If you could only do two things to improve your health, we’d suggest exercising and hanging out with friends. Loneliness is as harmful to your well-being,So we say, why not combine the two: exercise with your friends. Besides killing two birds with one stone, you’ll be reaping a whole host of benefits—like the eight below.
Not only is having one more fun, but an exercise partner can make you more…
YOU’LL ENJOY YOUR WORKOUT MORE
It is known those who worked out with friends (or a spouse or co-worker) said they enjoyed the exercise more than those who got sweaty solo, you like hanging out with your friends, you (mostly) like exercising—combine the two and you double your fun.
YOU’LL BE LESS LIKELY TO GET INJURED
The gym mirror can only tell you so much. When you have a friend with you, they’ll be able to give you quick form checks and tell you when your back is sagging during your plank or if you’re leaning forward too much while squatting. And that can save you lots of pain later on.
YOU’LL FEEL EVEN LESS STRESSED
People who exercise at the gym with a friend said they felt calmer after the workout than those who exercised alone. They didn’t necessarily have to chat during the workout to feel the stress-busting effects, so bring a friend along to fitness class, even if you know you’ll be pushing yourself too hard to utter a word.
YOU’LL PUSH YOURSELF HARDER
Worried that your exercise buddy is fitter than you? Good. People with exercised with someone they thought was better than them worked out up to 200 percent harder and longer than others. That’s because you’re naturally competitive—when you’re with a fit friend, you find it easier to really push yourself to keep up. (Although, there is such a thing as being Too Competitive at the Gym.)
YOU’LL QUIT QUITTING
When you’re just dragging yourself to the gym in the morning or after work, it’s easy to talk yourself out of it—less so when you know you’ll be meeting a friend there. The same is true for slacking off during your workouts: You’re not going to stop for so many water breaks, read Facebook or Instagram when you’ve got a friend there to call you out.
YOU’LL MEET YOUR GOALS FASTER
This goes along with the two previous points: when you’re being consistent and pushing yourself harder, your performance will improve faster than when you’re only attending the gym sporadically and slacking off when you do manage to get there.
YOU’LL HAVE MORE SEX
This one’s only true if your workout partner is also your life partner. The physical symptoms you experience after working out—flushed skin, faster heart rate, adrenaline rush—actually mimic the effects of arousal. That might help explain why studies show that men and women feel more attracted to each other after doing an adrenaline-pumping activity (like exercising together).
YOU’LL BREAK OUT OF YOUR RUT
When you work out alone, it’s all too easy to fall back on the same-old, same-old exercises. But that’s an easy way to fall into a fitness plateau. A friend might have suggestions for switching up your routine that you wouldn’t think of alone, and that will keep things interesting and ensure all your muscle get worked out.