excuses
It is a pleasant Saturday afternoon and you are lazing on the couch. Your favorite TV series is just coming on. Sounds like the perfect excuse to skip today’s training, right? Not if you are training with a partner, it doesn’t! Regular workout times with your friends help you to stick it out and finish your routine. The chances of you choosing your couch over your training session are much lower in this case. It would be pretty embarrassing, wouldn’t it, if you cancelled on your friends because “you didn’t feel like it”? But don’t just take my word for it: Psychologists at Stony Brook University in New York have found that the exercise habits of friends and family members affect personal motivation. The evidence showed that the motivation of the people closest to us has a positive influence on us and encourages us to do more sports. So what does this mean? It means you should put on some running clothes and a pair of good shoes, meet your friend in the park and leave your weaker self back home on the couch.
2. It makes training more fun
Many “training moments” aren’t really funny if you don’t have someone to laugh with. One way of increasing the fun factor is to come up with new ideas on how you can modify your exercises or make your runs together more interesting. For example, instead of just doing a plank challenge, try one with partner hand slaps. Or throw a ball back and forth while doing sit-ups. There are lots of ways you can shake up your training plan – but the craziest and funniest ideas will come to you when you brainstorm together with a friend. These change-ups will make the time fly and – whoosh! – before you know it, an hour will have passed. And the best thing is that you didn’t look at the clock once.
3. You push each other
When you feel close to giving up, a training partner can be all the more important because they can help you build up your motivation again. A sporting challenge among friends can help you to push each other and stretch your limits. Consider the following: In England, women were surveyed on their exercise behavior. The study found that 64% of women who train with their best friends were more likely to push their workouts to the limit than those who exercised on their own. Does this mean you are doomed if you can’t find time to work out together? Hardly. You can share your achievements with your friends on Runtastic and push each other to new personal bests. Who will run the most kilometers in November? Who can do the most burpees in a minute?
4. Sport brings people together
Did you know that more than 40% of participants drop a fitness course shortly after it begins if they attend on their own? But if they work out with a friend, the dropout rate decreases to 6%. This suggests that one of the best reasons for exercising with friends is the social interaction. People who train together form a group identity and no longer feel alone. When you accomplish something on your own, of course, it’s amazing. Sharing your successes with your friends who know how hard you’ve worked to conquer your inner couch potato feels even better. And if things don’t go as planned? Who cares? A pat on the back from a friend can make things seem half as bad. These simple acts create a kind of connection between people. And it is this kind of experience that bonds people together and makes their friendship that much stronger.
5. Train together, stay together
You should also consider training with your romantic partner. Studies have shown that couples who exercise together regularly are happier in their relationship. Working out together strengthens the relationship and enhances sexual attraction. A morning run, a gym date in the evening or a bike trip on the weekend can heat things up – isn’t that reason enough to work out with your better half? 😉
So, are you still vegging on the couch, or are you already out there racing your partner? 😉 Let us know if and why you like training with friends.
This article was originally published in Runtastic.