Many people enjoy working out on their own, as it’s a good opportunity to have some time to yourself to face the day ahead, or to de-stress after a busy day at work. Although it’s sometimes more fun to do activities with a friend or loved one. You’re less likely to get bored when you have a workout buddy, and it helps the time pass more quickly too. Here are some of the other benefits of working out with others:
- You’re more likely to stick to it: if you’ve already arranged to meet a friend for a run, or a booked exercise class. Not wanting to let your exercise partner down can be great motivation to go. You’ll find it easier to stick to your fitness regime once you get into it and it becomes a habit.
- You’ll work harder: when you exercise with a friend who’s around the same fitness level as you, as you’ll encourage each other to push that little bit harder, compared to working out on your own. A friend can bring out your competitive side and spur you on, and you’ll be more likely to succeed in your goal.
- It can be more affordable: when exercising with a friend. Many gyms offer a discounted rate when two or more people join, or if you hire a personal trainer, or buy equipment, you can split the cost two ways to save you money. You can also save on travel costs if you share a car to get to the gym, pool, or park.
- You can share exercise ideas: with your friend, and they may have some skills and knowledge that you don’t. Variety is the key to sticking with your exercise plan. You’ll have more fun, and be less likely to quit.
- It’s safer: to exercise with someone else, having someone to spot you when you’re lifting weights, or to go running or cycling with, especially at night. You’ll be there to look after each other, and you’ll have help at hand if anything should go wrong.
How can I meet people to exercise with?
If your partner isn’t so keen to start a new exercise regime, there are plenty of ways to find a new exercise buddy:
- Friends or family: Start with friends and family who live nearby, or maybe your neighbour or a work colleague. Suggest a weekly workout date, and make the commitment, helping each other along the way to achieve your goals.
- Join a walking group: Groups or meetups are easy to find for most activities. Or why not start your own by organising a lunchtime walking group at work? It’s also the perfect excuse to reclaim your lunch hour.
- Charity or fundraising teams: Get fit and do a good deed at the same time. Many charities host walks and runs to raise money and awareness for their causes. Get your friends, or the kids involved. And some charities even host dog walking events so your furry friends can get in on the action too.
- Sports clubs: If you like the idea of taking up a particular sport or activity, there’s sure to be a club or group not far away. Search online for clubs and classes in your area, and it’s a great way of meeting new workout buddies too.
- Boot camps: You’ll find that many parks host boot camps nowadays, usually run by local personal trainers. They’re a fun and affordable way to join a fitness group, and especially great to do in nicer weather.
How can I stay motivated if working out alone?
It’s not always possible to workout with others. If you’re going it alone, it’s sometimes difficult to stay motivated. Here are some tips to help get into your new fitness regime, and how to stick to it:
- Make a schedule: And stick to it! Decide how many days per week you want to workout, and what sort of activity you’ll be doing on each day. Then put the session into your phone or calendar, just as you would with any other appointment.
- Pre-book in advance: Many gym classes and other activities require you to book in advance. This can also make you less likely to skip your sessions if you’ve got it booked in, especially if you have to pay upfront.
- Set yourself goals: When you workout by yourself, there’s no one there to encourage you to keep going, push a little harder, or go a little faster. That’s why creating personal goals is so important when working out alone. They can be big or small, just make sure they’re trackable by putting a number or timeframe on them, so you can record progress along the way.
- Reward yourself: If you reach a goal or hit a milestone, it could be a good idea to reward yourself. Whether it’s that new pair of shoes you’ve had your eye on, a manicure, or even a nice meal out. It doesn’t have to be anything big, but just something you really want and will look forward to earning.
- Keep a workout log: This can be done in a good old fashioned notebook, or on a fitness app. Keep track of your workouts, including progress made, your weight, waist size etc. Then if you need a little motivation boost, you can just go back and see how far you’ve come, knowing that all your hard work is paying off.
- Find a virtual community: if you can’t physically work out with others, you can still find a support community of like-minded people with similar goals to help keep you on track. It could be through an online community or forum, social media, or a fitness app, having others there to share your struggles and successes with can give you a huge boost.
Soon enough, working out, whether it’s running, swimming, or at the gym, will become a habit. You’ll want to exercise and you’ll start to feel weird if you don’t do it as it becomes part of your routine. Keep it up, and enjoy all the health benefits keeping fit brings.
What are the best health and fitness apps for beginners?
Load your phone with the right apps and it can be an incredibly useful tool in helping you reach your fitness goals. Whether you want to exercise more, find a sports club in your area, or make your diet healthier, there are lots of useful apps that can help.
- Decathlon Coach: This free app uses a vocal coach which guides you throughout your workouts and measures your activity. You can then look at the details from your last session and be proud of your progress.
- Fiit: This is a subscription app that offers a boutique gym experience in your home, with lots of fitness videos and classes you can follow to suit your schedule. The classes are split into 25 or 40-minute sessions, by type (including strength and cardio), and difficulty level. And you can choose which part of the body you want to focus on too.
- MyFitnessPal: This is the perfect calorie-counting app. It has an endless database of foods, making it easier to scan barcodes and log your meals to help you keep tabs on what’s going into your body.
- Aaptiv: While most home workout apps use videos to show you what you should be doing, this app talks you through every activity, which means you don’t have to prop up your phone or tablet and peer at your screen mid-exercise. And it comes with some great music to get you in the mood and motivate you.
Whichever app you decide to go for, it can be like having a personal trainer or nutritionist in your pocket so you’ll always have that motivational support.