Build a Circle of Support
At Curves, we are all about a supportive, positive environment. We understand the importance of a gym that offers both tools for success and the weight loss encouragement you need to improve your health. And it’s the women working out beside you—the ones who also chose a gym designed for women to achieve their fitness relationship goals—who provide you with much of the strength and support you need to get through the circuit most days of the week.
Of course, it’s more fun to exercise beside your friends at the gym. But there are also some real, scientific benefits of exercising in a group. Here they are:
Fitness is Contagious
Research shows, we tend to gravitate toward the exercise behaviors of those around us. A study published in the Journal of Social Sciences found that college students who biked next to someone with a high level of fitness for 20 minutes pushed themselves harder than those who biked next to someone with a lower fitness level. So, if your workout buddy is giving it her all, you’re more likely to push yourself to get in shape, too.1
In a related study, researchers asked participants to perform planks, alone and with a partner who could hold the plank longer. They found those who did their planks next to the superior plank-holder held their planks for 24 percent longer than those who did planks by themselves.2
Exercise Buddies Help You Stick With Your Workout Plan
When it comes to women’s weight loss, success stems from the ability to incorporate a regular full body workout into your daily routine. Old habits die hard, so to reap the benefits of exercise, you have to get to Curves most days of the week. A study published in The Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology found that friends can provide the weight loss encouragement you need to stick with it. Researchers found that 95 percent of participants who started a weight loss program with friends completed the program. Those who embarked on a workout plan alone, on the other hand, only had a completion rate of 76 percent. The friend group was also much more likely to maintain their weight loss than the solo group.3
Fit Friends Provide the Weight Loss Motivation You Need
In a study published in Obesity, researchers found that people lost more weight when they spent time with friends who were good role models for a healthy eating plan and getting in shape. And the more time people spent with their fit friends, the more pounds they shed.4
Working Out With a Friend Puts You in a Good Mood
We all love the mental health benefits of exercise and the rush we feel when we’ve completed a tough whole body workout. Why not take that feeling up a few notches by sweating it out next to a friend? A small study done at the University of Southern California found that people enjoy exercising more when they do it in a group.5
Workout Buddies Make You More Active Outside the Gym
In another study, researchers examined the impact that exercising “with a partner” or “as part of a group” had on weekly leisure-time physical activity. Published in Preventive Medicine, the study found that those who exercised in groups reported 1.4 times more activity than those exercised by themselves!6 So exercising in a group fitness class can be an effective way to get more active during your leisure time too!
Pals Can Expand Your Exercise Horizons
Workout buddies can encourage you to try classes or routines you wouldn’t consider on your own. You may have never pegged yourself a yoga, tai chi, or boxing type, but once you’re in the midst of it next to a friend, you may wonder why it took you so long to try such a fun workout plan!