What’s the most important factor in the long-term success of our healthy changes? Not willpower or self-motivation. It’s a strong support system.
Even with the pandemic, you can connect with a workout buddy virtually or in person while practicing social distancing. Here are six ways a fitness friend helps you hit your goals.
Appointments help follow-through. No one feels good flaking on a commitment with another, but we barely notice standing ourselves up. Partner accountability gets you out of bed and geared up on a winter morning; when your partner is you, you can have a cozy chat that results in hitting snooze four more times.
Competition and encouragement are powerful motivators. Your cohort can keep saying “You got this!” as you finish the final set and threaten to send your secret crush sweaty post-session pics if you don’t. Their own progress is inspiration for you to improve.
Another set of eyes prevents injuries. You may not feel or even see in a mirror that you’re leaning forward during a weighted back squat, a form error you’ll feel in your neck and shoulders tomorrow. Your workout partner can correct you until you learn how the proper form feels.
Moving and connecting
Sitting is the new smoking; loneliness is the new obesity. Studies show growing evidence that both sitting and loneliness are serious health risks. Regularly working out with someone gives you the benefits of movement and spending time with a friend, both of which reduce stress.
If you’re not enjoying exercise or aren’t making progress, you’re in a rut. It’s hard to get fired up to work the same set of 8-pound dumbbells you’ve been lifting for six months when your goal is to get stronger. Two friends with their own separate experiences can bring new light and life to rejuvenate a boring routine.
The Ripple Effect
You’ve never enjoyed exercise? Many people mistakenly believe lifestyle changes need to be big and are made solely through willpower. Health goals that consider only the body leave out a big part of the equation. Click here to see how you can affect a change in as little as five minutes a day. Fitness partners engage body, mind, and soul, and create a ripple effect: healthy activities create other healthy habits.