Some People Need a Partner

I love to work out but every now and then I am not in the mood. It gets boring to just show up each day and go through a routine at the gym. Especially if you are not training for an event or a particularly exciting goal. When weight loss is the main goal then it’s really not that exciting and becomes more of a chore. Since weight loss is better achieved through proper diet decisions vs just exercise, that can be a long road. And probably another reason why people lose interest after 90 days (which is the average length of time people spend involved in a fitness routine).workout buddy1

I have a number of ideas for staying committed and one of them is finding a partner. An exercise partner who you have regular standing dates to meet and workout with is amazingly beneficial to your staying committed long term. So on that random day you would rather stay in bed or go straight home after work you don’t and instead meet your partner. Since consistency is the key to your long term health and fitness needs, having a partner makes that so much easier.

Choosing a partner is not always that easy. You need similar goals or fitness interests, access to facilities or classes, schedules that blend and allow you to meet at the same time. Once you find that partner you need to commit to motivating one another and not letting the other off the hook for missing workouts. Having a partner that is waiting on you is very motivating when you are having that rare off day. I love the social time with my workout partner, celebrating our accomplishments and getting excited to try new classes or activities together. You get more engaged in your workout plan, you come up with goals and look for ways to increase fitness levels when you work with a partner.

My workout partners have been the most random people ever. I used to work out with a Catering Exec who was a member of a gym I ran. We hit it off and together we joined another gym closer to our homes (where no one knew our names which was funnMuscular coach insures athlete exercising with barbelly since we were both named Cindy) and met there super early 3x a week for weight lifting. We had a 10+ year age difference and had the best workouts. Other workout partners included college classmates, neighbors I met in a random class and found we had similar club memberships, running club participants who I bonded with and we branched out, even co-workers. So it’s not necessary that your workout partner be a current friend. If you have that person in your circle that is wonderful news and you are very lucky. I have rarely had my close friends share my fitness habits, schedules or interests.

So the next time you are working out and you notice someone who you have seen before, strike up a conversation. You never know, that person may become your next workout partner.

What do you like to do?

I was really into fitness as a young person. I worked out daily but was not necessarily an athlete. I just liked exercise, jumping around, moving to music, lifting weights. I can be competitive but not a fan of who is the best ______ (fill it in..runner, biker, jumper, etc). I want to improve for me but not to see if I beat you. In fact, the ‘who is the best and fastest’ took most of the fun out of some activities I participated in. And believe me I will try anything and enjoyed a wide variety of programs just seeking my own personal joy.handstand 2013

I like to tell people I am mediocre at everything. I won’t suck at it completely but I won’t be the best. And when I was allowed to just have fun at it…I liked it even more.

That is my attitude about fitness. You need to find an activity that you like and that is what will make you want to stick with it. I always hated to hear people tell other people that they need to run, because running was the only way to lose weight. Or you need to swim because swimming was the only way to lose weight. I don’t agree because if you hate running or swimming, you will be miserable and quit. We all know that quitting won’t get you to your goal.

So, what do you like to do? It’s a big big world out there with so many crazy fun exercises to try. Here are some of the things I tried…

Young person: baton twirling, tap dance, aerobic workout videos, gymnastics, trampoline, horseback riding, softball, swimming, line dancing, water skiing, high dive…

Early adult years: step aerobics, water aerobics, marathon training/running, 10 mile races, charity races, hiking, mountain biking, water polo, volleyball, jump rope group classes, strength training, Thai Chi, African dance, Latin dance, a full ballroom series (tango, waltz, slow swing, etc), step machine workouts, canoeing, swimming, tennis, hip hop dance aerobics, jazz for adults, ballet for adults, hatha yoga, indoor and outdoor bootcamps, racquet ball, hand ball, squash (the racquet game) …

Middle adult years: distance cycling, hiking groups, power yoga, HIIT workouts, Zumba, aerial silks, barre classes, apparatus Pilates, paddle flag football 2013boarding, kayaking, flag football, crossfit, fake crossfit, kickboxing classes, various studio cycling programs including flywheel, deep water running, orange theory, rowing, insanity, P90X…

I am sure I a missing a few items. Some I loved and some I did not like at all. But I tried them. The ones I liked, I did it for really long periods of time. And that is my point. Find what you like, it is always worth your time and money if you like it. But you have to figure out what that is.