Need motivation to stick with your exercise routine? The solution may be just a phone call away. When was the last time you worked out with a friend?
Whether you’re meeting up for a run on Saturday morning, taking a new class together at the gym or simply cheering each other on with supportive text messages, involving friends in your fitness endeavors is a great way to stay motivated and achieve success.
Here are seven reasons you should find a fitness buddy today:
Accountability. There are days when you just don’t feel like going to the gym. But knowing your friend is there waiting for you—and that she’ll be disappointed if you don’t show up—will keep you from making excuses and skipping your workout.
Temptation support. You’ve been doing well with your diet but a strong craving for cookies, candy or chips suddenly hits. Call your fitness buddy! Venting about the craving may keep you from giving in. Talking about something—anything—else may also be just the distraction you need.
Physical support. Sometimes when you train alone you may not push yourself as hard for fear of getting hurt. Having a friend to spot you and encourage you to take on more weight can help in your strength training gains. It also adds a little healthy competition—which one of you can work out harder?
Emotional support. Having the support of someone who understands your healthy lifestyle is priceless. Not everyone will encourage you to not eat those French fries and applaud when you’ve lost a pound, but a workout partner who is celebrating the same successes will understand how you feel. You may not always see your gains, but she will. Knowing this can be a great motivator.
Fun! Looking back on exercise classes I took with friends, I always remember having the best time—laughing and having fun while working out. If we felt awkward or silly doing an exercise, it was OK because we were doing it together. Our workouts were never boring. And time always flew by (this can be especially helpful for long cardio sessions on the elliptical or treadmill).
Motivation. Besides cheering each other on, there are many ways fitness partners can help each other stay motived. Go shopping for workout clothes together. Buy workout magazines and swap them. Find and share healthy recipes, shop for healthy foods or even cook together. Have fun coming up with new ways to keep each other on track.
Cutting costs. You’ve always wanted to hire a qualified personal trainer, but it just didn’t fit into your budget. Having a fitness buddy can help! Split the cost with her and both of you will benefit from the experience.
NPC National Figure competitor Melissa Transou, a fitness expert, wife and mother, blogs about the unique sports and nutrition needs of women and female athletes exclusively for Vitacost.com. Learn more about Melissa in this recent RXMuscle.com spotlight article, connect with her on Facebook or email her at email@example.com.