My husband does not like to work out with me. A family or couple’s run is OK, but the only way I can get him to go to a class (even ones I teach) is if it’s my birthday and I ask for it as part of my gift. In his defense, it’s not because he doesn’t love me. He just doesn’t like working out with other people. Me on the other hand? I LOVE working out with others. I am more motivated in a group setting and I enjoy working out with friends or making new friends with class ‘regulars’ I see week after week.
When I look back, I’ve always been this way. Even before the explosion of group exercise classes, my high school bestie Alexis and I would hit the ellipticals at the YMCA together. In college, workout dates (which included the VHS tape “8-Minute Abs”) with my friend Jill held me accountable. (Side note: How did I wear cotton shorts and sorority t-shirts to the gym back then??? Talk about non-breathable fabric! It must have felt like wearing a wet towel when walking home from the rec center. I digress.) When I studied abroad in Spain, my new friend Jane and I would meet at the beach in the morning for a run (OK, I walked. She ran); and my other new friend and roommate Alex and I did Pilates videos in our apartment. Then while in the working world, my pal Brooke always came to the Tuesday night bootcamp class I taught at the Y. We decided we wanted to add another partner-workout to our routine, so we started swimming laps on Thursday morning before work. But soon after, when our alarms would go off, one of us would inevitably text the other and suggest staying in bed; and the other would emphatically agree. When our morning workout routine started to crumble, what did I do? I signed up to teach a Thursday morning bootcamp class so I HAD to get out of bed … and I dragged Brooke along with me. 😉 And just about two years ago when I taught my first class here in San Francisco, I met a gal named Kim whom I now look forward to seeing every week in my classes and who has become an amazing friend outside the gym.
I’m not the only one who thinks working out with others is a good idea. This article, “The Health Benefits of Working Out with a Crowd,” shares multiple scientific studies supporting the cause. One of my favorite benefits the article shares is that group workouts can help you capitalize on endorphins. Quoted in the article, John Ford says,
“Group workouts can have a couple of mental advantages over solo workouts. While it’s true that working out releases endorphins (think of all of that talk of a runner’s highs), a group setting can lead to the release of endorphins outside of just physical exertion. One way is through smiling. Smiling has been shown to increase endorphin levels in studies. So when you’re in a great class or with a great bunch of people working out, that kind of conviviality can really make you feel great outside of just your runner’s high. An added benefit of this mood boost is that when you’re pushing yourself hard and struggling through more difficult parts of your workout you’ll feel better and more energized to complete the exercises.”
My workout community makes me smile. I’m so thankful for the people I get to sweat with, and they are my inspiration for this month’s Beloved Body Wellness Challenge.
February Wellness Challenge
- Ask a friend on a workout date. Now, you don’t actually have to say, “Will you go on a workout date with me?” But just ask a friend to go for a walk, a hike, a run, or a class.
- Have you been dying to try out Barry’s Bootcamp or CorePower Yoga but can’t make yourself get there on your own? Make your friend come with you. Or maybe try something even more out of the ordinary: take a dance class, go rock climbing or hit the trampoline at places like Sky Zone or House of Air.
- Although Galentine’s Day is officially Feb. 13, you can go on your workout date anytime throughout the month of February.
- Share! Take a pic of you and your gal pal before, during or after your ‘date’ and be sure to tag @belovedbody when posting on Insta.
Love to you all!