Friends Who Exercise Together Get Better Results Together

Learn how having a workout buddy will help you get fit faster

Before you lace up those sneakers, enlist the help of a friend. Research is showing that buddies who exercise together get better results.

Let’s face it: we live in a world where our time is scarce. A lot of us want to go to the gym, but there are so many other things to do, places to be and people to see. But having an exercise buddy, someone to hit the gym with, take a walk or go for a run with, allows you to combine the basic human needs of friendship and physical exercise.

Exercising with a friend gives you more than a better-looking derriere—it makes you more accountable. You are much less likely to press the snooze button when you know someone is waiting on you at the gym or the local park for your morning run or walk. And when you make exercise socially, you take the focus off that all-too-common question, “Are we done yet?” Talk about current events, share problems and solutions to life experiences and, before you know it, you’ve finished six miles! Just think how much money you are saving and how many unwanted calories you are avoiding by saying “yes” to exercise with a friend and “no” to happy hour.

But what if you don’t have any buddies that want to jump on the exercise bandwagon? The buddy system doesn’t have to be limited to people you know. There are plenty of resources for people looking for group-based fitness initiatives. Free Web sites like Sparkpeople.com have virtually connected people as exercise and weight loss buddies. Another idea is to sign up with a charity sports training program like Team In Training. With a team of first-timers and seasoned athletes, you can raise money for a good cause and work toward the goal of completing a half-marathon, marathon and/or a 100-mile century bike ride.

Finally, look on the Internet to see if there is a local running or hiking club in your area. Some Niketown stores across the U.S. host free weekly group running events. And, last but not least, if you are having trouble finding an exercise buddy in your area, you can always start your own exercise club.

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