Exercising With Friends Versus Exercising Alone

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Is it better to stick to solo workouts? Or will you get better results by exercising with other people? It depends on your goals and what motivates you. This post delves into the pros and cons of exercising with friends versus exercising alone so that you can find the best approach to something that is very important to your health and well-being. 

Should I Exercise Exercise Alone?

The majority of us exercise alone. In fact, one study found that 62% of women prefer training solo. 

Exercising alone allows you to decide how and when you train. If you’re following a strict exercise program, it may be easier to do so alone. Exercise classes may not align with your goals, while you may not be able to find an exercise buddy who wants to train at the same time as you at the same intensity. 

Choosing to exercise alone can also reduce any judgement you may feel. You also won’t feel as if you’re having to compete with anyone. If you’re self-conscious or you don’t want to feel pressured to work at a certain pace, exercising alone may be advantageous .

It’s possible that exercise could also serve as a chance to take a break away from people. Being able to put your headphones on and enjoy some time to yourself could be rewarding if you’re an introvert who is constantly finding themselves in social situations. For many people who go on walks or go jogging alone, solitude is a big part of the appeal. 

Why Exercise With Others?

Some people find it very hard to motivate themselves to exercise alone. Planning to exercise with a friend or family member could encourage you to not skip your workout, because you’ll feel guilty if you have to cancel on them. It could also be a chance to catch up with friends as well as a chance to exercise. And you’ll be able to both motivate each other when you’re there.

Exercise could even be a chance to meet new people. Exercise classes can be found at many gyms such as Fitness 19 and they can be a great way of connecting with strangers. You could find a new exercise buddy by going to one of these classes. Alternatively, it could just be a chance to work out within a team and feel some camaraderie. 

A time when exercising can be particularly beneficial is when exercising with people who share a joint goal. Perhaps you’re both training to climb a mountain or run the marathon or lose a certain amount of pounds? If your goals are aligned, it makes sense to work out together as you’ll both be doing the same exercises.

Another great reason to exercise in groups or with another person is in case of a fall or an injury. It’s very easy to sprain an ankle or break an arm when exercising alone, especially if you’re outside in a park or running on hard streets. Taking a tumble is easy to do with so many hazards around in this type of environment.

Which Exercise Is Best For Me?

When choosing whether to exercise alone or with other people, consider firstly what motivates you the most. Are you quite easily able to motivate yourself to go to the gym or go for a run? Or do you need someone else to push you? Do you like being able to listen to your own playlist and curate your own workouts? Or do you prefer being able to talk to others and imitate what they’re doing? 

Finding what motivates you is key to helping you get the best workout. At the same time, you need to consider how serious your goals are and whether your method is helping you to achieve them. Some people need to exercise alone in order to get the results they need, while others need people around them to push them harder. You may need to experiment with both to determine which one is best for you.

Types Of Exercises To Do With One Friend

Certain exercises are perfect for just two people. You won’t feel the pressure like you may in a group or a crowd. You may simply prefer just to challenge yourself alongside one other person, and a close, non judgemental friend is perfect for this.

Great exercises for just two people include:-

  • Boxercise – Take it in turns to spar with each other with an inexpensive spar kit. If one of you is fitter than the other, then this works out well because holding the punch pads is far easier than doing the punching, yet is still a good workout in itself.
  • Racket sports – Such as tennis, badminton and squash are all great sports to do in pairs.
  • Running and power walking outdoors – For safety reasons alone it can be good to take another person when exercising in the great outdoors. Parks and dark streets can all be a concern, especially in the Winter months.
  • Cycling – It can be great to cycle with a friend and is another way to stay safe when cycling accidents can easily happen, especially when cycling on busy roads or isolated paths.

Type Of Exercises To Do With A Group

Exercising in groups can be great for camaraderie and healthy competition. It will help you to push yourself more and some people need this.

Great exercises for groups include:-

  • Running – group runs are a big thing these days. Running with a group of like-minded people can really incentivise you to keep going. Running is hard and you often need a push from others to keep going, plus, you’ll want to keep up with the crowd.
  • Team sports – Such as cricket, volley ball, football, netball and hockey are all FUN. Making exercise fun is the single best way to make you WANT to do it, rather than it being a chore. Team sports make you feel good and help release those feel-good endorphins that lift your mood and help relieve depression and anxiety. 

Whatever exercises you opt for, be it with others or alone, just be sure to stay safe and do something you enjoy. If you don’t enjoy your fitness, then you won’t keep it up long term. Find a few different forms of exercise you enjoy so you get all round toning and fitness for all areas of your body. This is the best way to ensure optimal fitness for life.


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