Why Friendship May Be the Key to Getting Fit

Want to get in shape? Buddy up. Friends can help you get fit and lose weight by providing
support through the shared joy of achieving a goal together.

Science-Backed Reasons to Exercise With a Friend:
In 2016, scientists at the University of Zurich divided study participants into two groups. Half of
the participants continued with their usual solitary exercise routines. The other half exercised
with a partner. Partners hit the gym more frequently than those who worked out alone.

The same study demonstrated the power of emotional support to maintain healthy fitness
habits. In fact, the emotional boost of a shared workout provided greater benefit than other
types of support, like a friend’s reminders to hit the gym. The takeaway? Choose a friend who
can encourage you to achieve your health goals or lend a sympathetic ear as you overcome
obstacles on your fitness journey together.

Connect Virtually When You Can’t Be Together.
Have trouble coordinating schedules with your gym buddy? Busy lives sometimes prevent us
from seeing friends as often as we’d like. Use your smartphone to connect with a friend even
when you can’t meet face-to-face. If your buddy can’t accompany you to the gym, find a way to
connect digitally and hold each other accountable – even if that connection just comes in the
form of a text message.

Boost Your Motivation With a Friendly Competition.
If you and your friend both own an Apple Watch, challenge yourselves to a friendly competition
with Apple’s built-in exercise app. Use your watch’s seven-day competition feature or just share
exercise stats to see who can rack up the most exercise minutes or calories burned. For more
motivation, agree on a reward ahead of time. For instance, the friend with the fewest total
exercise minutes at the end of the competition might treat the winner to a night out at the

Surround Yourself With Fitness-Minded Friends.
If your workout buddy has already been exercising for a while, a virtual competition can be even
more effective. While getting fit with a seasoned gym-goer might seem intimidating if you’re just
starting out, surrounding yourself with fit friends can motivate you to work harder.
Participants in a 2012 study at the University of Kansas worked out with a virtual partner on a
stationary bike. When they learned that their partners had beaten them in a virtual race,
participants increased both the intensity and duration of their workout by up to 200 percent!

Why Group Exercise Classes Can Be So Effective:
For some people, motivation comes not from working out with a partner but from the energy of a
group class. Taking part in a group exercise class offers more than just fun. Exercise groups
can also drive us to achieve our best selves.
Gyms that offer a variety of group fitness classes ensure that their members can find a workout
that they enjoy. A qualified group exercise instructor can help prevent injury while motivating
class-goers to push themselves harder.

Working Out Together Can Ease Loneliness!
Most importantly, working out with a friend or a group can offer a sense of belonging. A striking
2018 survey conducted by Cigna revealed that a whopping 50 percent of Americans report
feelings of loneliness. Increasingly, we spend more time in front of screens or inside a cubicle
than we do with our friends and family members.
Sadly, loneliness can take a significant toll on our psychological and physical health. Loneliness
has been linked to a wide range of disorders, including worsening symptoms of depression. One
recent study declared loneliness as harmful to our bodies as smoking 15 packs of cigarettes a
day! Each time you work out with a friend or loved one, you’re helping to combat the loneliness
that can be so detrimental to health.

Medford Fitness Offers a Variety of Group Classes!
This Valentine’s Day, give a friend, spouse, or relative the gift of health. Join the gym together
and come to a group exercise class where our friendly instructors can guide you on your path to
fitness. Our weekly class schedule includes: spinning, Zumba, yoga, pilates, Cardio Fusion,
Muscle MAXX, Aqua Fitness, and more.
Whatever your fitness level or goals are, chances are we have a class you’ll love. The best
part? More than 50 free classes are included with your membership. If you’re unsure which
class to take, give them all a try for no additional cost.