A good pal can boost your exercise success


Everything’s more fun with friends—and that definitely includes exercising. Not only is it more enjoyable, but there’s proof a workout partner can make your exercise more effective. One study found that an exercise buddy can boost cardio results. Another found that women could lose a third more weight by exercising with a friend than by themselves. And when you pair up with a friend you think is better at working out than you, you can increase your “workout time and intensity” by 200%.

Go for a total win-win

A little friendly competition can certainly encourage you to push harder. But you don’t need loads of research to know that working out with a friend is basically a two-for-one deal. You get some quality hangout time while also staying on top of your health goals.

Save the date

To maximize your fun and fitness, set a regular day and time for your “workout dates.” This helps you plan ahead and gives you built-in accountability and encouragement to make sure you stick to your goals. It’s harder to skip a workout when you know someone else is depending on you to show up!

Pick the perfect activity

You can stick to a workout you know, or try something entirely new to both of you. There are so many options to choose from:

  • Take a class at your local YMCA. There are plenty of great choices, from dance, yoga, and Pilates to Kettlebells, kickboxing, spinning, and more.
  • Play some one-on-one. Enjoy activities that require a partner, like basketball, racquetball, or volleyball.
  • Walk and talk. Whether it’s a spin around the neighborhood or the walking track, catching up on life, or your favorite TV show, really makes those laps fly by.
  • Be the coach. A partner can help spot you during weightlifting or count your reps so you can focus on your form.

Whatever activities you choose, your workout pal may be one of the most important factors in successfully reaching your exercise goals. Even more, a good friend can make working out a more important and enjoyable part of your life.