Men's Fitness (US)
The FriendConnection Image Credit: Men's Fitness (US)
The FriendConnection Image Credit: Men's Fitness (US)

The Friend Connection

As you get older, you inevitably lose touch with your buds—which, new research shows, can have a terrible impact on your health. But maybe growing apart isn’t inevitable after all. Here’s how one intrepid group of friends, among them a Navy SEAL, a fighter pilot, a neuroscientist, and a tech exec, resolved never to let that happen—and, not coincidentally, got really, really fit at the same time.

Eric Benson

There’s a terrible moment in every guy’s life, usually somewhere in his mid-30s, when he realizes that he and his best friends have begun to drift away from one another. You know how it is. Those weekly rounds of beer? They’re not even monthly anymore, they’re yearly. And that golf outing that keeps getting delayed? You haven’t thought twice about it. All of a sudden, you’re busy and married, and when it comes to your buddies, you feel like lone planets with rarely crossing orbits. Sure, you get to catch up when someone gets married—and you can always be relied upon for a hearty “congrats!” on Facebook when someone announces a new child—but you can’t help but feel that the party is somehow over.

This grim realization had dawned on Jared Cohen and his five best friends, on New Year’s Eve, in 2015. They’d all descended on Baltimore for a wedding—one was the groom, another the officiant, Cohen and the rest were groomsmen and ushers. But before the evening’s festivities began, they escaped for an afternoon run to burn off some energy and jitters.

The sun was out, the air was a balmy 50°, and the guys—one wearing a tuxedo (it was a wedding, after all)—darted through the maze of office towers downtown. Soon, they found themselves facing a long, steep hill, and did what any self-respecting group of hypercompetitive men in their&n

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