When it comes to exercise regimes, there really is no one-size-fits-all solution. Some people prefer to exercise alone, either in the privacy of their own home, on the streets around their home or work, or in a gym, while other people find that exercising with others gives them the motivation they need to continue. So, which way is right for you?
Go it alone or have company?
Let us look at the reasons for exercising with a friend or group first. The big pro for this, as already mentioned, is motivation. It can be all too easy to get home after a long day at work and feel that you cannot be bothered to exercise. If you exercise alone, you are only cancelling on yourself, but if you regularly work out with a friend, then you will be cancelling on them. No one wants to let their friends down, so working out with a friend means you are far more likely to stick to an agreed fitness routine, so much so that after a few weeks it will simply have become a habit.
Working out with a friend will also make it more fun. Many people find exercise boring at the best of times, but it is likely to be less so if you can have a chat and a laugh while doing it. Having a partner also broadens the scope of the exercises you can engage in. You no longer have to stick to gym equipment for sole users; you can play a game of tennis or squash, or even one-on-one basketball. You will have someone who can count your reps for you, and you may even be able to afford a personal trainer if the cost is being shared between the two of you.
That being said, all of the above pros can also be viewed as cons. For example, having a regular workout date with a friend ties you down to exercising at prearranged times, but what if something unavoidable comes up and you simply have to cancel or your friend bails on you? Does that mean no exercise that week? Working out alone means you can fit your routine around you and not have to worry about anyone else. If you are inclined to disagree with your partner about which type of exercise to do, that will be eliminated if you work out alone. For example, if you want to do cardio exercises rather than the weights your partner prefers, you can do so without risking an argument.
Working out alone means you can wear the dingiest clothes in your wardrobe if you feel like it. Talking of clothing, if you do decide to work out alone, it can be a wise idea to take some sensible precautions against overdoing your exercise routine. This is especially needful if you have had health issues in the past. For example, if you have injured your back and are exercising alone, you do not have someone who can tell you to take it easy, so you should rely on specialist clothing, such as the copper Znergy back brace. Exercise accessories like this are comfortable to wear and unnoticeable under other clothing, so no one need know you are wearing a back brace or other support.
It could be that you waste a lot of your exercise time in waiting around for your partner to turn up, or in idle chitchat. Working out alone gives you space to focus on your thoughts and your breathing, which is great for getting the most out of your exercise. It also gives you space to reflect a little, perhaps making mental lists of things you need to get done, having creative thoughts or even just daydreaming. It will even give you a chance to put your headphones on and listen to the music you want to, which can make your routine even more enjoyable and less of a chore. You may even find that by working out alone you are enjoying a higher intensity of exercise because you are able to do more than your partner or because you are not being distracted by them, meaning you get through your routine that much faster.
As with most things, there are pros and cons to working out alone or working out with a partner. You have to work out whether you need the motivation that another person can provide or whether you can provide your own impetus to becoming fitter and healthier.