Written by: Ed Sherako, Health Fitness Specialist
Are activities better together or solo? Of course, the answer is that it depends on the activity and the individual’s personal preference. It’s nice to be alone when taking a long winter’s nap or concentrating on writing a blog. Alternately, most people prefer company when dining out or catching a show.
Fitness enthusiasts exercise alone quite often. When the opportunity arrives, they have their gear with them, pop in their headphones and start their workout. Music can be convenient and also a “companion,” but for lack of better terms, a distraction. If distractions are the only thing one needs in regard to accountability, then have at it! But... (there is always a but) sometimes accountability and efficacy are obstacles to a productive exercise regimen.
Social oriented support is a wonderful way to inject energized motivation, fitness knowhow and fun into a workout. And people exercise together virtually as well as face to face.
Benefits of exercising with others:
Qualities of a workout buddy:
- Motivation - elevated by the partnership when everyone contributes.
- Fitness level - intensity may vary, but it’s best if the movement patterns are realistic for all.
- Goals - should be combined and agreed upon.
- Gym knowledge - when shared and learned together, elevates the efficacy of the regimen.
- Serious to fun ratio - can cause friction if the scale is tipped.
- Schedule - should be compatible (flexible if you are lucky).
- Reliable - buddies must attend the sessions frequently!
- Remember, your buddy or buddies will be counting on you to possess some of these qualities and/or similarities for support and assistance. The most productive dynamic is achieved when the group pools their individual assets into common denominators.
“At first Heather and I did not talk much during class. Over time we began chatting more and more. We are getting to know one another, having fun and it makes the workout go by faster!”- Jackie Magno, HFS