The number of exercise-partner websites seems to rival that of dating sites, and visiting one can be just as frustrating. But studies show that exercising socially can help you stick to a fitness plan, so finding a suitable training buddy is worth the effort.
If you enjoy perusing photos and pithy “about me” statements, then by all means, check out sites like Exercise Friends, FitLink, and MyWorkoutSpot, or dating-fitness mash up sites like Fitness-Singles, Fitness Dates, or AllFitnessDating. But if you want to skip the months of searching and awkward introductory workouts, head to the activities organized by your local [insert your favorite activity here] club.
Group rides, for example, are the perfect place to get to know people in your area who enjoy cycling. You’ll find out whose personality and pace mesh well with your own, and once you make a connection, you two can plan workouts together. Just be aware that you’ll likely work out only as hard as your partner does, so if your goal is to improve your fitness, pick a partner who is a bit better than you. Take a look at the directories below to find running, cycling, triathlon, swimming, hiking/mountaineering, and paddling clubs in your area.
If you still have trouble finding a workout partner, don’t despair. A new study shows that virtual exercise partners can boost motivation and help you stick to an exercise program. Using the iPhone app Strava, popular among cyclists, is a great way to virtually compete with other people.
Try the follow directories to find a nearby training partner in your discipline: