Never Underestimate the Power of a Workout Buddy

I can’t even begin to tell you how many days a week I used to work out. It was a lot. And it was usually twice a day. But now that I’m busy chasing around a two year old and trying to find time to just relax, I can probably count on one hand how many times I’ve worked out in the past month. It’s hard to find the time. It’s hard to find the motivation. It’s hard to find the energy. It’s just hard.

I never needed anybody to push me to work out and get healthy. Sure, I loved going to the gym and working out with friends but that wasn’t a necessity for me. I would get just as good of a workout if they weren’t there. My lunch breaks were spent at the gym and my errands were saved for the weekend or after work. Now, I spend a lot of my lunches running errands since I want to keep my weekends free. And I feel like I have a ton of errands! Or maybe I just find errands to run that way I have an excuse not to go to the gym? Yeah, that’s probably more like it.

I have found lately though, that the few times I have worked out, it’s been with a friend. When I’ve committed to a workout with a friend I’m more likely to follow through. I have someone to hold me accountable and I don’t want to let that person down. I feel like there are phases in everyone’s life that they go through and I’m currently in the “I need a workout buddy to hold me accountable because I don’t have the motivation to do it myself” phase. One day I’ll grow out of that phase. Or I won’t. It doesn’t really matter either way. If it gets me to the gym, that’s all that matters. Besides, I have a lot more fun when I work out with a friend.

I was reading online the other day about the benefit of having a workout buddy and I ran across something that I had never really thought of before…competition. There was some study that showed you perform better when you are paired up with a workout partner that is fitter than you, 40% fitter being the ideal. You don’t want to be the weakest link so you are more motivated to perform better. One of the classes in particular that my friend and I go to is a yoga/pilates/tai chi class. There are a few different options for each move that you can do to get a better stretch and sometimes when I see my friend doing a higher option than me, I decide to take that option myself. If I find that it ends up being too much I dial it down but usually it isn’t anything that I can’t handle. And I know for sure that if she had not been there I would never have tried that higher option and I would have never realized what I was truly capable of.

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