You know, I was going to go to the gym. But I’m too tired . . .
It’s too early . . .
I’m too busy . . .
My favorite show is on . . .
I’ll wait until the game is over . . .
I just don’t feel like it.
Any of these excuses sound familiar?
We’ve all used them. And, like most excuses, they all stink.
How do we overcome our laziness, get our rears in gear, and improve our health?
Find a partner. A workout buddy.
When you have someone else counting on you to be there, you’re much less likely to flake out. It brings a sense of accountability. Even if that means getting out of bed at 4:30am when you’d rather hit the snooze. If you know someone else is getting up at the same time, you don’t want to let them down.
But accountability for going to the gym isn’t the only reason to find a workout partner. Not by far.
Most of us have some degree of competitiveness within us. When someone else is standing right there, or running right next to us, we are naturally pushed to do the best we can.
Their very presence motivates us to keep going, when we might otherwise want to stop.
Also, it’s great to have someone keeping an eye on our technique. If you lift weights, for example, somewhere near the end of our second or third set, our technique can start to suffer.
We may or may not notice it, but we will tend to want to keep going, to finish the set. If you have a workout partner, they will notice the bad form, and either help you correct it, or tell you to stop before you hurt yourself. You will get better and stronger at a faster rate.
Beyond that, having a workout partner boosts your natural oxytocin levels. Oxytocin is a hormone that serves to aid social behavior and bonding. It also helps reduce fear, depression, and anxiety.
So, if you don’t have a workout partner, how do you find one?
Start with your friend groups. Maybe someone you already know has similar goals, and you can start scheduling time together.
If that doesn’t work, just start building your own gym routine. Before long, you’ll start to notice the same people coming at the same time you do. Find someone you think may have the same goals, or someone you may get along with.
Strike up a conversation and see where it leads. Lots of people find their workout partners this way.
But what if you’re a little more shy and introverted? What if you can’t just walk up to a stranger and talk?
Try group classes. They’re free with your membership, and you’ll meet lots of great people there. You’ll learn that each of the classes has its own core group of enthusiastic people who love being there.
Their excitement can be contagious. After you’ve gone a few times, one of these enthusiastic people just may approach you. Who knows? Maybe that’s your new workout partner.
The bottom line is that you can’t underestimate the benefits of working out with a partner. It can get you to the gym more often, boost your technique, help you achieve your goals faster, and just improve your outlook on life.
It’s powerful stuff.
We wish you good health,
Columbia Basin Racquet Club
Photo source: getyourfit.com