We've all had those days when we find any excuse not to exercise. When you plan to exercise alone, it's easy to make an excuse to skip a day of working out. But if you have a pre-planned appointment with a friend, this increases the chance that you will stick to your workout plans. Knowing you're going to let someone else down if you cancel may encourage you to fight through fatigue and stick to the plan. Having someone to workout with means fewer excuses and more accountability.
If you have a workout buddy, you can challenge each other; help each other out, and keep each other motivated to stay on track. Exercising with someone makes time pass quickly because it can make even grueling routines more enjoyable. A workout buddy will give you the extra push to do that extra 30 minutes of cardio, making you eventually realize your full potential during a workout. It's much easier to stay on the treadmill when you have a partner encouraging you. An exercise partner who encourages you to add more weight, do additional repetitions or run one more mile will help you increase your fitness goals.
A partner can put a fresh perspective on a workout program. As you may know, it is important to vary your exercise routines, whether your goals involve burning fat, building muscle tone, or simple maintenance. It you are stuck in a workout rut, have a partner show you her routine and note the variations. You can also challenge each other to come up with new moves and new ideas.
An exercise buddy who acknowledges and recognizes your successes can be a great motivator. When exercising alone, you may not notice the progress you've made, but a partner can more clearly see your achievements. Your friend may notice that you have improved strength or balance, or even that you have a flatter stomach. The two of you can celebrate your individual successes along the way, further motivating each other to move forward. This positive reinforcement will help push you to continue your effort, even when the going gets tough.
To get started, join a running or walking club, take classes at the gym, or simply take a walk with friends or family. Exercising with a group can be a great chance to socialize, have fun and meet people who you may want to buddy up with for workouts. If you can afford it, you may also want to hire a personal trainer. Like a friend, a trainer will push you to exercise harder and more consistently. She will also be able to put her professional expertise to work, helping you develop a more effective and challenging workout.
Having a committed and supportive exercise companion will not only make exercising more fun; it will also help increase the probability that you will reach your fitness goals.
Maria Faires, RD is a Registered Dietitian, Personal Trainer, Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist and freelance writer based out of Sammamish, WA. Maria is considered to be one of Western Washington's premier fitness and nutrition experts. As the owner of Active Nutrition Fitness & Consulting, Maria provides highly personalized nutrition services, personal training and preventative and post-rehabilitative fitness programming in her private training studio. She also provides Skype, phone and online nutrition counseling and training for remote clients. Maria leads the industry in the development of cutting edge fitness and nutrition techniques as well as innovative and unique fitness programming. Maria expertly designs every workout, nutrition plan and provides the personal attention, extra motivation, support and accountability that helps her clients achieve optimal performance and health. Contact or read more about Maria at www.myactivenutrition.com.