Physical exercise, while incredibly important to our health, can be one of the hardest things for a busy woman to work into her schedule. Thats why you need a workout buddy. Your buddy is someone who keeps you on the straight and narrow, who holds you accountable if you dont meet your exercise goals. Studies show that people who plan their workouts around someone else whether its walking together, a regular tennis date or meeting at the gym are more likely to stick to their fitness regimen.
I learned the value of workout buddies after the birth of my son, two years ago. Ive always been an athlete and assumed Id continue my dedication to fitness after he arrived. Oh, the naivete of a first-time mom! I was exhausted, he hated the childcare at my gym, we could only get outside when the weather was nice. You name it, I had an excuse for why I couldnt work out. Then, I found StrollerFit Exercise with Your Baby. This 50-minute workout includes cardio, strength training (built around a moms needs) and core work and my baby. It was perfect for me. So much so, that I left my job as a physical therapist and started my own StrollerFit class.
The moms in my StrollerFit class did more than just hold me accountable. They inspired me. Early on, we agreed on a fitness goal that we would reach together: we would conquer the Heart Mini Marathon, just seven months away, and we would do it while pushing our kids in their strollers. Thirty pounds of stroller plus 20 pounds of baby now thats a workout! In addition to our StrollerFit classes, we began running together to get ready for the race. We decided that while we would all run at our own pace, those who finished early would circle back to encourage anyone still running to keep at it. We would not let anyone give up. Throughout our training, we encouraged each other. We didnt allow excuses or slacking the buddy system worked perfectly.
Every single one of us finished the Heart Mini Marathon. Next, we set our sights on the Flying Pig Half Marathon, running with our matching "Team StrollerFit" shirts on, empowered by the knowledge that we wouldnt let each other give up. You have to love that buddy system! This year we will be doing the Flying Pig again, but Ill be on the sidelines as an expectant mom for the second time, a half marathon at six months isnt on my list of approved activities, but you can bet Ill be there, cheering on my buddies as they sprint for the finish line. And I wont stop till every last one of them crosses.
Want to find a workout buddy of your own? Here are a few things to consider:
- Find someone with similar interests. You want to have something to talk about when you are running/walking/working out.
- Find someone who has a similar work schedule. You want to be able to set times and dates and be able to stick with them.
- Find someone who will motivate you and will not intimidate you. It is important that each of you feel accountable to the other so you dont let them down.
- Dont be afraid to meet new people when forming a running group. I have met some of my best friends through StrollerFit.
Places to find workout buddies:
- If you dont belong to a gym, try the cincychic.com forums and post that you are looking for a workout buddy.
- Post a sign at your gym, or ask the staff if they have a sign up for those looking for workout partners.
- Check out classes where there are people with similar interests.
- Dont be afraid to ask if you can join a group run or walk, most of the time the groups are more than willing to have you participate.
- Check out Fleet Feet, Bob Ronckers Running Spot or many of the various group running programs that run for a cause such as: Team in Training, Train to end Stroke, Team Seven for Kevin (ALS research) and many others.