working out with friends

Why Working Out with Friends is Better for Your Body — and Your Mind

Whether you’re working out on your own or with a buddy, it’s easy to let exercise fall by the wayside when life gets busy.

But research continually shows that working out with friends — and even surrounding yourself with health-minded people — is likely to lead to long-term success: 

  • According to one study, 95 percent of people who started a weight loss program with friends completed the program, compared to 76 percent of those who tried it alone
  • Another study found that people gravitate toward the exercise behaviors of the people around them
  • Yet another showed that overweight people are more likely to lose weight when they spend time with their fit friends

It’s no wonder Crossfit, Cyclebar, Orange Theory, Row House and other group fitness programs are so popular!

So why not give working out with friends a try? As a bonus, you’ll not just experience better physical health — but a spike in your happiness levels, too. 

In fact, here are 6 Reasons for working out with friends:

You’re more likely to reach your goals

Firstly, having a workout buddy increases accountability: You’re more likely to show up to a workout knowing your friend is expecting to see you there. And that accountability increases consistency, which is one of the foundations of fitness. Even on days you don’t feel like putting in the work, a friend can provide the pep talk you need to give it your all (or at least give it a try). 

It’s more fun

Aside from motivation, a friend gives you someone to laugh (or commiserate) with when the workout gets tough. Besides, whether you’re doing high-intensity exercise like burpees or just taking a walk through the neighborhood, it’s always more fun with a friend! Having someone to celebrate your wins with is pretty sweet, too.

You’ll get more variety

Doing the same exercises all the time gets boring, and that makes it easy to quit. Friends can introduce you to activities you’d never try on your own — from rock climbing to Zumba to tennis to stand-up paddleboarding. You might find one that feels more like play than work, which will make you want to do it more! 

You’ll push yourself harder

Speaking of challenges, working out with friends can bring out your competitive streak — even if you didn’t think you had one! The Kohler Effect is a phenomenon that occurs when a person works harder than they do alone; no one wants to be the weakest link! And pushing harder, of course, means more gains — and a stronger sense of accomplishment. 

You can make new friends

Working out with someone you don’t know very well is a great opportunity to build a solid friendship. Whether you start working out with a new colleague or join an exercise class where you don’t know anyone at all, you’ll soon have created a bond that broadens your circle of friends, introduces you to new experiences, and improves your happiness in general. 

There’s safety in numbers

Working out with a friend helps keep you safer. Running or walking alone (especially at night) can be dangerous, and having a buddy with you means you have a helping hand if something goes wrong. Same goes for lifting weights: working out with a friend means you have a spotter you can trust. 

Looking for a workout buddy, or just to join a fitness-minded community? Make sure you’re following Le-Vel’s Instagram, which is filled with motivation and inspiration to help you commit to (and reach) your own fitness goals!

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