People who are looking to get fit have a much better chance of being successful and sticking to their workouts when they have a partner.
Here are just a few of the advantages of having a workout buddy:
- A designated partner help to keep you accountable when it comes to following through on your plans to exercise.
- Having a workout buddy can make your exercise sessions more enjoyable and less monotonous.
- Having a partner who is more fit than you can encourage you to push yourself and increase your fitness thresholds.
- Teaming up with someone who is less fit than you can end up putting you in a role that requires a bit of leadership, which can in turn increase your own confidence and motivation levels.
- Having someone to do physical activity with gives you someone to share the excitement of achieving your fitness goals.
- Having a companion can be a healthy way to cope with life stresses, which boosts your overall health.
- Teaming up with a partner might increase the likelihood that you try new types of workouts that you might not have tried alone (i.e. group fitness classes, Yoga, rock climbing, etc.).
How to find a workout partner...
Ask coworkers if they would like to team up — coworkers are great candidates because they share a similar schedule to you. If at all possible, do light exercises or walks during your lunch breaks for the most efficient use of time.
Ask family members — exercise dates can be a great way to squeeze in a little quality time. Choose a family member who is interested in increasing their activity levels, and you’ll have found a good candidate for a workout buddy.
Enlist the help of your significant other — in the interest of increasing their life expectancy, drag your significant other off of the couch and make them exercise with you. If they give you any lip, just remind them that you are trying to keep them healthy; eventually you may get less and less resistance!
Talk to your local gym about people who are looking for workout partners — if you (understandably) find it to awkward to walk up to a stranger and request that they become your "buddy", you can always talk to the customer service desk at your gym to find out whether or not they have programs to connect people who are looking for the same support that you are.
Attend a group fitness class to find a support system — it can be intimidating to go into a class solo, but it is highly likely that you will find other people who are interested in a similar type of physical activity as you. The atmosphere in most of these classes is easy-going, and people are generally friendly and approachable.
Look for workout buddies online — you can find this kind of support in a number of different forms. For example, there are many different websites out there that are fantastic for connecting people who are looking for support (we even have some great groups within our very own Fitness Blender Community!). On the flipside, a lot people like to exercise alone and would be better served by a virtual workout buddy. With a virtual-based system, you would have someone to report your successes and slipups to, but you still get to enjoy your workout time solo.
What makes a good workout partner?
You can find support in all different shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. You don’t necessarily have to be dead even with someone in terms of fitness in order for them to be a good partner and motivator. In fact, it would serve you well to have a diverse network of workout buddies, who are at varying fitness levels and who favor various training styles.
For example, even if your goal is to gain muscle mass by lifting weights, there is no reason why you can’t set up a schedule with a friend who walks with you several times a week. A good regime is one that is well balanced and that uses multiple training methods. Keep your workouts and your conversations interesting by teaming up with a few different exercise partners. Another benefit of having a few groups is that if one flakes, or suddenly loses interest in their goals, you won’t feel tempted to abandon your routine as well.
Do you exercise alone, or do you have a partner? Do you find that when you have someone to keep you accountable it makes it more likely that you stick to your goals and schedule?