4 qualities in a motivating workout partner
It’s no secret that working out with a buddy is a good way to stay motivated. You’re much less likely to bail on an early-morning workout when you know you’ll be leaving a friend high and dry, doing deadlifts without anyone to spot her. But when it comes to picking a workout partner who complements you, that can be tricky. It’s almost like picking a spouse; if your workout personalities don’t mesh, you’re doomed for a gym divorce. And those can get nasty. So make sure you choose the right workout pal in the first place. Here are four characteristics you should look for in your exercise husband/wife:
- They like to work out the same way you do. Maybe a long run at 6 a.m. sets you up for a good day. Perhaps you prefer to take a late-night yoga class to unwind. You may just like to squeeze in a round of CrossFit over your lunch break. No matter how you like to get your heart rate up, it’s important to find a workout buddy with similar interests. If you’re all about strength training and he’s obsessed with cardio, or if you’re a morning person and she’s a night owl, you probably don’t make a good fit. Go your separate ways when it comes to workouts, and just get happy hour cocktails instead.
- They’re easy to talk to. If you’re going to be jogging side by side for a few miles or rotating around the weightlifting section at the gym with someone, you need to be able to carry on a conversation. The rush of endorphins might even make you more prone to share with your workout buddy. Plus, finding a friend who you really enjoy chatting with will add another layer of motivation to get you to the gym—whereas if conversation is painful, you’ll be even more likely to snooze your alarm. You don’t have to be best friends with your workout buddy, but the potential for a deep friendship should be there.
- They know when to push you and when not to. Sometimes you really need someone to tell you you can do it, and other times you need a friend who will say, “You tried your best—time to go grab a smoothie.” Your exercise pal should be both. Find someone who understands your fitness level and your threshold for stress (preferably a person who’s similar in both respects), and make him or her your gym buddy.
- They get you out of your comfort zone. Although you want to find a fitness-minded friend with similar interests, there’s nothing wrong with trying something new, either. Maybe you and your friend both like cardio, but she’s into spin while you preferring rowing. Take turns choosing workouts and exercise classes so that you both get to introduce one another to a new type of routine. Who knows? Maybe you’ve been a secret spinning fanatic all this time and just never had the guts to try a class on your own.
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