Walking for a better health should be everybody’s goal, there’s no question about it. A simple, yet truly beneficial exercise like walking has the power to make us healthier not only physically, but mentally as well. This activity can help us reduce the risk of heart disease, prevent diabetes, lose weight, strengthen our bones and muscles, as well as relieve stress and improve our mood.
It sounds too good to be true? Can you actually become a healthier and happier you just by walking? Yes, you can. But in order to enjoy those health benefits you need to do it daily, not every now and again, not only when you feel like it. Many people struggle to exercise regularly, because they find it difficult to maintain their drive and focus. And this is precisely why you should exercise with a friend, rather than doing it alone.
Walking in the company of a friend can help you in numerous ways, on many different levels. Here are seven reasons you should start searching for a walking buddy:
It’s Simply More Fun
Walking all by yourself will, at some point, get boring. And, slowly but surely, you’ll begin losing interest in this activity. This is less likely to happen if you’re accompanied by a partner during your walks.
Walking with a friend can make all the difference. Catching up on the latest news, exchanging opinions or simply having a laugh remembering some funny moments in the past will not only make the time pass quicker, but it will also turn exercising into a pleasant experience. Basically it won’t even feel like a standard work out, rather an agreeable stroll with a friend.
It’s Easier to Stay Committed
One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome is to stay committed to your exercise plan. You know how it is. We’re all psyched at the beginning, but we somehow lose that enthusiasm along the way. And we slowly start skipping our walking sessions for a variety of reasons.
If you work out with a partner, there’s a big chance you won’t go through this phase. Once you create a walking schedule that suits both of you, you’ll most surely feel awkward about ditching your friend and you’ll find it easier to stay committed to your routine. Every time you don’t feel like exercising, you can count on your buddy to motivate you. And vice versa.
Higher Chances of Reaching your Goals
When you start exercising, you need to set a clear goal for yourself. This will help you find the necessary motivation to go on when you’re feeling too tired or busy and will provide a clear overview of what you’ve accomplished.
Having someone near you that shares the same health goal will only increase your chances of reaching it. And this is not simple pep talk. It’s proven by relevant studies. Research conducted by the Miriam Hospital/Brown Medical School and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth has shown that people are more likely to succeed in their weight loss program if they’re accompanied by a buddy who’s taking part in the same program.
You’ll Work Out Harder and Longer
If you surround yourself with lazy, inactive people there are considerable chances that you’ll end up embracing the same lifestyle. On the other hand, if you surround yourself with competitive, goal-driven people, don’t be surprised you’ll find yourself exercising harder than before in order to reach your objective.
Studies can back this up. A research conducted by the Kansas State University has shown that having a work out partner can motivate you considerably and have a positive influence on your performance. The study concluded that people can be stimulated by others who are doing better, which will determine them to improve not only their intensity level, but also the duration of their workout session.
It Can Strengthen your Relationship
If you join a walking group, you get to meet new people and build new relationships. Walking on a regular basis with someone you already know, either an acquaintance or a friend, can be a great opportunity to deepen your current relationship.
Working out gives you the chance to stay healthy from a physical perspective, but it also comes with important psychological benefits. As you walk along, you can talk about each other’s problems, seek and provide advice, search and find solutions and basically turn the walking session into a successful therapy session. This will help you and your partner create a special bond and make the friendship even stronger than before.
You Have Someone to Celebrate With
Whether’s it’s taking a certain amount of steps in a week or losing a certain amount of pounds, reaching your final goal is something worth celebrating. This will help you boost your self-confidence and will allow you to embark on a new journey and set even higher goals.
And there’s no better person to celebrate with than your walking buddy, who has shared the same objectives and knows the struggles and progress made to reach your health goals. This will make you feel good about yourselves and will allow you to truly enjoy your achievement.
You’ll Feel Safer
Walking with someone you know will most surely make you feel safe. Whether you’re walking early in the morning or late in the evening, you know there’s someone that can help you in case anything goes wrong. Moreover, if you decide to venture into an unknown walking or hiking area, it’s best to have a partner to count on if you get lost or suffer an injury.
Bonus Tip: Track your Progress
No matter if you’re on your own or walking with friends, it’s always important to set realistic goals and record your progress along the way. This will give you the opportunity to periodically measure your performance, understand the progress made and feel good about your accomplishments.
The simplest solution to track your daily physical activity is to use your mobile phone. All you have to do is download a pedometer app like our own ActivityTracker and you’re good to go. You’ll be able to set your own fitness goal and receive relevant stats regarding the steps taken, distance covered, calories burned or time spent active.