Sometimes the best way to workout is to use the buddy system. If you need that extra little motivation or push to stay committed to your fitness, try asking a friend.
When I wanted to lose 100 pounds I chose swimming, which was a pretty solo activity. I was swimming laps by myself. It worked for me. But once I got way into fitness I realized it was more fun to do it with a friend sometimes. My friend Robyn has been my workout buddy, we even ran the Shamrock 8k together.The bonus: not only do I get to spend time with her, she pushes me. She can lift heavier weights than I can and seeing her adding weight motivates me to add weight and push myself out of my comfort zone. It is needed! She’s also my yoga buddy. I will never go to a yoga class by myself. Not because I can’t do it, but because I don’t really like exercise classes and it’s hard for me to go unless I have a reason. When Robyn and I went to Vegas together we also worked out in the casino gym to balance out our decadence for the weekend. 🙂
Not all of my friends wanted to join me in my weight loss pursuit and that’s fine. I never pushed it on anyone. When choosing a workout buddy it’s CRUCIAL to choose someone who is not a flake. Sally may be your best friend in the whole world, but if she’s lazy and finds excuses for not hitting the gym–don’t ask her to help you!
So what happens if you are struggling to find motivation to workout but your friends don’t really want to do it? There are tons of alternatives!
Ask around the office. There is bound to be someone who is willing to be a workout buddy. You can walk together at lunch, or run. Or get together outside of the office. An old coworker of mine, Kristin, motivated me to stay on track. She was always running during her lunch hour and it inspired me to try it. While we never ran together it worked for me. Another current coworker, Leslie, invited me to join her Hood to Coast team last year and we did run together at lunch! It was great! Another bonus for working out with a coworker: you guys have the same schedule.
Ask your fellow gym rats. Make friends at the gym if you see the same people every time. Or talk to one of the personal trainers and ask if they know anyone looking for buddies. Or ask your personal trainer. My old trainer, Christian, was a great workout buddy!
Why not? Especially if you are in the #fitblog Twitter community. Ask around. Post that you want to find a committed workout partner and see who bites. Try a few people on for size until you find one that works.
Sites like Living Social and Groupon are great resources for affordable fitness. I see so many cheap deals for yoga classes, pilates, crossfit, barre, boot camps, fitness gyms and classes. Spend a few bucks and try one of the places offered on the daily deal and see if you can meet anyone there.
You could post an ad in Craiglist, or peruse the ads already on Craigslist in your area. Be smart and practice safety when meeting anyone on the internet. Personal Ads not your style? Try Meetup or MeetIn sites. I’ve used both sites for making new friends and it was a really fun (and safe) resource. I’ve made several lasting friends from meeting up with groups for special activities. There are group hikes, group bike rides, boot camps…you name it, there’s a group doing it. You can even go further and find people in your age group, or singles, etc.
Ask around. Ask friends and family if they want to exercise or if they know anyone who is looking for a buddy. It doesn’t hurt to ask.
And don’t forget your honey! There are many ways to incorporate fitness in your relationship too. There are a lot of resources out there, we just have to use them!
QUESTION: What method did you use for finding your workout buddy?
Great post Lisa. Workout buddies REALLY are effective in getting that exercise in!!! Have a great Monday.
Workout buddies can really help with motivation!
Beth @ Beth's Journey
Also, look for local running groups if you’re training for a long race. I have run with one only once, but you meet so many people and it motivates you to get out there for your long runs and get them done early!
That is a great suggestion! And a lot of running stores offer them for free. Foot Traffic here in Portland has weekly runs after work and during the day too!
Great ideas, Lisa!
I would also add that gym buddies don’t necessarily have to work out beside you. I have a bunch of gym buddies who support my goals but have much different goals themselves. They might be swimming when I am weightlifting.
Some of them are much older than me but love to hear about me reaching a new goal. I get birthday cards, get-well cards, and lots of hugs from these women, but none of them work out with me. We have plenty of conversations and share our lives, though. I love seeing them each morning at the gym. They are super people and my life would be much poorer without them.
That’s a good point, Marion. Sometimes when Robyn and I are at the gym together she’s on the elliptical and I’m on the treadmill.
My cardio partner is my husband. At first, when he was home all day, I resented is getting on the treadmill the very moment I had motivation. We worked out separately. I’m not sure when we started doing it together. I think it evolved out of our seasonal biking. But it has now become something I love. When one of us has low motivation, the other gets us going. And we work out way through a lot of recorded TV shows:) My mom is my strength training partner. She and I work out with a trainer twice a week. The best part – she pays! It’s a long story. But we have a lot of fun together.
Years ago, before my hubby and mom, I had a partner I discovered at the gym. She and I had kids at the same school and so recognized each other. We even did Weight Watchers together. Then she moved and I joked that I gained weight as a result.
I think it’s great that you guys work out together. Michael and I bike and hike together but that’s about it. It definitely makes training for a bike ride more fun having a partner!
During the winter we take turns on the bike trainer and watch TV shows. It’s a great way to stay caught up.