How My Workout Became a Part of My Social Life
| 4 min read
Ever since I was a kid, I have always been active.
My mom put me in every single sport, I played softball, ran cross country, played tennis, and even dabbled in bowling at one point. In high school, I focused on competitive swimming, which meant daily dry land workouts and four-hour practices.
Throughout my freshman year of college, I stayed active, running and going to the gym daily. I had ample time because I took a light course load my freshman year.
My first semester of my sophomore year of college was different. I got busy, fast. With a full schedule of classes and my first internship, I started to lose time for the things I love. Things like being social and going to the gym began to become luxuries in my schedule. I started waking up and working out at six am in the morning to make time for the gym.
I was going to bed at nine every night and was missing a lot of social activities at school. I was tired and I missed my friends. So, I started staying up later to hang out with friends. Every morning it became more difficult to get out of bed when my alarm went off, eventually I began to skip the gym.
At first, I did ok, but as the days went on, I saw a noticeable shift in my mental health. I hated the trade-off between the gym and being social, and it took a toll on me.
Combining gym and friends
When I went home for winter break, I finally got the chance to do consistent movement again. It felt so good. After two months of late nights, skipping the gym and not feeling my best, I noticed a positive shift in my mental health. I knew that going into second semester I had to make time for the gym, but I did not want to sacrifice my social life. I had to figure out a way to include both in my already hectic schedule. That’s when I had a simple, but brilliant idea.
Why not just combine the two things I love the most? The gym and my friends.
Second semester my best friend, Gisella and I, started going to the gym together in the mornings. The fifteen-minute walk and hour-long workout flew by. Instead of feeling like a chore on my mile long to-do list, I looked forward to my six am mornings at the gym. It was so fun to jump out of my cold dorm bed and run to Gisella’s to wake her up. I finally found a routine that I looked forward to instead of dreaded.
I became happier because my day started by hanging out with one of my favorite people. It was the social interaction and physical release I needed in my day; it was perfect. I also noticed that all of second semester, I didn’t skip the gym. Going with Gisella kept me accountable and when we were at the gym, I found that I worked harder, ran faster, and lifted heavier weights. I finally found a way to balance my friends, the gym and school without exhausting myself.
A massive difference in my health
Going to the gym with a friend was the best idea I’ve ever had.
It seems so simple in nature, but truly made a massive difference in my mental and physical health. There are a slew of benefits to hitting the gym with a buddy. It keeps you accountable, makes the gym more fun and helps you stay motivated and consistent. By going to the gym with a friend, you can improve your physical and mental health.
Life can get extremely busy and stressful but by going to the gym with a friend, you have a fun and social way to move your body. Ask a friend to go on a walk or a run, or maybe try and new workout class and build a community that emphasizes movement. I promise, from my personal experience, it will only make your life healthier and fun.
More fitness content:
- Mental Health and Fitness: My Experience Becoming a Gym Regular
- Reduce Your Load if The Weight is Too Heavy
- What to Taste Before You Train
Photo credit: Maria Cassel
Opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan or its subsidiaries and affiliates.