Does this sound familiar? You make a decision to get back in shape. You’re super motivated the first week or two and things are going great. Then you have a late night working and decide to skip the next day’s work out – just this once. Then it rains and you don’t feel like heading outside. Things just keep coming up and the next thing you know, it’s been a month since you’ve been to the gym.
There’s strength in numbers, so they say, and that’s especially true when it comes to sticking to health and fitness goals. After all, it’s one thing to cancel plans with yourself. It’s quite another to back out on a friend or group of people who are counting on you to be part of the group exercise classes. Plus, scheduled workouts with other people make it easier to lock your workout into your calendar, as opposed to saying to yourself “I’ll make time to exercise sometime after lunch today.”
Working out with friends does much more than just motivate you to exercise regularly. In fact, there are a whole lot more benefits that make this such a win-win, including:
Better mental health: OK, we’re not psychologists here, but it’s just common sense that the social support you get when working out with a friend or group of friends helps reduce stress, tame tension, and deal with the overwhelm of daily life. It’s a chance to get it all out, channel negative energy, and turn it into something positive. If you’re going through a rough patch, there’s a huge comfort in knowing you’ve got a like-minded group of friends you can count on to get you through the tough times and help make life better.
A better workout: When you make a goal to get healthier, having a social support group increases your odds of success by 567,000%. (We made that number up, but it feels right to us!) Partners in health motivate you, support you, and inspire you to reach higher levels of fitness again and again. In a group setting, there is a unique mix of friendly competition and enthusiastic support, which means you’ll actually end up working out harder than on your own.
Fun: What? Working out can be fun? Oh yeah! Here’s a news flash for you: Walking on a treadmill for 45 minutes can get pretty dull. Work out in group exercise classes, however, and you will find yourself chatting, laughing, and cheering your way through each workout, enjoying it more than you ever did when going solo.