We all need an added dose of motivation from time to time. Whether you are a seasoned exerciser or a newbie trying to adapt to a fitness lifestyle, here are some ways you can become—and stay—inspired by enlisting a little help from a friend.
Here are 10 simple ideas that might help you get you and a partner get started on keeping each other motivated:
1. Have a standing date three mornings a week to meet at the gym, or to walk your neighborhood. Try hill repeats if your area supports this, and feel your bottom getting tighter already.
2. Enlist in a fitness class together. Agree to try her Power Hour lifting class if she will take the Sculpt and Tone with you. No experience with fitness classes? No problem. There is something comforting about walking into a new class with a buddy to help diffuse the fear.
3. If you and your fitness companion don’t belong to the same gym, look into guest passes. Most gyms will accommodate you when they are competing with other fitness facilities. Maybe you will like her gym’s equipment better and make the move?
4. Keep it social to keep it fun. Instead of arranging lunch dates with her, commit to a jogging date. Meet half way between your offices or homes on your lunch hour and catch up on life while sweating together, rather than eating.
5. Share a trainer. Even committed exercises need some inspiration. My friend and I enlisted a trainer for month three times a week to really shake up our routine while training for our last marathon together. A trainer can look at your routine with fresh eyes and suggest exercises you may be overlooking. Sharing the hour saves you on the cost, as well.
6. Share the load. Try alternating ideas and writing workout plans. You can create the workouts for Monday and Wednesday and she can take Tuesday and Thursday. Conversely, you can decide on the upper body work (pushups, bicep curls) and she can make the call for lower body (lunges, step-ups).
7. Email each other healthy recipes and fitness moves. Post motivational pictures on your refrigerator and then cut out additional ones for your workout partner.
8. Create a list of ten physical goals you would like to accomplish before the New Year is over—anything from climbing Mount Everest to losing five pounds. Ask your partner to do the same and then share your lists. There is accountability in putting it in writing and then sharing it with a friend.
9. Make a contract. Draft up an agreement outlining how many days each week you would like to get together for a workout. Agree on a fun “penalty” for standing each other up (a cup of coffee?), and then sign it. It sounds silly, but it works!
10. Sign up for an event together. Choosing a charity walk, a running race, or your first sprint triathlon is a great motivator. By sharing the training together, and the stories that naturally ensue from it, you will create really powerful, positive memories.