Eight reasons to exercise with a friend
We know that exercise is great for our minds and bodies, but sometimes it’s challenging to maintain interest. That’s why exercising with a friend can be a huge benefit. Here are eight reasons to get exercising with a friend.
1. It’s more fun exercising with a friend
You’re less likely to get bored when you have a workout buddy, especially a friend. While you’re catching up, having a laugh, encouraging each other, you’re also getting healthier. It’s a win-win.
Chatting to a friend during exercise and breaks can help time pass quickly too. You’ll have more options as well, such as a game of tennis or squash.
2. You can build new friendships
Exercising with someone you don’t know well provides an opportunity to build a new friendship. You’ll be starting with a shared interest – improving your health – which can make it easier to chat about other things as you work out.
Joining an exercise class can be a great way to meet people, get to know them better, and make new friends.
3. You’re more likely to stick to your commitment
If you’ve arranged to meet a friend for a walk or booked an exercise class, you’re more likely to keep that commitment. Not wanting to let your friend or exercise partner down can be a great motivator to show up.
And as your exercise becomes routine, perhaps after a few weeks, you’ll both find it less challenging and will more likely stick to your commitment.
On those days when you don’t feel like exercising, a pep talk from your workout buddy might be just the lift you need. You can support each other.
4. You’re more likely to succeed in your goal
Having someone to motivate you can make all the difference to achieving your goal. In fact, research has found that people are more likely to lose weight if their exercise buddy is losing weight. Bonus!
But remember, exercise is still beneficial even if you aren’t losing weight.
5. You’ll work harder with someone else around
When you exercise with a friend who’s around the same fitness level as you, you’re more likely to encourage each other and to push a little harder (to increase intensity, for example) than you might do on your own.
A friend can bring out your competitive side and spur you on. When you’re ready to give up, the sight of your friend powering on might be just the incentive you need to keep going.
6. It can be more affordable exercising with a friend
If you hire a personal trainer, or buy equipment, splitting the cost two ways will save you money.
You can also save on travel costs by car-pooling to get to the park, gym, pool or sports venue.
7. Your friend may have new exercise ideas
Your workout buddy probably has some skills and knowledge that you don’t. Along the way, you might learn new skills – refine your running style, for example – or you could learn a whole new sport or activity.
Variety is the key to sticking with your exercise plan. Mix it up. You’ll have more fun and less reason to quit.
8. It’s safer to exercise with someone else
Having someone to spot you when you’re lifting weights (that is, someone ready to support you, if need be), or to go running with you, especially at night, means you have help at hand if anything goes wrong.
Finding someone to exercise with
There are plenty of ways to find an exercise partner. Here are a few suggestions to get the ball rolling.
Friends or family
Start with friends and family who live nearby, or maybe your neighbour or a work colleague. Suggest a daily or weekly workout date, and make the commitment, helping each other along the way to achieve goals.
Join or start a walking group
Walking groups are easy to find, or to start up from scratch. Check out the Heart Foundation Walking website for everything you need to know to get started. What about starting up a lunchtime walking group at work?
You can also find walks in your local area and throughout Victoria on the Victoria Walks website.
Charity or fundraising teams
Get fit and do a good deed at the same time while taking part in a charity event. Many charities host walks, runs and triathlons to raise money and awareness for their causes.
Popular events include:
For more activities, check out the following events websites:
Neighbourhood boot camps
Boot camps are a fun and affordable way to join a fitness group. Many personal trainers, as a side line, offer discounted boot camp programs at local parks and recreation centres. Search online for a ‘boot camp’ or ‘personal trainer’ in your area.
Search for your local registered exercise professional or registered fitness business for professional advice and ongoing support.
Sports clubs or groups
If a particular sport takes your fancy, there’s sure to be a club or group where you can share your passion, practise and play. Think soccer, AFL, tai chi, table tennis, darts or dancing. Search online for clubs or groups in your area. Having structure to your exercise helps to keep you committed.
You can find a list of recognised sporting associations at Sport and Recreation Victoria, and at Vicsport.
Exercise ideas to share with friends
Exercise options are endless. Here are a few suggestions to try with a friend:
Where to get help