When planning for weight loss, exercise friends can make a big difference. Losing weight requires a change of diet and behaviors. Finding friends with similar goals can aid you tremendously in losing weight faster and putting patterns in place that you can sustain in the long term.
Here are four ways that exercising with friends will help you:
1. Reduce Stress
Exercising with friends can help to reduce the stress that often accompanies weight loss programs. You may be required to cut out your favorite foods. You may be used to relaxing and watching television many nights a week and now you have to commit time to exercise. Dieting and exercising can feel like a very lonely process. Exercising with friends helps to reduce this stress. You can share your challenges with your friends and draw on their support. For example, you may be having difficulty avoiding certain foods or changing some dietary habits. It helps to exercise with a friend who understands and can lend a listening ear.
2. Stay Motivated
Good friends can motivate you to stick to your diet and exercise plan. You may not feel like hitting the gym after work, but knowing that you agreed to meet your friend there will encourage you to keep your commitment. When exercising alone, it is much easier to skip an activity or tell yourself that you will do it later. While working out together, you can also discuss your weight loss plan and share knowledge and ideas about nutrition and weight loss strategies.
3. Challenge Each Other
When you exercise with friends, choose those with similar goals and fitness levels. It will be difficult to keep up with someone who just finished running a marathon if exercise hasn’t been part of your daily routine for a long time, or vice versa. A compatible exercise partner can challenge you to increase your effort at each workout session. And you can do the same for him/her. For example, if you are hiking together every day, you can push each other to increase your distance each time, walk faster or add a steep hill.
4. Have Fun
Losing weight doesn’t have to be boring or frustrating. When you exercise with friends who make you laugh or share your interests, time can fly by. Whether you are going for a brisk walk every morning or lifting weights together at a gym, fun conversation can make you forget that your body is working out. When something is fun for you, you are more likely to stick to it.
Exercising with friends is a great way to speed up your weight loss efforts. Working out with someone who is working toward the same diet and fitness goals can reduce the stress that often accompanies weight loss efforts. Your exercise friends can also encourage you to push your limits and have a great time in the process.