If you are focused on a healthier lifestyle that incorporates fitness into your daily routine, then including your friends could make it fun while improving your chances of reaching your goals. "Friends can really motivate you to start a fitness program and be successful long term," says H3 Fitness Instructor Chris Varano. If you are able to involve them into your workout routines, you will start to look forward to working out just as much as you look forward to spending time with your friends.
Choosing a workout friend is important. Your workout buddies should be generally able to do the same things you are. In other words, you wouldn't want to buddy up with someone who is running 5 miles a day when you are just starting off walking. "Starting out, the key is finding like-minded people who are about the same fitness level as you," says Chris. If your capabilities differ from your workout buddy's, then you run the risk of becoming so discouraged that you start to make excuses to quit or give up. As you and your friends improve together, you can add more challenging workouts to your routine.
One of the best things about encouraging your friends to get active is that you get a great workout in without missing out on your social time! You can spend the time catching up and talking while incorporating healthy activities. "Instead of doing happy hour, go for an afternoon boot camp or switch out driving to lunch for going on a bike ride instead," suggested Chris. Lunch time can turn into a fun walk with coworkers or change up your Saturday afternoon coffee break with a de-stressing yoga or Pilates class. You can even take it one step further by investing in a group session with a trainer for new strength ideas. Your friends can help you stay accountable when they call you to remind you of your walk, yoga class or personal trainer session.
"Turning 'working out' into a 'fun time' with friends is not only a great way to connect with others but also increases your chances of sticking with it," said Chris. After all, friends who work out together stay together! To learn more about Hilton Head Health's small group training, fitness classes, and programs visit our website.
Try this fun Partner Workout using a Resistance Band with your workout buddies: