The great thing about exercise is you can do it anywhere and anytime, within reason.
But if you suffer from motivation issues, a training partner can add an element of responsibility and bring some beneficial competition to your workout ethic.
Here are five reasons to get fit with friends:
1) You’ll feel more motivated
We’ve all planned to go to the gym when we wake up, then felt tired and promised ourselves we’d go after work. After work comes the hunger pangs and another postponement until after dinner. When you train with friends you have more responsibility to keep a commitment to your planned time.
It’s not just yourself you are letting down anymore. If you do fitness with friends you can really help you knuckle down on a solid routine and get you training regularly and at the right times.
# Add responsibility to your workouts by not wanting to let down your training partner.
2) It’s more fun
Training can get gruelling, especially those long cardio sessions where you just want to call it a day. Exercising alongside a friend, these gruelling sessions become shared experiences in which moments of laughter arise, alongside moments of collective struggle, pushing past personal barriers and feelings of achievement and pride.
All together these experiences create a better training environment, a stronger friendship and funny stories to share over dinner, or at the bar on the weekend. You can even add more exercises to your programme that require a partner such as medicine ball exercises or abdominal exercises requiring interlocked legs and simultaneous reps.
# Social activity brings more to the table.
3) It adds health competition
Those shared experiences of laughter, struggle and achievement are often laced with an edge of competition. When you are running, circuit training, swimming or biking alongside a friend, you have got to be pretty zen not to have at least an inkling of competitive drive behind your reps and movements.
Competition is great in these instances and often lets you take your body to places you didn’t realise it could go. That said, don’t be a plonker about it, if your training buddy is having a hard time give them positive reinforcement and support along the session. I’m sure they’ll return the favour when the shoes on the other foot.
A fitness app with friends can up the game with some sociable or more fierce competition. The higher end gizmos such as the Fitbit have calorie trackers and real-time heart rate monitoring. With synced applications on your smartphone you can go toe-to-toe with your diet and workout routines,
# A little competition can help you improve.
4) Your friendship will grow
Training alongside a friend or partner undoubtably improves the relationship between the two of you. The shared experiences provide conversation starters and experiences to joke and laugh about for years to come, as well as punishing sessions to look back on with grimace and whines.
Playing in sports teams is another winner for social building. It’s always nerve-racking heading to training for the first time with a new team or dojo. But, once you’re in there, 90 percent of the time your going to be met with an ego-free atmosphere, with a real support system for newcomers. If that’s not the case, find somewhere else. Unless you like the tough love approach.
# Training with people or in groups is a great way to build existing relationships or make new friends.
5) You’ll gain valuable insight
Finally, a training partner can provide you insight into your exercise. Its always beneficial to train with somebody who can teach you things, and nine times out of ten they’re going to be more than willing to show you the way.
While it can be more nerve-racking training with someone who knows their stuff, it’s going to be beneficial in the long run. It’ll be even more rewarding when you start to catch up with them, too.
# Pairing up for exercise gives you opportunity to learn, or to teach.