One can feel like a lonely number, especially when it comes to exercising. Not only is it easier to workout with people around you, but it also is a lot more fun! Physical Activity should be enjoyable - something that enriches your life - or else, why do it?
The combination of intense, challenging exercise with an engaged, welcoming community is what makes CrossFit so fun. You should always make the most of every opportunity to spend time with a group of like-minded people. Don’t be afraid to push out of your own comfort zone to forge some social connections, with new people, here at the gym. It’s okay to introduce yourself, ask for advice or assistance, or even make a lunch date with a WOD partner. While friendships strengthen our lives in many different ways, there are real health benefits to making a workout buddy.
Here is a couple to keep in mind:
Friends keep you accountable
We all go through periods of time where our excitement for exercise wanes, or for whatever reason (whether it be work, life, illness) we find it harder to make it into the gym. A way to ensure these dips in commitment and bouts of absence don’t turn into weeks or months of inactivity is to have a gym buddy who will help keep you accountable.
Research has shown that people who work out with a friend or acquaintance, exercise more consistently than those who don’t. Motivation is a critical factor to sustain exercise. You don’t want to be the one to bail on a workout with your friend only to end up sitting at home on the couch.
You work harder in a group
A little friendly competition never hurts. In fact, working out with other people will push you harder and increase the effort you are giving. This may be due partially to the “Kohler effect,” a phenomenon in which individuals perform better simply because they’re within a group setting. More intense workouts give you better results. Next time you come to the gym or a partner workout is programmed, try not to let your friends beat you!
You will have fun, talk, and laugh!
We don’t have recess in adulthood and the moments in which you can be active and social are limited. CrossFit allows you to do both and doing both has a stream of positive effects that extend beyond the way your body looks. These positive interactions can have a great impact on your mood, confidence and overall mental health. Having a place that increases your overall sense of contentment can be a rare thing, so take full advantage!
The next time you come into the gym, don’t be shy. Say hi to someone you don’t know or don’t recognize. Don’t always pick the same square and stand next to the same people. Get to know everyone that is in your classes. It could be the best thing for your workouts!!