Ah, January: that time of year when new year’s resolutions are still fresh and full of promise, and the all-too-familiar excuses haven’t yet started to eat away at our intentions. For many of us, this includes the annual vow to amp up our exercise routines and get serious about fitness. One way to lock your commitment into serious progress is to make it a shared resolution: grab a friend and make your regular workouts a joint venture.
Ample studies prove that working out with a friend has multiple benefits. Here are some of the reasons why the buddy system might help make 2015 your most fit yet:
Sure, you might be disappointed in yourself if you miss a workout. But let’s be honest: you’ll get over it. On the other hand, if hitting that snooze button or opting for happy hour cocktails means you’re letting down a friend who is waiting for you at the gym, you’ll be more likely to make it to the gym, as planned.
Working out with a partner makes you accountable for showing up at the appointed time. Plus, by scheduling those workouts into your calendar in advance, they become more like unbreakable appointments rather than some vague commitment you’ll get around to at some point this week. Being expected to show up for someone else results in fewer skipped workouts, and, by extension, a leaner, stronger you.
Beyond motivating you to just get to the gym (or park, or Pool, or Pilates studio), your fitness buddy can help motivate you to push a little harder once you’re there.
A little friendly competition can mean the difference between pushing just one more mile or calling it quits. And it works both ways: on some days when you’re feeling a little lazier, your friend’s tenacity can inspire you to do just one more set, too, and your strength and determination will likewise inspire her on her more lackadaisical mornings.
And if one of you is already a bit more fit that the other, that predetermined edge can really boost the workouts. A 2012 study conducted by Michigan State University found that women who exercised with someone who was at a slightly higher fitness level exercised about twice as long and with about twice as much motivation then when working out alone.
3. Vary Your Routine
Even the most dedicated exercisers can fall into a familiar rut. Working out with a friend—who may bring different fitness skills, interests, and knowledge than you—can help keep your workouts fresh.
Plus, if you’re both curious to try something altogether new, venturing into the unknown with a tried and tested buddy can ease your newbie anxieties and make experimenting with that intriguing Barre or Gyrotonic® class more adventurous and less worrisome.
Catching up with friends and working out both produce endorphins, the feel-good biochemicals that are not only responsible for a “runner’s high,” but can also lead to a more energized, positive perspective long after the workout is over. Combining these two endorphin-producing activities together increases the fun factor of both.
5. Finally can afford personal trainer
Finding a committed fitness friend may even be financially beneficial. Many personal trainers and fitness studios offer discounted “duet” packages for duos. You still get all of the hands-on, personalized attention of a personal trainer—who brings their expert eye to your form and technique to help you avoid injury—but at a fraction of the cost.
So whether it's for financial—or just fun—reasons, getting fit with a friend is good stuff all around. If you’ve got a friend who you think would love Pilates as much as you do, check out Equilibrium’s Duet (Semi-Private) packages. We’re also excited to launch our new “Refer-A-Friend” program: for every friend that you refer to Equilibrium who buys a package, you will receive one FREE Pilates lesson. Contact us or keep an eye on our blog for more details.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and fit 2017!