Healthy LivingYMCA Health and Fitness

5 Reasons It’s Better To Sweat Together

01 May 2019 - by Krista Hesketh
Exercise is better with a buddy.

It’s okay to sweat it out solo, but research shows that exercising with a friend not only increases your chances of achieving your fitness goals, it builds a sense of belonging — something we’re all about at the YMCA. To inspire you to grab a weight-room partner, hit up that Pilates group fitness class you’ve been thinking of trying, or make a new basketball buddy, we asked Personal Trainer Andrea to share her top 5 researched-based benefits of working out as part of a duo or team. Here’s what she said:

1. You have an accountability buddy
The biggest hurdle when joining the gym is sticking with it. It can be easy to make excuses. The kids need to be picked up, laundry needs to be done, the house needs to be cleaned — the list goes on. So how do people stick to a consistent workout schedule? Research shows one of the top 3 motivators to hit the gym is having someone to be accountable to.

2. It’s way more motivating and fun
When you have fun doing something, you’re going to keep doing it. One study showed that people who exercised with others had more positive feelings and emotions than those who exercised alone.

3. There’s a higher chance you will be successful
No one wants to waste their precious time at the gym — you want to see results! Turns out a great way to make that happen is to get your partner on the healthy living bandwagon. Another study found that when people committed to a new healthy lifestyle, their partners were more likely to make healthy changes too.

4. You push yourself harder
…which can mean better results in less time, compared to working out alone. Research shows that even if you exercise with a virtual partner, your aerobic performance can improve. I’m willing to bet there’s a little friendly competition at play, driving you to run that extra minute or spin through that last sprint because you can see your workout buddy pushing through.

5. It increases the chance that you will continue on your own
The only person responsible for YOUR health is YOU. You can’t depend on someone else to make you work out forever — but you can rely on them to set you on the right track. The very last study I found showed that people who start their fitness journey with an exercise companion are more likely to continue exercising on their own in the long term, compared with those who start solo.

In short, the research says we’re stronger, together. So invite a friend to your next sweat sesh, try a new experience, and get fit together.

Andrea is a graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Kinesiology program. She’s a certified personal trainer who’s been with the YMCA of Greater Toronto for the past four years. Currently, Andrea works as the Individual Conditioning Supervisor at the Markham YMCA and serves as a Sweat For Good Ambassador: one of our community members who stands behind all the good our charity makes possible. Follow her on Instagram @andreasweatsforgood for more training tips and an insider’s view on the happenings of the Markham YMCA.


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