There are some Saturdays during marathon training that I feel like hitting snooze, crawling further under the covers – and blowing off my long run. What gets me out of bed is the fact that my long-time running buddy, Susan, will be waiting for me in Columbus Circle just outside of Central Park – and I can’t leave her hanging.
Though I know it through first-hand experience, studies support the idea that social support can help you stick to your workout routine – and also improve your mood to boot. That’s certainly true for Susan and I. We end up running at a conversational pace and catching up on everything from work to Bumble dates to, well, working out!
There’s also something awesome that happens when you exercise with a friend – those endorphins and the shared experience of working through something together can help you feel closer and bond faster.
Sometimes, though, we don’t talk at all – and instead sit side-by-side in blissed-out silence in a yoga class. But that feeling of camaraderie is still there. Whether you’re a runner, yogi, or like to hit the weights: “There are many ways to make training more fun and part of your social routine without wasting your time,” says Kerry Greer, an expert with EXOS.
Here’s how to make partner workouts WORK.
Hold Each Other To It
First, share your goals before you schedule your first gym date, suggests Greer. Whether it’s weight loss, a faster 10K time, or building strength or flexibility, tell your gym buddy about it and ask them to hold you accountable. This year, Susan’s focus was on scoring a 5K PR while I was shooting for a marathon PR (Read about that here!). While we had very different goals, we were still able to work out together and push each other towards collective success. Read More