Real Simple
Updated Apr 11, 2017 @ 4:51 pm
Credit: Getty Images/Martin Novak

I’ve always preferred to workout with a friend (or 20). I was a competitive dancer all throughout my childhood, and my commitment to the team kept me motivated and engaged. When I got to college and was without a routine, I was clueless. I focused more on watching Chopped on the elliptical TV screen than I did on actually breaking a sweat.After college, I began working out with my friend and co-worker, who had purchased a PDF that took us through 28 minutes of circuit training, three days a week. We would complete the workout in an empty classroom at the gym, blasting our music through the overhead speakers and chatting with each other to keep us distracted from the grueling push-ups. After three months, I felt stronger and fitter—but then I moved to New York and was on my own again. Related article: Our 5 favorite fitness buys on sale at Old Navy right now

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Related article: How to work out when you’d rather be watching NetflixWith my favorite playlist or a podcast blasting in my ears, I’ve come to look forward to going to the gym. Additionally, the freedom these earbuds provide encouraged me to take up running, and having Ellie Goulding blasting in my ears is truly how I finished my first half marathon in October. Oh, and they survived the pouring rain (and a whole lot of sweat).

This article originally appeared in Real Simple.