Having a gym buddy can change your life

I'm trying to make a change in my life and re-assert my healthy living goals with strategies that will actually (hopefully) stick. Maybe it's time I actually listen to some of the same old advice we've all heard time and time again. For instance, we've been told that you're more likely to exercise if you have a workout buddy (the term alone seems so condescending--we're not kids on a field trip, you know?) to hold you accountable, but there are so many perfectly good reasons not to get one.

  • I kind of cringe at the thought of going to the gym with a friend--it's like, what if they judge me?! What if they laugh at how little weight I lift or how little time I last on the treadmill? Tell me I'm not alone when I say this.
  • There are just things that I prefer to do myself. The gym is a bit of private time in an ordinarily busy life.
  • What if I want to quit? I'm an independent-minded person, and I reserve the right to quit whenever I damn well choose, and I don't want to feel pressured into doing something I don't want to do!
If I have learned one thing in my life, it is that you have to overcome your fears if you ever want to move forward. And honestly, aren't those concerns just a little self-indulgent? So I latched on to my fantastic workout buddy, Lee, and I have to admit that this gym buddy stuff really works.

  • For the first time in my life, I work out in the mornings. I am not a morning person; in fact, I kind of hate mornings and the idea that I would be one of those people who got up and worked out was laughable. However, I can't leave Lee standing outside of New York Sports Club all by her lonesome at 6:45 a.m. after I've told her I'd be there. So I make it happen. I am now one of those morning gym people. It's like I've matured as a person.(In regards to morning versus evening workouts, our pal Kim weighs the pros and cons of each.)
  • Consistency. We have a schedule and we stick to it--even if it rains. It removes my profound tendency to procrastinate and now I don't have to deal with any needling regret about not going to the gym when I know that should have. I'm more productive!
  • Lee and I meet outside of the gym instead of inside in the lobby. And even though I still dread every footstep to that awful place I know that we'll have a quick chat and at least have one loud laugh to lift my spirits before I even set foot in the gym. Honestly, she lessens the pain.
  • Misery loves company. Now I have someone to complain with when a class was too hard, or all the good machines were taken, or when the cute trainer isn't there that day. I've never been one to buy into the whole idea of a "support system" but it really is nice to feel that you're not all alone in this.
Thanks for everything, Lee!

So tell me, have you had success with a gym buddy?

Related: 5 ways to stop procrastinating and get to the gym

--Raegan Johnson