People who exercise with others spend more time being active than those who exercise alone, according to a 2015 Preventive Medicine study.
There are plenty of benefits of working out with a buddy, including reducing stress and becoming more accountable for your workouts. For example, if you know someone is expecting you to show up to a gym class or go for a run, you won’t want to disappoint them. When you work out with someone else, you’ll be less likely to hit the snooze button on your morning alarm or ditch exercise in favor of watching TV.
Join an Intramural Team
Intramural sports are a great way to exercise with a workout partner. If you are a college student, recruit a friend to join a campus team for sports such as soccer, softball, volleyball or tennis. If you are a working adult, you can participate in intramural sports through a work league, an organization such as the YMCA or a community- or religious-based group. You and your friend will encourage each other to attend practices and games. You’ll meet others who could become potential future fitness partners. Plus, team membership isn’t just about getting exercise — it’s also fun.
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Ways to Find Exercise Partners
If you aren’t up for joining a sports team, find a friend who likes to do the same things you do. Whether you’re walking, running or taking a gym class together, the benefits of working out with a buddy will apply no matter which activity you choose. Many gyms offer periodic incentives for members to recruit their friends or family to join. Use that as an opportunity to get your friend or loved one to come with you. It’s a great way to spend time together and get in shape at the same time. You can also post on Facebook or in an email group, since someone in your network might be looking for a gym buddy, too.
Ways to Find Accountability Groups Online
If you can’t find friends or family to exercise with you, the following are some online options that can help you find some workout partners:
- SparkPeople: This website’s Buddy Finder page lets you search for a workout partner by location, goals or age. You can also use its message boards to find people.
- Meetup: Looking for fellow runners? Bikers? Swimmers? Check out Meetup.org, a site where you can browse groups created by others to find like-minded people. Or, you can create your own group.
- MyFitnessPal: While you may know about this app’s calorie counter diary, you can connect with friends also registered on the site to motivate each other and share exercise and health successes and struggles.
- Fitbit: Using an exercise-tracking device such as Fitbit lets you measure the steps you take each day. Form your own network of friends using Fitbit and compare your progress against theirs on the leaderboard. This friendly competition will inspire all of you to work harder.