The best way to work out

The next time you feel your motivation is dropping, you might consider asking a friend to join you at the gym. We've compiled some good reasons why working out with a friend is a really great idea.

The best way to work out Photo by Bruce Mars

While we love the meditative experience of a solitary workout, nowadays, the gym seems to be the new happy hour. As our collective obsession with wellness continues to grow, and countless unique and dynamic fitness classes hit the scene, it's a great excuse to grab a friend for a fun outing that also happens to get you into shape. But beyond the opportunity to log time with your friends, the health benefits of working out with a partner show that it's one of the best ways to keep you accountable, work harder and even burn more calories.

Be more motivated
A 2016 study conducted at the University of Zurich found that those who worked out with a friend were more likely to hit the gym more often than those who worked out alone - especially if their fitness partner was emotionally supportive.

So, recruit a friend with a similar schedule and keep each other accountable - you're all the more likely to roll out of bed at 6 am for a sweaty session if you know someone will be there waiting for you.

Work harder
Working out in a group setting tends to bring out our competitive streak - especially if it's with someone we know. For a study published in 2012, researchers at Michigan State University divided 58 female participants into three groups. One group exercised alone, the second with a partner, and the third with what they were told was a "virtual partner" - although in reality, the "virtual partners" were actually just videos on a loop of people exercising, so that it seemed like they were outpacing their real-life counterparts.

It worked: During each exercise, the third group outlasted the second group by an average of two minutes and the first, partnerless group by 10. That means that if you really want to step up your gym game, it's worth recruiting someone who'll keep you on your toes - even if you're just sharing stats over text.

Have more fun with friends

Have more fun
Think about it and this is hardly rocket science: You're hanging out with your friends and breaking a sweat in one go. Make the most of it by picking workouts that you know will be a blast for all of you, even if you're not exactly an expert at them. Pick a workout class that is both fun and engaging. Having fun while working out makes it all the more enjoyable before you know it, you are considering it's having fun instead of a grueling workout.

Save money
If you've ever wanted to work with a personal trainer, recruiting a friend or two is the most cost-effective way to go. Many trainers, as well as gyms, offer discounted group rates, so you can still get that personalized attention without draining your bank account.

Less likely to burn out
If you're prone to workout boredom, bringing a friend is a surefire way to keep you feeling engaged - even as you roll through set after set of burpees. You can also make things even more interesting by setting different goals and waging bets. Toast a personal best in lifting weights with a post-gym drink, for example, or if your friend ranks higher than you on the Flywheel leaderboard, you have to buy him or her a cup of coffee.

Linda Peterson I love San Francisco Bay area