Remember when you were young and you used to buddy system to be safe and prevent getting lost? Surprisingly, the buddy system is not just for young children. It can dramatically change the way you exercise.
After a long and tiring day of work isn’t it easy to skip out on the gym? Working out with friends can change this urge to give up. “No one wants to be Debbie Downer by bailing and letting down your friend, “ says Steve Stonehouse, Personal Training Manager at Crunch gym in New York City. We all have plans and goals that we make in our heads such as, “I’m going to the gym at 5:00 p.m. every other day!” Making plans with your friends makes it much harder to flake out on exercise.
I know, I know. Getting all sweaty, running on the treadmill, and lifting weights are not the most entertaining activities, but with a friend, it’s different. Since there are two of you there are more opportunities available, such as a game of squash (racket ball), basketball, and tennis. It’s easier to switch up your routine with friends. “Maybe you know a brutal leg lunge that you used to do on your own? Teach it to your buddy one day, and the next, let him teach you something new. Your body adapts and becomes efficient at moves that you’ve done again and again,” says Stonehouse. When your routines are different, your body responds faster.
Work out Harder
How many of us glance at another person’s treadmill to see how many calories they’ve burnt or looked at how much weight the person next to us is lifting? “Whenever you’re working out with someone else, the intensity is always going to be greater than when you’re alone,” says Stonehouse. People you don’t know who are better than you usually make you frustrated. A friend can help you turn this frustration into competition. Something else to consider is picking a person who is at the same fitness level that you are. Someone advanced is not going to gain much working out with a newbie. When you are at the same level as your friend you can push each other to be better.
Yes this does sound shallow but it actually helps you health level. Researchers at Harvard University have found that you can “catch” obesity or other bad habits from from others. The experts found a person’s risk of being obese rises by two percent for every five social interaction that person has with obese people. When you are around people who are unhealthy it’s much easier to become unhealthy as well.