There’s no doubt that exercise keeps our body vital and improves our overall health, but some workouts are much better when done with a friend or as a part of a larger group.
You’ll definitely appreciate having someone you know next to you struggling with the same exercises as you do when fatigue hits, or when your motivation starts running low. You’ll be able to hold each other accountable, feed off of each other’s energy, go past your imaginary limits, and make the most of every workout session. Also, what’s better than having someone to grab a coffee with after class, or exchange looks when you’re feeling like that last rep really took the last ounce of your energy?
Bootcamp workouts are especially fun and energetic. The whole concept makes you stronger and faster than you ever thought you could be and builds your overall endurance. When there’s someone giving you exercise after exercise with minimum rest, that leaves you focused without even having the time to overthink your moves. But, probably the best thing about bootcamp is the fact that even if you choose to try it out alone, a whole group of people will be sweating and gasping for breath the same way as you; chances are, you’ll find a new friend (or a whole group of friends) before the class is even over. Browse your local area and sign up for a blood pumping and energetic bootcamp class that will most surely make you discover a whole new part of yourself.
Feeling your legs shake while performing the last pulses on the infamous reformer gets easier when you glance at your friend and find inspiration in her perfect form and dedication to keep it going till the very end. Pilates is an amazing workout that’s known for multiple benefits, but having someone you can share your simultaneous love and hate relationship with its challenging (but effective) moves, makes all the difference in the world. Explore different studios to find the one you love the most and take classes from a variety of teachers—this inspires discussion, fun gossip, and even deepening of your friendship, as you’ll now see each other in the most vulnerable positions and making the most unflattering facial expressions. There’s no going back from that.
There’s just something about taking your steam out on the punching bag that kickboxing lovers find addictive and better than any other form of exercise. Sharing the fat-blasting and stress-lowering benefits with a friend—especially in the sparring part of the workout—makes the experience that much richer. You’ll be able to push one another, lend a hand when one of you falls down, and make each other laugh as you let your imagination run wild and picture your exes (or anyone you’re not particularly fond of) instead of the punching bag.
Think of it as a form of therapy: Not only do you get to complain about your family member or analyze the weird argument you just had with your boyfriend, you also get to work through it by letting your frustration out of your body and cleansing yourself of all the unnecessary anger, doubt, fears, sadness, and worry. At the same time, you get to be there for your friend, too, so it’s a win-win situation no matter how you choose to look at it!
Is there a better feeling than challenging your friend to beat you in your favorite cycling class while the energizing music pumps through your blood and keeps you smiling ear to ear? Any bike lover will jump to say, “No way! Best feeling ever!” If you’re one of those people, you’re most likely nodding your head as you’re reading this, but if you’re just getting started, let’s say bringing a friend will be a great decision. First, the loud music and over-eager instructor might intimidate you a little. Second, all of the other people matching his/her energy and smiling their faces off might make you feel even more out of place. And third, occasional yelling and random “Whooo!” sounds might leave you feeling a bit unsure of coming back.
Bringing a friend minimizes all of those feelings because you’ll a) be able to share it with someone, talk it through, and decide if it’s even your jam at all; or b) actually enjoy it and discover the thrill every cycling aficionado keeps talking about—and you won’t be feeling alone or ’stupid’ when you find yourself grinning like a crazy person or swaying your ponytail left and right because it simply feels so good.
Learn new moves, practice choreography, and dance your heart out to the latest music jams while giggling with your bestie. Explore your local area for this stress-reducing activity and take classes from various instructors and styles of dance. Whether it’s tango, ballet, or hip-hop, you’ll have an amazing time while working on your endurance and cardio. If dancing was a part of your youth, get reacquainted with it and discover how easily your body remembers to move. On the other hand, if you’re just starting, taking dance classes will not only make you sweat and laugh while you’re trying to learn something new, it will also improve your posture, balance, flexibility, and stamina. Turn up the music and make your body move.
Working out with friends helps us push harder, take down imaginary limits we set for ourselves, and quiet our inner voice that says we’re not strong or good enough. It also holds us accountable, makes everything more fun and enjoyable, and motivates us to become better, faster, stronger, and healthier—after all, a little bit of friendly competition never hurt anybody.