Fitness can be a selfish often lonely pursuit, so we quizzed Amy Updike, an IFBB Bikini Pro and NLA For Her athlete, about the hallmarks you should look for when choosing the right person to share a sweat towel with.
- Consider someone new
Struggling with motivation? The fix could involve finding a new exercise companion, which will spur you to exercise more frequently, especially during the tough workouts, found research in the British Journal of Health Psychology. “Having a partner that not only works out along beside you, but is willing to help push you mentally through your sets helps me to have a workout much better than any one I do alone,” explains Updike. Mix up who you train with because everyone’s personality will bring something new and unique to your routine.
- Consider verbal quality over quantity
That person who never shuts up may seem like a natural fit, but the science may disagree. A paper at Kansas State University found the best workout partner is one who understands when silence is golden and keeps verbal encouragement to the bare minimum. “When I do occasionally train with a training partner, I like one that verbally pushes me to the next level, encourages me to do more than I think I can,” explains Updike. As you can see, the trick is to find that perfect balance between talk and work, because too much of either may put distance between you and your goals.
- Work to your own schedule
If you can’t sync your diary to someone else’s, don’t throw in the towel, rather do what works for you. “My schedule often only allows for me to work out alone,” explains Updike. “My workouts are usually based around my children’s schedule. Yes, sometimes wish I could have a partner that helps to push me mentally through workouts, plus it’s more fun to have someone to workout with. However, I am usually able to focus very well being alone and work at my own pace. Sometimes I like just being able to put my headphones on and focus and work at my own pace rather than having to talk to anyone.” Do what gels with your situation and headspace and you’ll be more likely to forge healthy habits that stand the test of time.