The benefits of exercise go way beyond a killer bod and healthy heart; it can also help boost a sagging social life. From working on existing friendships to making new ones, find out how keeping active may score you the love of your life, your dream vacation, and more!
- Ladies' Night — Whether it's hitting the gym after work or going on a weekend hike, exercise is an easy way to schedule in some girl (or guy) time. Just like celebs who work out with friends, my friends and I use side-by-side time on the treadmill to talk to each other about what's happening in our lives. Exercise is also an easy way to experience something new and fun together. Recently a bunch of us took a pole dancing class — something I would have never done on my own! Not only was the pole dancing class a fun workout, but it was also an easy way for us to let loose and laugh together. Instead of happy hour, get your friends together and try out a new fitness class, go on a bike ride, or schedule a camping weekend full of hiking, kayaking, and healthy campfire eats!
- Gain a Hobby and Make New Friends — Taking out your headphones and getting off the elliptical may open doors for you to an entire new life. Experiment with specialized forms of fitness like yoga, rock climbing, or running until you find one you fall in love with; not only have you found a new hobby, but chances are you'll also make friends along the way. Once you become a regular at a yoga studio or group fitness class, strike up a conversation with other regulars you recognize — they may be interested in taking another class together. Many outdoor fitness activities like cycling, running, or rock climbing have online community forums where you can find meet-ups, join workout groups, or pair off with a buddy. My boyfriend's closest friends are people he met through rock climbing; I also have a friend who now counts her yoga teacher as one of her personal friends.
Find out how exercise helps you get a date and go on a vacation!
- Find Love (or at Least Increase Your Chances) — While some people don't like being bothered when working out, for others, the gym is another opportunity to meet that special someone. Whether it's the gym or a running group, the more visible you are, the more likely you'll be to meet someone. And what's great about meeting someone at a gym, fitness class, or outdoor activity is that you already know they care about staying fit and active, too. Here are our ideas for some of the best places to meet a fit guy — hint: always choose rock climbing over Pilates. Keep in mind, even if you don't meet any date prospects while working out, expanding your friend circle with people you do meet through fitness-related activities may give you access to their single friends.
- Save Money For Things That Count — It used to be that I'd accept almost any social invite, which wasn't good for my waistline or wallet. Nowadays I schedule time for working out, which gives me a good excuse to skip out on other things. Declining invites for exercise may seem like a point against a healthy social life, but instead of feeling pressured to do everything and anything, I am saving money, feel more rested, and am thoroughly enjoying the nights I do go out. With the money I'm saving, I've been able to do pricier things with my friends like weekend staycations, fancy dinners, or spa days. And saying no doesn't always equal being alone: the eight-mile hike my friend and I went on this weekend gave us time to catch up, burn calories, and avoid a pricey boozy brunch. Chances are you'll have a friend who'd love to hang out, work out, and save money in the process!