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Two mature adult women smiling while talking in a health club.

Friendships are an important part of every cycle of life. And, as we age, the relationships we form and maintain are fundamental to promoting a healthy lifestyle. Human nature often has us craving engagement with others — and one way to make and foster connections is through physical activity. Workout partners, fitness buddies, or friends who encourage you to get and stay active, can provide myriad benefits to your life.

The Benefits of a Workout Partner

Accountability

A reliable workout partner increases your chances of sticking with your regular workouts or program of choice. When one person feels unmotivated, the other can step in with encouragement. When you make it to your workout, you’re showing up for yourself as well as your partner.

Social Connection

As you get older and more set in your daily routine, it can be harder to meet new people. But remaining open to making new connections can turn working out into something appealing rather than an obligation.

Adventure

You’re more likely to try something new if you have support. Workout partners can inspire each other to break from routine with the goal of making exercise fun, interesting, and challenging.

Healthy Competition

If you’re motivated by a little friendly competition, a buddy in the weight room, for instance, can help you push further by challenging you to do one more set, one more rep, or add a little weight to your next lift. Before you know it, you’re getting stronger.

Encouragement

Whether or not you and your workout partner share similar goals, celebrating your wins with others can make those moments even more meaningful and enjoyable.

How to Meet a Workout Partner

Finding a workout partner can be as simple as asking someone if they are interested in joining you for an activity. Annie Kragness, Life Time’s director of healthy aging, offers the following advice for reaching out and making plans:

“Start with people you already know — friends, family, colleagues. You might be surprised at how many respond positively,” says Kragness. “If you’re a Life Time member, use your guest passes to invite someone to work out, relax in the sauna or whirlpool, watch a game of pickleball, join an ARORA mixer or other activity.” 

If you’re looking to meet someone new, ARORA at Life Time provides mature adults abundant opportunities for finding friends with similar interests through physical, social, and educational activities. You can also find more tips for making friends at your health club here.

7 Ways to Be a Great Workout Partner

Once you have established a partnership (or team), it’s important to plan your activities together.

“Try sitting down over coffee or tea to create a weekly calendar of activities,” Kragness advises. “You can even go as far as planning transportation and wake-up calls, if necessary.”

She offers these tips for supporting your partner and maximizing your time together:

1. Be on time and stick to the schedule. Part of being accountable is showing up on time. You don’t want to make your partner wait for you or throw off their schedule for the day.

2. Set goals together. Discuss your goals openly and encourage each other to take steps forward. When you’re aware of each other’s goals, you’re then able to choose the activities that make the most sense to do together.

3. Push your partner. If your partner is feeling tired or unmotivated, offer some gentle encouragement and reinforce their efforts by cheering them on.

4. Encourage rest days. Taking time to recover after your workouts allows your body to grow stronger — and helps you avoid setbacks. If you think your partner might be overdoing it, suggest a more restorative activity or schedule a day off.

5. Keep tabs on each other. Support your partner through all aspects of their life, from illness to travel and other routine-breakers. This will make it easier to get back on track if one of you needs to take a break.

6. Be adventurous. While it’s easy to get stuck in a routine, working out with friends can help embolden you to try new things. At Life Time, you can explore ARORA programs and sign up for new class or workshop, water walk together in the pool, or take up a low-impact sport like pickleball or tennis. You can also meet new people together at monthly mixers.

7. Enjoy one another. Talk about topics other than fitness goals and your workout routine. The more you know about your partner, the stronger your bond will be.

Emily
Emily Ewen

Emily Ewen is a senior writer and content editor at Life Time.

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