Savouring every second under the hot water, I reluctantly drag my big bottom out of the shower … pulling up to the gym 5 minutes late. Oh well, at least I am consistent. But like the true friends that they are, they have waited to start the class for me, how thoughtful (damn…)
This motley crew is like my family … and I can’t think of a better way to start my day than gossip, insults, grunting and laughing hysterically while squeezing my abs (not a mean feat at my age!) to avoid another emergency wee.
So, when I read the other day about the benefits of exercise buddies, I started to think about my top reasons to celebrate the awesome new friends I have made at the gym:
- If any of us don’t turn up we get a text from Adonis (a bit like the one that appears on my phone when my kids are late for school) demanding me to please explain! So I more or less am guilted into going (who does guilt better – the Jewish client or the Greek trainer?) …apparently studies show that when we work out with exercise buddies we are 45% more likely to turn up to exercise than those without a regular group of friends, and when we turn up we spend 40% more time exercising than those that exercise alone.
- My exercise buddies encourage healthy habits – starting with the ingestion of coffee approximately 3 minutes after the class has finished. First round is a double shot, slowly decreasing the caffeine each round.
- Gym friends tell it straight and dish out tough love! Take for example Old Fart. Every day he whinges about how tired he is, how old he is, how stressed about money he is and every day we give him the same great advice – STOP WHINGING! He couldn’t get more helpful, sympathetic advice if he paid top dollar for it.
- Gym friends are stress-busters as they lower your blood pressure, heart rate and even your cholesterol as you puff and grunt away, burning calories next to them. To maintain your mental health and well-being, they enhance your ability to cope because you don’t feel like you have to face your trials and tribulations alone. And let’s face it, they are experts in all areas such as bra sizes, Tinder dilemma of swiping right or left?, strategies for when your teenager vomits in an uber (when they insist they weren’t drinking), relationship advice whether you want it or not, spicing up your sex life, healthiest options on Uber Eats, emergency wardrobe advice on a fat day.
- Making new friends is good for you… spending time with friends you’ve had for a long time is great, but let’s face it after a few years you’ve heard all their stories. With your newfound gym buddies you can have up-to-date stimulating conversations such as yesterday’s bodily functions and strategies to pluck an inch long black hair from places you forgot existed …. All this and you don’t even have to have put on foundation or even brush your hair!
We live in a social media dominated world where incredible technology has allowed us to reconnect instantly with friends from the past and ones that live overseas. However, online friendships are not a substitute for the joys of spending time in person with real friends who give real hugs … and every day I leave my enticing hot shower at an insanely early hour just so I can be physically comforted or amused by their facial expressions as I seek my gym buddies advice on my latest crisis in-between 400m on the rower followed by 10 burpees.