Benefits Of Working Out With Friends
- 5 mins Read
- Dr. Jatin Bhide
“Two is a company, three is a crowd”. But when it comes to workout, a company of three may well be a good thing. Most of the time, we lack the motivation to exercise. The reason that this can be a problem is that lack of physical activity can lead to a number of problems like obesity, hypertension, diabetes, and even cause digestive problems. But these reasons are sometimes not enough to get us out of our couches and onto the treadmill! This is why you should consider working out with your buddies. There are benefits of having a workout partner or buddy.
Working out with friends or gym buddies is considered more beneficial than going solo for various reasons like increased motivation, support and being regular with the exercise regimen. Here are a few reasons why a group workout may be good for a few.
Exercise and digestion
Let’s see how exercise and digestion are correlated. Exercise can increase the blood flow to our digestive system and make food move faster through the digestive tract, thus helping digestion. Exercise is also a great way to reduce stress and stress is a known cause behind gastrointestinal(GI) problems. Research suggests that lack of physical activity is associated with an increase in GI symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhoea, constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. But is knowing this enough motivation to get you moving? If not, don’t worry. We have a solution for you.
Higher motivational values
Some benefits of a workout buddy are as follows. Your workout buddies may be the only reason for you to go out and join them on a day you are feeling down and out. The fact that someone is counting on you to show up makes it harder to skip the workouts. It also brings in a healthy competitive spirit which motivates you to work harder in order to match up to your buddies. Even a small appreciation or a big accomplishment during the workout sessions will work as a morale booster, especially when you have someone to share the happiness with.
In case you are a lone walker or runner, you might have a tendency to skip the workout or postpone it for a few days. But most workouts with buddies are taken up as organized classes with fixed timings. Be it Zumba or Tai Chi or a Power Yoga class, you are bound to stick to the routine knowing well that procrastinating will only make you lose out on the workout. This will reduce the temptation to make excuses because of the lack of choice of adjusting the schedule to some other time.
Boosting self confidence
During group workouts, you may feel a sense of pride when you are able to match up to the fitness levels of others around you. You may also find yourself boosting others’ morale which in turn helps you keep a cheerful demeanor. This shows that there are benefits of exercising with friends. This can also serve as a healthy relationship building exercise where you may motivate each other to do better and at the same time empathize with others and the problems they face during the workout.
Better emotional health
Group exercises help with better communication, team building and a positive attitude towards a common goal, which in this case is getting fitter. For older people, having someone they can walk or workout with keeps loneliness at bay and enhances emotional stability. Classes like aerobics and Zumba are held with lively upbeat music which in itself is a mood booster. If you feel you have two left feet, you may realize that you are not alone. The non-judgmental environment and constant support from the instructor and friends help in boosting self-confidence. You may soon find yourself doing much better than your first day at the workout and will be open to new challenges and higher levels of workout, especially when you see your friends taking up new challenges.
Safety during exercise
Older people may find working out with friends safer. Many old people have a higher tendency to fall due to various disease conditions like arthritis or diabetes or as a side effect of certain medications. Exercising in a group or with friends provides them with the necessary safety net. Any emergency or discomfort arising at the time of exercise can be addressed immediately.
Workout buddies: yay or nay?
Even if you are a loner, try to get a workout buddy. This will surely bring out the best in you. Having a buddy network for your walks, gym or Zumba sessions will not only make you stronger physically but mentally and emotionally too. So don’t wait for a nudge. Reach out and find a workout buddy soon.
1.American Osteopathic Association. (2017, October 30). Group exercise improves quality of life, reduces stress far more than individual
workouts. ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171030092917.htm
2.Dayna M. Yorks, Christopher A. Frothingham, Mark D. Schuenke. Effects of Group Fitness Classes on Stress and Quality of Life of Medical Students. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2017.
3.3 Reasons to Work Out With a Friend Available at https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/spotlights/workout-buddy.html Accessed on 30 August 2021
4.Physical Inactivity Worsens GI Symptoms In Obese People Available at https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/10/051003080847.htm Accessed on 30 August 2021