Friends are there when you need a shopping partner or a shoulder to cry on, but they can also help you achieve your fitness goals. They don’t have to physically join you at the gym to support your fitness resolutions, but it’s great if they can.
Before you attempt to change your approach to fitness alone, talk to your friends about your plans. Here are several amazing ways to conquer your fitness resolutions with help from your friends.
Become Workout Buddies
More than two out of three people with gym memberships never even visit the gym. Reasons vary for skipping workouts, but boredom and loneliness are common factors.
You can tackle both of these problems by bringing a friend to the gym with you. You can also jog around local parks or exercise at home with one of your pals.
It’s fun exercising with a friend, which may explain why people who work out with a buddy have workouts that last up to 200 percent longer than folks who hit the gym alone.
If possible, exercise with a friend who is in better shape than you. The Köhler effect states that nobody wants to be the weakest link in a group setting, so you’ll probably push yourself harder if you exercise with someone who is faster or stronger than you.
It’s important to note that if you can’t find a consistent human workout buddy, dogs make a great backup option. Bringing your dog along for a run or hike is great exercise for them and will provide you with a companion.
If you don’t have a dog, you might consider other ways you can spend time around animals, such as becoming a dog walker or volunteering at an animal shelter, as they provide us with remarkable physical and mental health benefits.
And for those days when you just want a solo workout, find ways to stay motivated. For example, do you love music? If so, pick up a comfortable pair of earphones that feature sweat-resistant technology and incredible sound.
That way, you can use the music to keep you energized and motivated to see your workout through until the end.
Receive Support From a Distance
Don’t underestimate the power of a simple phone call reminding you to hit the gym. Receiving support from friends, even ones who live far away, can motivate you to achieve your fitness goals.
If you don’t enjoy talking on the phone, share your workout goals via text, email, or social media. FaceTime and Skype are great options if you want to see the person you’re talking to.
It’s awesome to have a friend who reminds you to exercise, but it’s also important to have an accountability buddy who asks about your workouts.
You probably don’t want to let your friend down by saying, “Well, I had a text reminding me to exercise, but I only did the treadmill for five minutes.”
Yes, five minutes is better than zero minutes, but do you want to admit that you left the gym in a hurry? An accountability partner ensures that you’re proud of each fitness session.
Challenge Each Other
Are you a competitive person? Consider signing up for a weight-loss challenge, weightlifting competition, or 5K with your friend.
You can playfully brag about your progress to each other and keep each other on track. You don’t have to participate in a formal competition; consider hosting your own with a small group of friends.
If you don’t live near each other, use an app like Map My Walk to track your daily workouts. You can both monitor the results and encourage each other to pick up the pace.
You can also send Snapchats or texts of your workout results, such as how many calories you burned on the treadmill or how many miles you rode on the exercise bike.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Stuffing your face with chicken nuggets or pizza might leave you feeling too tired to exercise, so find a friend who’s willing to grab some healthy grub with you.
A supportive friend can also encourage you to quit smoking cigarettes and pounding back shots at the bar or remind you that there’s no good reason to Facebook stalk your ex at 3 a.m. when you have boot camp at 5 a.m.
You can achieve your fitness goals on your own, but you don’t have to. Surround yourself with compassionate friends who want to see you succeed, and don’t forget to offer your own encouragement during their fitness journeys.