“Tell me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are”.
We usually hear this in relation to attitude and the kind of person we become. Now, it applies to health and wellness, too. Just like attitude, the more you hang out with people who are more physically fit than you, the greater your chances of dropping those extra pounds.
Studies prove that working out with a partner burns more calories – you lose about 10 pounds more compared to when you exercise on your own.
First, find someone on the same level as you, yet someone you can have a friendly and healthy competition with. Your own personal cheerleader, who pushes you, yet knows your limits.
A Harvard University research reveals that just like a disease, you can “catch” obesity. One’s risk is said to go up by two percent for every five obese people you hang out with. It also works the other way around. If heavyset individuals hang out with their skinnier and “healthier” friends, they’re motivated to lose weight more efficiently.
A workout buddy also doubles as a spotter or someone who makes sure you don’t break any bones or crush your head in the process of lifting heavier weights than you’re accustomed to.
Don’t have a workout partner? Or buddies not in the mood to get to the gym? There’s a Gym Comrade app that helps you find a gym partner. You can also access sites like Meetup.com and Findexercisepartner.com as alternatives.
If you’d rather not meet up with strangers, you can always approach your classmates, coworkers or relatives.
Show up on time. Without a spotter, you’ll be forcing your partner to cut down on their weights. Your absence may seem insignificant to you, but you’re already robbing them of a chance to break a personal record. Put yourself in their shoes and imagine the feeling of abandonment. Motivation immediately wanes.
Truth be told, it is very easy to cancel your individual plans and bail on a friend you’re scheduled to meet at the gym. Show up anyway, even if it’s out of guilt. Even if you’re not in the mood to. We’re human; it’s understandable to have days where you feel like taking it easier than usual.
Another set of eyes always guarantees safety.
They are familiar with your routine and movements, so they can give you tips and warn you when you’re taking it a little too far. Wait until after each others’ sets end to give each other feedback, rather than causing a distraction by calling out everything as you go.
Don’t limit yourselves to dull and boring, repetitive equipment use. Explore new routines since you can be sure they’ve got your moves covered.
If you want to be fully guided, but still work around your own schedule, you can always sign up for a trainer. It’ll be more expensive, though since you’ll have to cover the costs per session on your own.
Two’s a Team
Sure, partner workouts are enjoyable, but they won’t have much of an effect if it’s your only source of enhancement.
Even laughing burns calories, and there are bound to be fits of laughter while you work out together. Joking around while doing reps? You just killed two birds with one stone. Laughing off a pound takes about 12 hours, though, so unless you want to raise suspicions or get kicked out of the gym, laughing when you alone don’t necessarily make a good impression…
Those who end up building friendships outside gym premises also tend to keep a closer eye on each others’ diets. Of course, you’ll also have to combine it with a meal plan and some supplements to help burn those dietary fats faster.
My best friend and I aren’t much of a gym rat, and honestly speaking, the most we’ve worked out “together” was by dancing to a “Just Dance” number on the Wii.
After this, I’m pretty sure we’ll be working out together more often. Whether you prefer working out alone or with a friend, the important thing is that you’re making an effort to exercise at all.
Why finish an arduous workout alone, when you can do it with a friend?