As the holidays quickly approach, Americans across the country may be finding themselves in a time crunch. When people have more holiday activities and less free time, the first thing that usually gets cut out of a person’s schedule is exercise time. It’s unfortunate, but true for many. To combat this holiday epidemic, I have a little piece of advice: get a holiday workout buddy! Have you ever considered asking a friend, significant other or family member to get fit with you this holiday season? If this workout concept is new to you, no worries! In fact, there is plenty of research that proves how helpful having an exercise partner can be! Government agencies, health media outlets and credible fitness brands alike have all published articles on the positive benefits associated of working out with a partner. To add to the ongoing debate of working out alone versus working out with a partner or group, I have compiled a list of reasons why you need a workout buddy A.S.A.P — Check them out below!
1. Get motivated.
Sometimes it’s hard to motivate yourself. Working out with a partner can transition you from performing a boring, mildly challenging workout to a high-intensity, grueling workout session. When you workout with a partner, you will be more motivated to push yourself to do that extra rep or run faster. Some studies have even shown that working out with a friend or group of friends is more stimulating and motivating than working out alone. What’s key to being motivated by your partner is their fitness level. A recent study on the Köhler Effect, otherwise known as the motivational gains effect, conducted at Kansas State University, found that those who exercise with a stronger or more athletic partner work out longer and more intensely compared to individually. This study also revealed that working out with a partner during aerobic activities in particular is extremely motivating, leading to a better, more efficient workout session. According to the Kohler Effect, in order to maximize motivation, your workout buddy should be about 40% stronger than you are. When you pair yourself up with a partner who is in better shape than you, it tends to force you to not want to be the weakest link. This makes sense, right? Honestly, when you think about it, who wants to work out with someone who is not more fit and motivated? If you are serious about getting physically fit, you want to surround yourself with disciplined, athletic individuals who can positively influence you and your health decisions.
2. Improve your posture and technique.
With a workout buddy, you will always have someone spotting you and monitoring your technique, which will ultimately force you to perform exercise routines properly and with good form! The pressure of having your fitness partner watching your every move will likely pressure you to perform exercises as precisely as possible. As a licensed physical therapist and a strong advocate of injury prevention, I appreciate the partner workout approach because it helps in reducing physical injuries.
3. Be accountable.
With someone there with you for each step of your workout, you will be forced to complete every rep with great effort. More importantly, you will notice that you are less inclined to cancel your workout sessions because you will not want to let your partner down. By working out with a partner and assigning a regular workout schedule, your workout program will become consistent, leading to real fitness results. To make a workout schedule that suits both you and your partner’s schedules, create a calendar of all your exercise sessions. It will make your holiday planning simpler and allow you and your partner to establish clearly defined goals and workout appointments.
4. Reduce costs and avoid the need for a motivational coach.
Another great benefit of working out with a partner includes the motivational support you can receive and give to one another. In fact, a workout partner is a great alternative to hiring a personal trainer or motivational coach and can help you burn more calories per workout session and remain positive and optimistic.
5. Get a second perspective.
Two minds are typically better than one and this particularly applies when working out with a partner! Your partner can offer a different opinion and continue to provide advice on how your endurance and strength levels can improve. This can be extremely helpful when you feel like you aren’t seeing the results you want. Remember, some results are better than none and your partner can encourage you to keep going so you get to the fitness level that you desire!
6. Improve a friendship or personal relationship.
We live in a day and age where we communicate and stay in contact with our friends via Facebook, email, text and Instagram. Although there is nothing wrong with social media and other tech formats of communicating, human interaction is still important! Instead of always going to a movie or going out to eat with loved ones, switch it up and workout with them! Wouldn’t you rather establish a tighter bond with a friend or boyfriend while getting in shape? Working out with a friend or significant other can add another dynamic to your relationship, which can ultimately make you happier and more secure in your relationship.
7. Improve mental health and wellbeing.
Believe it or not, there is research that suggests group exercise helps the human body release a flood of chemicals in the brain that trigger similar responses to that of dancing and laughing. If you are serious about making a healthy lifestyle change and really want to incorporate fitness into your daily schedule, it’s important that you exercise in a manner that will make you happy! Whenever you are stressed or feeling down, workout with a partner to talk and exercise your way through your emotions. You’ll feel better in more ways than one!
Now that you have learned about some of the benefits that working out with a partner has to offer, it’s time to actually give it a try! If you live in South Florida, try my outdoor circuit training beach class with a partner this Sunday, November 10th. For this edition of my customized Sweaty Sunday Funday Beach Workout, we will be meeting at Fort Lauderdale Beach at 10:30AM! If you would like to attend, feel free to bring a friend or family member so you have a partner to workout with! If you don’t have a partner, don’t worry, I’ll pair you with one when you arrive. For more details and to sign up, email me at [email protected]. To receive daily fitness and health tips, follow me on Instagram and “Like” my official Facebook Fan Page.