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On International Friendship Day - Achieve Better Results By Working Out With a Buddy!

On International Friendship Day - Achieve Better Results By Working Out With a Buddy!

July 30th is International Friendship Day, first proposed in the 1930s by Hallmark Cards as a marketing tool, but now adopted by many countries as a celebration of friendship and the bonds that make human beings social animals, who thrive on caring for and co-operating with others. Doing things with a friend is always twice the fun and here's one gym goer's take on why working out with your best mate could benefit you both.

A lot of people work out alone; I am one of them and with so much to cram into a day, sometimes it’s just more convenient only having to worry about me. But... many people out there advocate getting a ‘gym buddy’ and certainly there is plenty of research that supports the benefits of this idea. Talking to our Personal Trainers, they say clients tend to stick to a commitment to get more active if they have someone joining them on the journey.

So, for those of us that are working out alone, what are we missing out on and what are the benefits of having a partner? Here are 5 good reasons I have found and I encourage you to try it!

1. Motivation

Many people work out with a partner to increase their motivation. Even at the most basic level - making a commitment to someone else, to meet them at the gym - can be the difference between actually getting there and making a last minute excuse. Get in touch, send text reminders and schedule a couple of visits a week into your diary together. These things are brilliant ways to keep to a plan and simply put, if you keep to a plan you will see the results.
Work out with a friend
2. Inject Some Fun

If we are completely honest about it, working out can be boring. Adding a friend to the experience can suddenly change the 30-minute session on a treadmill to something a lot more interesting. Working out alongside a friend might give you a chance to catch up on news, talk about the football, or spend some quality time with a member of the family one to one, whilst doing something that is good for you. Going to the gym is certainly not about ‘no pain no gain’ these days - that’s so old school. You need to have fun and create some reasons to keep coming back; even if those are social reasons, it really doesn’t matter.
Workout with a friend
3. Better Quality Exercise

Getting through the door is the most important thing, but workout partners also find that the quality of their workout improves and they generally work harder. I know it’s pathetic, but if I am out for a run and it’s a freezing morning and the wind is whipping into my face, all I want to do is slow down to a walk. However, as soon as I see a car approaching or a pedestrian, I keep on going; it’s that internal pride that kicks in. Something similar happens when you work out with a friend; you don’t want to let the side down. You can start off slowly with general encouragement and praise for each other but further down the line you might like to challenge each other or check each other’s technique.
Workout with a friend
4. Trying New Things

We all get stuck in a rut. I’ve worked in the health and fitness industry for years and years and I still make a beeline for the piece of equipment that I know and feel most comfortable with; for me that’s the treadmill. Having a friend and counterpart, you will find you might be more willing to try something new. Many of our group fitness sessions are such a valuable resource for showcasing different and fun exercise techniques, but it’s also a bit daunting to join a session for the first time. If you have a friend alongside you, you can have a laugh together without feeling so self-conscious or out of place.

Workout with a friend
5. Sharing Results and Rewards

Sharing your progress and achievements with your close friends and family is great, but no-one will understand in quite the same way as the person that you have taken the journey with - that person who has felt the same apprehension as you both got started, that person who has felt the same aches and pains the days after training, and that person who has had a good belly laugh at your first attempts at a new yoga pose.
Tablet stretch
I am beginning to see the advantages, so why not find someone to start a new chapter in your fitness journey with?

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