By Patricia Conte for GalTime.com
Two is always better than one! Ready to hit the gym or head off to the trail? Going it alone is fine, but when you workout with a friend, in a group class or join a training team, you might find it easier to reach your fitness goals.
See You Then
Think about what it's like when you're scheduled to meet someone: even if you feel a little less-than-thrilled to head out, you know someone is waiting for you. "Working out in a group provides support, accountability, and structure," says Lynne Vaughan, Chief Innovation Officer of the national YMCA. "People don't want to let their buddy or group down, which is terrific in terms of adherence to an exercise routine."
I Got Your Back
Todd A. Astorino, assistant professor of kinesiology at California State University-San Marcos says that exercising with a partner, whether it's a spouse, brother or friend, helps to build relationships. You and your partner will be able to celebrate each other's accomplishments, too. It's not only more fun to exercise with someone else, but Astorino says, "People who have exercise partners stay with their programs and reach their goals more often than those who try to go it alone, and for long-term weight loss, you need to have social support."
Related: Simple Warm-Weather Workouts
You made it to the gym on your own and finished that second set of reps. No one will know if you don't do a third set, right? Think about what would happen if you have a workout buddy with you. You don't want to look like a slacker among friends! It's likely that if you have a workout partner, the competitive juices might flow, too. The two of you will encourage each other to get that third set in, or to go for five more minutes on the trail. If you know the person well enough, you'll both know when the other is slacking and provide a little friendly motivation.
Working out on your own can be great, but it can also get boring, especially if you're doing the same thing over and over. A partner can help and there are a lot of activities you can't do on your own - take tennis for example. Variety is the spice of life, even when it comes to fitness! Sign up for a workout class that is an activity you wouldn't do on your own (think step aerobics or yoga) or schedule a tennis match or round of golf with a friend.
You don't have to go it alone. Grab a friend, your sister or Fido for your next workout. You'll have fun and get fit at the same time.
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