Thursday, June 4, 2009

Training with a Friend ~ Accountability at Its Best!

For most people workout out is done out of need. The need to lose weight. The need to strengthen muscles. The need to relieve stress. The need to do something productive. Point being, most people do not find going to the gym an easy task.

Some people are more successful at making it a habit if they workout in the morning. Others find it convenient to swing by the gym on their way home from work. And many find it easier to partner-up with a workout friend, as various studies have found people who have workout partners are three times more likely to exercise.

Generally speaking, most people find it easier to do things in pairs, or small groups. Often, it is for the company; however, the underlying benefit of having a workout buddy is accountability.

As the alarm starts buzzing, it is easy to say, "I'll workout later" and hit snooze. But if you have a neighbor or friend who is meeting you at the gym, you are more likely to groan and then get out of bed, knowing someone is depending on you. It is also easy to head home after work claiming, "I have had a bad day. I'll workout tomorrow morning instead." But knowing there is another tired coworker waiting makes you more accountable.

It is also easier to have a friend or family member dieting with you. When you are out at the local Mexican restaurant craving cheesy nachos, your fellow dieter will help you put your cravings in perspective. You will respect his/her opinion when he/she tells you "no" because you are sharing the struggle together.

And finally, let's be honest - working out or dieting with a buddy brings out our competitive side. If we spend our downtime eating excessively or not exercising, we are bound to be upset when our buddy proudly exclaims, "I've lost 5 pounds and shrunk an inch in my hips!"

So with summer here, grab a friend or family member and formulate a workout plan that works best for both of you. And don't forget to reward yourselves after reaching one of your goals. Just because you sweat together doesn't mean you can't celebrate the first reached goal by sharing a nacho plate - light cheese though!

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