Fit Together: The Benefits Of Having A Workout Partner by Jessica Hegg (VIVE Health)

These days, there are plenty of new types of equipment and classes you can try to mix up your regular workout routine. However, one of the most beneficial additions to your daily fitness doesn’t cost anything at all. The benefits of having a workout partner can help you boost your motivation to move. Learn why and how to find the right one, here.

Why Prioritize Your Physical Fitness

Of course, exercise is an important part of any adult’s life, though this is especially true for seniors. There’s a common misconception that people slow down when they age, gradually losing mobility and independence. While physical tasks may get more challenging when we get older, the truth is that seniors can take their physical wellness into their own hands with regular exercise.

Take a look at some of the main benefits of exercise for seniors here:

  • Reduces the risk of diseases that commonly affect older adults like high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
  • May reduce blood pressure in those suffering from hypertension
  • Helps seniors maintain mobility, letting them live independently longer
  • Can ease joint swelling and maintain healthy muscles and bones
  • Can improve muscle and bone strength

You might be surprised to learn that physical fitness can even boost your memory! Learn more here.

How Much Exercise Do Seniors Need?

To get the maximum benefits from your workout, building a routine is key. However, older adults have different needs than the rest of the population, and this should be taken into account when building an exercise routine.

Experts recommend adults 65 and older get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, each week. Furthermore, two days a week should be devoted to muscle-strengthening exercises, and some of this time should be focused on exercises that help improve balance.

Looking for ways to improve your balance? Try our foam balance pad for yourself.

Reasons to Work Out With a Friend

The most simple reason to find a gym buddy is that it makes working out more fun. However if you’re still not convinced take a look at these other reasons to find a workout partner

  • A Helping Hand When Getting Started

    For many would-be fitness enthusiasts, it’s the social barriers that keep them away from a regular workout routine. Gyms can be intimidating for those who have never been to one, and many even feel embarrassed to start jogging around their neighborhood. Finding a friend who can help get you started will take some of the stress out of these early stages, and let you get into the swing of things.

    It’s worth noting that exercise on its own helps manage stress levels, and can even be an effective treatment against anxiety disorders. However, research shows that working out in a group has an even greater impact. These effects can be felt in both the short and long term.

  • Commitment

    Getting started with a new exercise routine is important, though it’s only the first step of a lifelong journey. To fully enjoy the benefits of exercise, it’s important to practice it consistently, into old age. Unfortunately, most people who start a workout routine don’t see it through. This is where your workout partner really shines.

    Whether you’re jogging with a friend, attending a yoga class, or setting a regular gym schedule, having a partner or group helps hold you accountable. Actually, this kind of group motivation has proven to be one of the key factors that determine the success of individual workout goals. Simply put, working out with friends makes you statistically more likely to stick to your goals.

  • Motivation or Competition

    Whether you’re looking for a bit of emotional support when hitting the treadmill, or some friendly competition to push you to the next level, a workout buddy can be the perfect thing. Everybody is motivated in different ways, so it’s important to find an exercise partner that matches your personal style. While some friends may be better for offering positive reinforcement, others may be better suited to workout rivalry.

    Even if you’re not jogging together or hitting the gym at the same time, you can still reap some of the benefits by setting goals together and holding each other accountable. Find measurable goals like weight loss, muscle gain, or hours spent on the treadmill or elliptical.

  • Opens New Options

    Of course, exercise doesn’t always have to mean jogging or a trip to the gym. In fact, it can even be the most fun part of your day. Sports like pickleball and badminton are especially well-suited to seniors, giving you the perfect dose of cardio without straining your joints. If you have a whole group, you can even organize team sports!

  • Safety

    There are all kinds of ways having an exercise partner can make your regular workout more safe. If you’re going to the gym and lifting weights, it’s important to have someone handy to serve as your spotter. If jogging or biking is your thing, having a partner can make you more visible and better protected against street crime.

Finding the Right Workout Buddy

As mentioned above, you can’t choose just anyone to be your workout buddy. The two of you must:

  • have similar workout goals
  • close to the same level of fitness
  • ability to meet up regularly
  • be someone who makes you feel motivated to stick to your routine, even when things get hard.

Having trouble finding the perfect person? If you don’t have friends or family members who seem like a good fit, try heading to your local gym and striking up a conversation there. Or, take your dog out for a walk and see if there are any other fitness enthusiasts in your neighborhood. When all else fails, a regular exercise class is always a good option. When you get creative, you’ll be surprised at how many different ways there are to get out and meet people.

Make Your Workout Fun With Friends

Don’t forget that we’re all on our fitness journey. The beauty of a workout partner is that you can enjoy all the benefits described above, while also paying it forward to your teammate, gym buddy, or jogging group. And who knows your gym acquaintance might even turn into a lifelong friendship.