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Top 7 benefits of working out with a friend

01 Mar 2017

 Dear Exercise,

Why do you have to be so hard; so laborious; so sweaty?

Kindly,

Your friend over 50.

 

Getting active is always much easier said than done, but one of the best remedies of ‘Exercise Avoidance’ is working out with a friend, in this article we have outlined the top 7 benefits of exercising with a buddy.

 

No Excuses

Here’s the scenario: you go to bed early and set the alarm for 6am. You fall asleep with the most noble of intentions to rise with the sun and go for a run.

Here’s the reality: You wake to the hideous sound of your alarm and wonder why on earth you though this was a good idea. Your bed is too comfortable, your partner too warm, and your motivation too far gone!

 

Now consider this scenario with a friend thrown into the mix. The knowledge that somebody else is ready and waiting for you is just the motivation you need to bypass the snooze button. Setting a precise time and location to meet will ensure you avoid vague plans and missed workouts.

 

Fun Factor

Squeezing into leggings and flailing your arms in public becomes so much more enjoyable with a friend. A familiar presence at your side allows you to let go of inhibitions you may harbour when exercising solo, and it facilitates communication and social connection.

 

Healthy Competition

Competition and physical exertion go together like wine and cheese. We recommend working out with someone who has similar fitness goals and intentions as yourself, as you are more likely to push past your comfort zone if you have a friend wanting it just as much as you. Trying to keep up with each other, perhaps even surpassing your friend, is a tremendous incentive and will ensure you get the most out of each and every workout.

 

Safety in Numbers

Whether you’re walking through a quiet park or lifting weights at the gym, a buddy system makes everything safer. Strength training is important for aging muscles, and having a spotter by your side will not only improve your output, but also save you from injury. Your exercise buddy can also be in charge of counting ‘reps’ to make sure you don’t cheat or inadvertently miss a push up or two.

 

The Social Aspect

As we navigate our way through our busy lives packed with jobs and kids and grandkids, socialising is often the first thing to suffer. So why not kill two birds with one stone by making exercise a social experience.  Catch up on news from the week while enjoying a post workout coffee or healthy lunch. Otherwise, a simple hour long power walk with a talkative friend allows you to exercise without even realising!

 

 Expand your workout horizons

As creatures of routine, we often become so set in our ways we rarely try new things. Working out with a friend demands a certain amount of compromise. For example, you may suggest a spin class one day while your friend might want to try a yoga class the next. In fact, don’t limit yourself to one friend. Exercise with as many different people as possible and expose yourself to a variety of routines that will expand your workout repertoire and improve your health.

 

Keep costs in Check

Have you always wanted to hire a personal trainer to really whip you into shape? With the help of a friend, this becomes a whole lot cheaper. But sharing costs doesn’t stop there. You may have a friend who has their own yoga mats and exercise balls. Another might harbour a set of weights in their house. Or you could split the cost of hiring a tennis court. By sharing your resources, extra expenditure is kept in check.