From the traditional romantic love honored on Valentine’s Day to celebrating the more platonic love between friends on holidays like Valentine’s Day, the month of February is all about appreciating relationships. If you don’t already have a reliable workout partner, this is the perfect time to test out the buddy system in the gym, fitness studios, or trails. Although you may think of your workout as your “me time,” there are proven advantages to working out with a partner.
YOU’LL HAVE MORE ACCOUNTABILITY:
When your alarm goes off for that early morning workout class, it can be tempting to hit the snooze button, especially in winter when it’s dark, cold, and dreary. However, if you’re taking the class with a friend you don’t want to ditch, the odds of consistently making it to the class, run, gym, or whatever it may be, increase drastically. And when it comes to achieving your fitness goals, consistency is key.
YOU’LL WORK OUT HARDER:
The Kohler effect, a psychological theory that states motivation increases among individuals working in groups compared to individuals working alone, has proven true for fitness fiends. A 2011 study examined adults doing strength exercises and found that participants held a plank for longer when working out with a partner versus doing planks on their own.
YOU’LL BE MORE LIKELY TO TRY NEW THINGS:
Starting at a new gym or signing up for your first race can be intimidating to take on alone. Having a friend by your side as you walk through the doors of a new fitness studio or start training for your first half marathon will help you get out of your comfort zone and push your fitness boundaries in a new way.
YOU’LL BE SAFER:
If you’re a weight lifter, having a partner to spot you is safer than lifting alone, significantly decreasing the risk of injury. If you’re a runner or cyclist who prefers to run in the early morning or the evening, there’s safety in numbers.
YOU’LL ENJOY YOUR WORKOUT MORE:
Let’s be honest. We’ve all gotten in a rut with our gym or fitness routine. Having a dependable workout buddy makes even the most mundane workout into something else entirely – a social occasion. You may dread lacing up your shoes for an early morning run, but if all else fails, you will have fun spending time with your workout buddy.
By Lucy Modzelewski