You might love running, or you might hate running — or, you might be at that stage where you tolerate it, but you're unclear as to how it can get even better. And, yes, it can get better... if you run with a friend.
If you are looking to add running into your daily schedule, there are plenty of reasons why you should definitely get started. For one thing, it will lessen your stress and can help to prevent certain types of cancer. Plus, you have heard of a runner's high before — after a run, you will feel on top of the world. As you should, since you are utilizing your body in a way that nature intended.
While solo runs are great, and a good way to get a bunch of steps in early in the morning, it is a lot of fun to run with a friend. While you might not be able to have a solid conversation while pounding the pavement together, you will definitely feel a sense of camaraderie by having someone by your side. And if it is an acquaintance, even better — you can strengthen your relationship while also strengthening yourself.
While exercise is great both solo and with a group, here are a few other motivational reasons why bringing a friend to your next run is a great idea.
1. Your friend will help motivate you.
How many mornings have you been like, "Eh, I should run, but... not today." And then that day turns into a week. Then you realize, screw running — sleep rules all. It's a rut we all get into, but if you enlist a friend to run with, you have an extra push to get out every morning. Sleeping in won't just sabotage your workout, but you'll risk sabotaging hers, too. Having a friend to run with will keep you accountable, and make sure you (both) stay on track.
2. It's a healthy way to be social.
Getting coffee or wine with a friend is nice, but you don't want to keep spending cash to hang out with a buddy — plus, the scene gets a little old after a while. When you run with a friend, all you need is some support (as in, a decent sports bra), some sneakers, and some nice weather. After your run, the two of you can always grab an iced coffee. And trust me, it'll taste so much better after getting that much-needed exercise.
3. It's a great way to meet new people who'll want to join the group.
What starts as a routine with one friend can soon turn into a fun run with plenty. Once the word gets out that you're out and about, a bunch of people will likely want to join you. Since it's weirdly difficult to make friends as an adult, this is a great way to meet new people that your original running mate might know, or bond with acquaintances you don't know too well. Plus, hey — if it becomes a true social event, you'll look forward to it every week, and together, you can find a bunch of great locations to scope out for a run.
4. It's always safer to be in a group.
Let's get real for a second — being by yourself outside as you're hitting the trails can feel a bit creepy at times. But, that shouldn't distract you from running — it's just a reason to bring a friend with you as well, since there's safety in numbers. Having a friend is also good in case there's any kind of running accident. If you fall, or twist an ankle, it's just a good feeling to know you're not alone in a seemingly powerless situation.
5. Healthy competition is always good.
As long as you're not ultra competitive (if you've ever cried over losing a board game, that's a sign), a light step competition with a friend will be a lot of fun. Even if you don't run together all the time, you'll have a fun time keeping track to see who "won" the week with the highest amount of steps. That, or you can keep track of who can run the shortest mile. The loser can treat the winner to an end-of-the-week drink to help celebrate an overall job well done. It's just one more maneuver to help keep you motivated to keep on going.
6. You and your friend will always have something to talk about.
When you get into running, it's hard to not dish about new routes, or new challenges — and having a buddy there means that your conversations will really branch out and turn into ideas and plans. Running can help bring people closer, and if you and your friend love working out together, the chats you'll have will never get stale. Even better, running talks are almost always positive. With all the bad news in the world, it's nice to have a healthy fallback that'll help cheer you up, and get your blood pumping for a good reason.
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