ELLE (UK)

THE NEW YEAR

was made for goal setting, go getting and resolution making. So many people set themselves new fitness targets at the start of the year, only for them to be a distant memory by March. We often seem to underestim­ate just how difficult forming new habits an

-

Cue The Golden Girls’ theme tune. That’s right: roping your mate into being your workout buddy has proven health benefits, so why face the world of Lycra and sweat all alone?

A 2015 study carried out by Virgin Active* found that women who work out together train longer and visit the gym more often, with 31% saying they consider their friends to be the key motivator to staying in good shape.

That same study found that women who don’t exercise as much cite fear of judgement based on their appearance or ability as two of the main factors – even more reason to buddy up and be each other’s cardio cheerleade­rs.

While working out with a friend is a great excuse to catch up on the day’s gossip, here are five other reasons why it’s beneficial:

1. Accountabi­lity. You’re much less likely to find an excuse to ditch your workout when you know you’re going to be letting someone down.

2. You will be more committed. Decide on a goal you’re going to work towards together, be it a race or getting stronger, and commit to a workout schedule that will keep you both on track. Your friend’s success will depend on you showing up and committing to your end of the bargain – and you wouldn’t want to leave your bestie hanging, right?

3. Friendly competitio­n. We can pretend all we want, but everyone tries a little harder when we know someone is watching, and competitio­n is healthy. Watching your friend killing it in the weights section is bound to make you up your game. Competitio­n can also highlight the areas in which you need to improve. Not only that, but by pushing each other to do better, you will improve your bond – just don’t take your trash talking too far.

4. Resistance training. Incorporat­e two-person moves: wheelbarro­ws, sit-ups while passing a medicine ball to each other, squatting with your friend on your back (that one can truly test the boundaries of your intimacy). As long as you take expert advice, there are lots of exercises you can do together that will help you stick to resolution­s and push each other further.

5. It is a lot more fun. Working towards a fitter life together is the ultimate fitspirati­on, but it also makes workouts more enjoyable. Everyone should rock up to the gym with their partner in crime. With fun comes laughter, and with laughter comes a great abs workout. It’s a win-win fitness solution.

 ??  ?? Bangs AKA Muireann Carey-Campbell ELLE’s Fitness Columnist is a spinning instructor and fitness blogger. Read more of her motivation­al writing at elleuk.com
Bangs AKA Muireann Carey-Campbell ELLE’s Fitness Columnist is a spinning instructor and fitness blogger. Read more of her motivation­al writing at elleuk.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom