One of my goals for August was getting out more and staying out more with friends (not of the party variety). And two weeks on, I’m happy to report that not only do I get moving more often (yay, fitness) but I’ve started to schedule fun runs with friends. In turn, I’ve realized something really important that’s often forgotten in today’s increasingly digital society.
Human contact, that’s actually in person – you know, having a human being you call friend (you know, other than your ‘work’ friends) in your personal bubble – is crucial to wellbeing.
Face to face interactions instead of ‘FaceTime’ might just have benefits we knew nothing of, until…well, everyone went digital.
I realized, when I take the time to meet up with a friend rather than just messaging him or her on Facebook, 99.9% of the time, we end up having a great time and I end up coming up new ideas, or we end up doing something crazy but inspiring. I find that taking the time to actually see your friend, not only strengthens the relationship by creating new shared memories, but it can also relaxes you no matter what time of the day.
I’ve tried this several times. Running in the morning with a friend, then grabbing a bite to eat afterwards before work. And the post-work, let’s meet and take a walk in a nearby park. These seemingly time-consuming things which I often avoid in the past became highlights of my day. The morning runs prepare me for work and the post-work walks relaxes me before I head home.
Running with friends, I’d say have other benefits as well:
- Running is no longer a chore: you made the commitment, you get to see your friend and have a chitchat. It’s fun, even if it requires rising early, so what, someone’s there for you and that same someone would be a little upset if you didn’t show up!
- You’ll motivate each other to do the hard work: and in my experience, end up running longer and faster since one of you is more likely to run faster than the other, so you’ll be pushing each other to work at their optimum. Granted, I’m always the one lagging behind, trailing behind my guy friend, except, today I realized, even with my trailing behind, I was running at a faster pace than if I was running alone.
- You’ll get to catch up on each other’s lives: which is so important, friendships require nurturing and I think this is a very healthy way to go about it.
- It’s easier to stay committed: finally, because of all the benefits, you’ll find it easier and maybe even exciting that you’re spicing up your fitness routine. And we all know when we’re excited about something, we’re more likely to work hard and succeed.