By Chris Ball, CSCS
You’ve probably heard it before: A workout buddy can encourage you to hit the gym and stick to your routine. But they can do so much more than just keep you accountable. A motivated workout partner can help you push yourself and live healthier overall. Here are 10 reasons why you should get a workout buddy now:
1. It encourages friendly competition. Working out is much more fun when you’re sweating for bragging rights. Use a fitness app like My Fitness Pal to log your workouts, create fitness challenges, or track your steps or calories. Kick the competition up a notch by setting goals and creating a wager. If your buddy doesn’t reach the goal, for example, they’ll owe you a homemade healthy snack.
2. They can help you try something new. Let’s face it: it can be intimidating to try a group class or a new style of training alone. A workout buddy can help you feel more comfortable and boost your confidence so you’ll want to come back again—even if they can’t join you every time.
3. They can keep you safe while you exercise. Having someone on guard to spot you while you lift or check your technique or alignment will keep you moving safely. Thanks to your workout buddy, you’ll have fewer injuries, which can lead to longer and stronger workouts over time.
4. They keep the workouts interesting. Variety is the spice of life, but boredom is your workout enemy. When you exercise alone, you risk falling into the same old routine—one you’ll probably grow tired of eventually. Take turns with your workout buddy calling the shots for the workout that day, or try a new class together.
5. It makes hard workouts more enjoyable. Some workouts are downright tough. And when it’s just you against the workout, it can feel like an uphill battle you have to fight alone. When you team up with someone else, you and your workout buddy share the experience of overcoming the challenge together.
6. They can help you squash your intimidation. Maybe you aren’t the “most fit” in your friend group. That’s okay! Instead of becoming intimidated, join forces with a fit friend and use them as inspiration. You’ll push harder during your workouts, and probably learn a lot along the way.
7. You can make fitness a social event. Instead of going out to happy hour with your friends, go to an early-evening fitness class! Check out spin, boxing, yoga, or HIIT, just to name a few. This will make you feel much better than having a few beers, we promise.
8. They’ll help you eat healthier, too. Proper nutrition plays a huge role in fitness performance. You and your workout buddy can share healthy recipes, cook and share meals for each other, and try new healthy foods together.
9. You’ll save money on wellness services. Split the cost of fitness or wellness-related services that save you money when you do them together, such as personal training or healthy meal delivery services.
10. They provide a support structure for healthy changes. A big part of making healthy changes? Having a solid support structure to encourage you to follow through. Whether you need someone to be your cheerleader in the gym, or encourage you to stick to your healthy diet, you’ll find comfort in knowing you always have someone on your side to support your wellness goals.
If you already have a workout buddy, that's great! But why stop at one? Get a whole group together—like family, friends, coworkers—to work out on a consistent basis. Having a full team to support one another will increase the accountability, competitiveness, and overall progress for everyone.