With Valentines day right around the corner, now is a great time to find a new swimming buddy! Bring a Friend Day is the perfect excuse to invite a friend to come swim with you, and maybe you'll even find yourself a new workout partner. Working out with a partner has been shown to have a multitude of benefits, in physical, motivational, and social aspects.
Chances are, your workout will become a better quality workout if you bring along a friend. Studies have shown that individuals push themselves significantly harder when accompanied by a peer. In fact, according to the American Journal of Health Behavior, "when compared with exercising alone, working out with a friend increases the intensity of an exercise session and helps keep you going for longer". Working out alongside a friend will increase the longevity of your workout and improve upon what you could've accomplished alone. Numerous studies can confirm this, including a study by the Journal of Sport and Psychology that found that "those who exercised with a more capable partner increased their plank time by 24%". This has also been shown in studies using bikes, treadmills, jumping jacks, and various other forms of exercise. Regardless of what the workout involves, it is undeniable that people perform better when with a workout partner.
When it comes to swimming, a friend can even help when it comes to counting laps or repetitions. If one of you loses count, the other will be there to check with and increase accuracy overall. Furthermore, a friend may have greater knowledge of certain workouts and techniques and be able to give you new exercises or workout variations to add to your routine. Another person can also add to the workout by enabling multi person exercises and drills, diversifying the activity. Combining knowledge and abilities, you'll be able to form a more fun, challenging, and quality workout.
Motivation is a key issue when it comes to exercising and working out. It is all too common for someone to pass up on physical activity because they simply don't feel like it and lack the drive to get it done. However, having another individual involved helps hold you accountable for a workout and slims the chance that you'll simply pass up on it. It's much easier to skip a workout alone than to tell a friend that you have to cancel because are feeling uninspired or lazy. Cancelling on yourself is one thing, but letting a friend down is a different story altogether. Friends are able to hold you accountable, giving you the motivation to show up for a workout any day of the week.
During the workout, friends can continue to increase motivation. Maybe you didn't have a great day and are feeling down, but the positive vibes of a friend are sure to spread to you and translate into your workout. Not to mention, encouraging words and spirit from friends create a more positive, high energy environment to keep you going, giving you that extra bit of momentum needed to push through a difficult exercise or set. Throughout the workout, friends keep you much more uplifted and inspired than you would be on your own.
Beyond the Workout
Finally, having a workout partner is great socially. Whether it be with a new or old friend, spending time together gives you the opportunity to catch up with a person and learn more about them. By generating a strong, meaningful relationship with someone, you'll be improving cognitive and mental health overall. While you grow and progress physically, you'll be able to connect more on a personal level as you experience struggles, persevere, and make new accomplishments together. In fact, a partner is a perfect person to set goals with. Pick an event like a 5k, triathlon, or bike race to sign up and train together for. Working towards and achieving the goal of completing such an event is an excellent bonding experience. Furthermore, although you may have started as solely workout partners, this is a good opportunity to expand your friendship and spend time outside of fitness with them, whether it be grabbing a bite to eat after a workout, shopping for new activewear, or simply hanging out together. A new workout buddy could end up becoming a lifelong friend!
There are endless reasons as to why working out with a partner can be better than individually. Invite a friend to join you for a swim this Valentines Day and not only will you be introducing them to the amazing sport of swim, but you'll be improving your workout, becoming more motivated, and creating an even better friendship! For youth, Bring a Friend Day will be held on February 14th and for masters it will be on February 24th, accompanied with a Crossfit workout and breakfast. Be sure to mark your calendars!