Slogging through a workout solo? Time to change that. We've got 10 new and nifty ways to be active and social, simultaneously.More
"When I moved to Washington, I was eight months pregnant and barely knew anyone. I needed friends, so I started inviting people to join me on my Sunday runs. Then someone would invite a friend, and we kept growing. Now we're about 40-strong. We've done "fun runs" and we talk about everything from toddlers to aging parents. When you're sweating and smelly, it's hard to act like you've got it all together! These are the women I can call at 2 A.M., who planted flowers in my front yard during hard times when all I could do was cry, and who threw me a chocolate egg party before my surgery to have an ovary removed! I'd never give up our time together on the trail." —Carol Frazey, 45, Bellingham, WA
3 Can't Miss Fun Runs
These popular races dial down the competition in favor of smiles, group photos, and great memories.
The Color Run: Racers are showered with colored powder; you'll look like a human rainbow at the end.
Electric Run: This neon-hued course spills out onto a gigantic dance floor.
Bubble Run: Expect lots of colored-suds machines and cannon-launched foam.
"One night a week I work out with 15 to 20 other people from my synchronized swim class. I've done lap swimming in the past, but I stick with these classes because I love being part of a group. We're all important: If your body serves as the point of a star and you miss practice, goodbye perfect star! Sure, we chat while treading water, but there's something really bonding about synchronized swimming itself: We hang out in and out of the pool. We often celebrate our birthdays together, and I've met so many interesting women ranging from their late twenties to their late sixties. They keep me going. When I leave my home on a dark, cold, snowy night for practice, I do it because everyone is counting on me." —Erica Wides, 47, Brooklyn, NY
More Ways To Team Up
OK, not everyone is an Esther Williams, but Erica is onto something: You're more likely to show up at your workout session if you don't want to let others down. So consider other-people-are-counting-on-me activities such as tennis, salsa dancing, or team sports like volleyball. Or try this trick: Switch gym bags with a friend so you bring her stuff and she brings yours. Then you'll have to show or she'll be stranded with no sneaks.