How’s that New Year’s resolution coming along? Broken already? Most of them are by this time in late February but we all know fitness is so much more than a broken new year’s resolution; it’s a lifetime commitment. It’s okay you can get back on that fitness regimen with a little determination and maybe a little help from your friends. Here are 5 reasons why working out with a partner can help you lose weight.
1. Less intimidating to face [new] health-club environment with buddy
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard women comment they felt so awkward or unsure of themselves going to a new health club. Some have even been so intimidated they managed to pay the fees to join and they even pay the monthly dues but the only time they were actually in the club was they day they signed up.
Many people feel if they don’t have six pack abs people at the gym will be looking down on them. Not true. First, the people with six pack abs are too busy looking at their own abs to notice you. Second, should they take the time from mugging in the mirror and notice you most will have much respect for fellow gym members working on their health and physical fitness. Unfortunately no one believes this—they get too self-conscious worrying about what others think. Since we all know that for a program to work you have to actually work it not showing up isn’t going to work. Going in with a friend you already know thinks highly of you regardless of your fitness level and having someone there to face the crowd with will make you feel like you are center stage with a pal instead of in your underwear alone.
2. Accountable to each other
The hardest part is actually getting to the gym or the workout space or just off the couch. Having someone to be accountable to will give you two people to show up for, yourself and your buddy who has also managed to get themselves off the couch. Once you are actually in the working part of your session you encourage, challenge and push each other to not only get through the workout but make gains and go beyond your status quo. Weight lifters add weight to their sets, runners go an extra mile polers get a move/hold they thought was impossible for their body. The environment of challenge but encouragement and celebration when challenges are met is priceless. This can help build long sustaining relationships.
3. Set time and place to always meet
When I worked out 4 times a week I never had a set schedule. Workouts were whenever I could get them in for whichever body part I was working that day and I wrote everything down in a notebook.* Because of the way I split my workouts they were 4 times a week and at the time I never would have done 2 days in a row even if it was upper body one day, lower the next. As a result workouts were not on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule or even Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule. It made it easy to skip workouts without noticing. When you have a set workout schedule you notice when you skip your Wednesday workout.
4. Social interaction
What better reason to get off the couch than the comradery of checking out members of whichever gender you are into? Okay so maybe you’ve evolved past the gym meat market, or maybe your partner is your significant other, whether the relationship is a romantic one or platonic bonding over fitness goals having a buddy to share in the grind with you can make working out not only tolerable but actually fun. A workout you enjoy is much more likely to be adhered to and therefore more effective for weight loss.
Unless you are working out with your significant other who says you can’t have more than one workout partner? Consider what your friends are into, having one or more workout partners can help improve your social life but also introduce you to new things. There is nothing saying you can’t do “CrossFit” with one buddy and power yoga with another.
5. Friendly competition , if you alone aren’t enough
If the picture doesn’t speak to you like it does me, maybe a rival/partner who challenges you through competition is the way to go. It can be someone you know from the office or someone you’ve known since soccer camp, anyone who challenges you to pedal harder in spin class, use heavier weights for your sets or go longer on the treadmill— as long as you know your injury limits— can help reach your fitness goals. If the desire to beat your friend at the 50-yard dash motivates you to work a little longer, add more sprints or in any way step your training it could get you closer to that goal, it could also get you closer to a weight loss goal.
If none of your friends are reliable or you yourself have a crazy schedule the precludes a set workout schedule consider hiring a fitness trainer. It is their job to accommodate your schedule and be there when you can work out. Don’t take my word for it, here’s http://finance.yahoo.com/news/6-reasons-hiring-personal-trainer-153026845.html 6 reasons hiring a personal trainer is worth the money.
*Writing things in a notebook was how I kept track of weight lifting workouts. Now I keep track of workouts with a notebook but rely more heavily on videotaping each session.