You hear it all the time. Work out with a friend. Diet with a friend. Starting a fitness journey with someone who has the same goals as you do can amp up your results and keep you on track.
My triathlon training has been more or less a solitary venture. That’s ok. I’m doing it for myself. In the last year, I’ve done most of my exercise alone, and for all practical purposes, I enjoy the solitude. However, for a summer race, a friend trained with me some, and that was fun too. Then exercise becomes a social experience and as long as you stay on track, it works.
A couple of months ago, I started working out once a week with a trainer (the same friend who did the triathlon with me) and knowing that my appointment on Monday nights affects her schedule too, I make sure to go. My own exercise routine has been intermittent at best, but Monday night training is a definite.
We’re upping the workouts from once a week to twice a week and we’ve added another friend. In addition, we worked out yesterday and went to a Zumba class (my very first one) and today we all hit the pool to swim. With the cold weather and my more relaxed attitude these days, I don’t know that I would have gotten to those workouts on my own this weekend. So right now, making commitments to work out with friends is crucial. I may be willing to screw up my own schedule, but I’m not going to do that to someone else.
Once race season starts in earnest again (very soon), I know I won’t be missing any workouts. Having a race around the corner is ample motivation. I’ll also though continue to work out with my friends. It’s fun. We do different exercises and have new experiences, which all have a positive impact on my fitness. Hey, sometimes I just don’t feel like running or riding the bike so new routines are welcome. And sometimes, the new routines make me appreciate running and riding the bike even more.
It works though. Fitness with a friend(s). If you’re struggling with getting started or re-started or staying on track, consider becoming accountable to someone else. Just make sure that someone else has fitness goals too and isn’t going to convince you instead to sit around and eat chocolate cake instead of taking that walk.
Another way to stay accountable? Get yourself in an article on msnbc.com! I did (pictures and everything!) and now I really have to go for that Olympic-distance triathlon!
Check it out: Flipping the switch is only the first step