It’s 7:00 AM on a Saturday and your alarm sounds. You’re tempted to just press “snooze” and pretend it never went off. You’re aching to return to your dream, only to slowly bum around the house later in the morning. But you know what’s at stake. The “Seriously?” look of judgment. Maybe even a persuading text sent your way or a disappointed voicemail you’ll hear when you finally get up. To avoid it, you reluctantly roll out of bed, suit up and lace those sneakers.
Workout buddies are the very best form of peer pressure.
Studies have long shown the positive effects of committing to a fitness plan with other people. Workout partners hold you accountable. They keep you motivated. They encourage you when you feel like you’re hitting a plateau. Most simply put, workout friends help you actually do what you set out to do.
How do you find or select a workout mate? For starters, choose someone that you know shares your fitness goals and likes the same activities. Want to swim laps regularly? Find a friend who also enjoys hitting the lanes. Think about how frequently you want to exercise. Will your friend be able to commit to that same amount of workouts?
Don’t limit your workout buddy to only friends in your area. If your best friend lives out of state, they could still be your perfect fitness pal. Want proof? These two Navy wives collectively lost 300 pounds together, despite starting their weight loss journey in different cities. Through phone calls and visits, they were able motivate each other to make life-saving changes.
Local fitness buddies do have their advantages. A coworker may be able to workout with you on your lunch break or immediately before or after work. A roommate or significant other will be able to run with you in your neighborhood, or walk with you to a nearby gym. A sibling could join you for a workout before a family gathering.
If you’re struggling to find a workout partner but you belong to a fitness club, consider a group class. If you attend that class regularly, you will begin to recognize people, which will make it easier to meet fellow fitness fans. Also, consider doing some research to see if there are exercise activities in your area that are open to everyone. Some cities have social bike rides or free yoga in the park. Check with your town’s convention and visitor’s bureau what is available.
Let’s face it: we all struggle to find the motivation to work out from time to time. Lessen that difficulty by committing to your fitness plan with someone who will help you stay energized, focused and fit.
Do you have a workout partner? How did you find him/her? How have your workouts changed as a result of having a buddy?