Last month on a random Tuesday night, I sat on my bedroom floor, sweating after doing yet another Blogilates YouTube video. I felt exhausted and discouraged since I was having absolutely no results, despite working out consistently for fourth months. As I leaned against my bed frame, the only thought I had swirling around my head was “wow, this whole working out thing would be a lot better if someone would do it with me.”
Recently, my older sister, my cousin and I decided enough was enough. We were going to get fit if it was the last thing we did. Setting up a Google doc, the three of us created a point system. Every workout we did earned us a certain amount of points based on the intensity or duration of the activity. Whoever accumulated the most points at the end won twenty dollars. With the constant encouragement and healthy competition, all three of us started to notice subtle changes in our bodies. With my abs a little more defined and legs a little more toned, I started to think. Why am I seeing results now? What’s the difference between working out alone and working out with someone else?
After a little research, everything became so clear, and I felt even more motivated to continue to work out with my little fitness squad.
According to one Kansas State University researcher, working out with another person who you perceive as being in better shape than you increases your motivation to increase the length of your workout as well as the intensity by as much as 200%.
In addition to increases in your motivation, working out with your besties helps hold you accountable, helps keep you positive and reduces your stress levels. Fitting in a workout with friends reduces your chances of injury significantly because someone is always watching to make sure you are performing all the exercises correctly.
Based on those few facts, it’s almost impossible to convince yourself it’s better to hit the gym by yourself. Plus, having your friends around makes that kickboxing class or four-mile jog feel less like a chore and more like a fun social event. So grab your gym bag and round up your friends if you want to get in the best shape of your life!
Image via Kayla Bacon