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By Laura Grace Tarpley

How does working out with a friend help your weight goals?

You want to lose weight. You've tried. You can't seem to get the results you want, though.

Working out with a friend may be a solution you haven't considered. Not many people take this idea seriously, because they think workout buddies are distractions. They don't want to just chat in the gym for an hour.

However, working out with friends can improve performance and results. Here are a few reasons making exercise a social activity can help you lose weight:

  1. You finally look forward to workouts

    Going to the gym alone can be tedious. You watch the clock while halfheartedly lifting weights. Running alone can be just as boring, with nothing but your own thoughts to focus on. And let's face it, even running playlists get old.

    Working out with someone else can change your attitude entirely.

    When you exercise with a friend, you don't only exercise — you socialize! Designating someone as your workout buddy is basically giving yourself an excuse to hang with your friend. [i]We usually look forward to seeing our friends.

    If you look forward to working out, you'll do it more often. Get ready to shed those pounds!

  2. They help you get better

    It's easy to get stuck in our ways, especially in the gym. You may hunch over when you run without even realizing it! Or maybe you don't understand how to use the seated leg press machine correctly and want someone to show you. [ii]

    Having a second pair of eyes helps with these problems.

    Your friend can let you know how to improve your running form. They can show you how to use a machine. If neither of you knows the answer, then you can brainstorm together. If you are too timid to ask a gym employee for help, you now have someone you know won't judge you.

  3. You have an accountability partner

    When you plan to work out in the morning but don't tell anyone, you may lack motivation. Some people have an insane amount of self-discipline, but for the most part, people need a little push. Otherwise, they find no shame in hitting the snooze button instead of going for a jog.

    If you don't meet your friend at the gym and they stand around waiting for fifteen minutes, you'll probably feel guilty. Avoiding this guilt is motivation to get out the door and exercise. [iii]

    Long-distance workout buddies exist, too. You don't exercise together, but you make a plan and report to each other every day. In this case, simply avoiding embarrassment and a lecture may be enough motivation to work out.

    We don't always keep ourselves accountable. That's what friends are for.

If you are dedicated to losing weight, exercising with a friend is more of a motivator than a distraction. Exercise should be something you enjoy rather than suffer through. Work out with a friend you trust.

Try this strategy for a few weeks and see if you feel differently. Your performance and overall happiness with your workout program should improve.

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