, September 26th, 2013 | Health
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Do you need that extra boost to get you moving?
Many people do need a little encouragement to stay motivated to exercise and oftentimes get it from a friend, spouse or neighbor who is their exercise “partner.”
Working out with a friend has many advantages, including adding conversation, variety and diversion to exercise. It keeps your mind off being tired or bored with the exercise. It challenges you to do your best–to run a little harder or walk a little farther.
It also helps keep you committed to your exercise routine, especially if you are just beginning. The adherence level goes up when someone at a health club has someone to work out with. They are much less likely to drop out in those first few months.
Here are some rules to follow when exercising with a buddy:
- If you agree to meet for a workout, show up! Don’t leave your buddy out in the cold.
- Find someone at your own level. That way, you can keep up with each other, while not compromising your workout by either slowing down or speeding up too much. Runners, bikers, racquetball and tennis players should find an equal partner.
- For some activities, it doesn’t matter if you are at different levels of fitness. For example, if you and a friend like to use the stationary equipment at the health club, you can work out at different levels and still chat. This also applies to weight training, aerobics, and walking (unless one is a speed demon and the other quite slow).
- Taking the last two rules into consideration, remember that you can also compromise. Slow down a little bit for a nice stroll or jog with a slower person. The social interaction is valuable in itself.
- Likewise, challenge yourself by teaming up with someone who can push you to work a little harder. If you have reached a plateau, working out with someone who is a little better or faster can help improve your performance.
- Don’t feel that you have to talk all of the time. Let the conversation move at a natural pace, so that neither of you is straining to chat when you’re practically out of breath!
- Encourage each other. One of the greatest benefits of working out together is the support you can give and receive.
- If you have a day when you would prefer to work out alone or just need a day off, let your partner know. Most likely, he or she will have those days, too.
- Don’t forget that all-important stretching time both before and after the workout. This is a great time to chat and learn from each other. Trade knowledge and experiences about your activity, whether it is running, aerobics or tennis.