I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what makes people stick with their workout programs. Let’s face it, if working out is something new, it’s going to take more than willpower to keep you motivated.
Sore muscles, sweat, difficult exercises, comparing yourself to others in the gym or class, grabbing your gym bag and heading out in the cold, snow and ice OR in the summer grabbing your gym bag instead of your pool gear…as a trainer and group fitness instructor I’ve heard all of the excuses.
I know personally and professionally how much willpower it takes to work through the excuses and stick with a program.
Willpower: the ability to control yourself : strong determination that allows you to do something difficult.
But when you couple willpower with accountability you have a much greater chance at success. Which is why I encourage everyone to find a workout partner.
The Benefits of a Workout Partner
Willpower is Doubled
What better way to increase your own willpower than by teaming up with a friend or spouse? There might be days where your motivation or willpower is down. Being able to rely on someone close to you to fill up where you are lacking is a great way to push through the excuses and stay on track.
Become the Encourager
Now let’s flip that, think about how good it feels to build someone up when they are down? Not necessarily because of the personal gratification, but because it’s someone you care about and want the best for. Being able to provide encouragement is a great way to help them achieve their goals and strengthen your relationship.
Quality Time Together
We’re all busier than we want to be. Lack of time can be one of the biggest excuses for skipping a workout. So why not get the benefit of two things at once…time with a best friend or spouse plus a healthy activity? You get in a workout, spend time with a loved one, and again, have the opportunity to strengthen your relationship. Seems like a win no matter how you look at it.
We all have a competitive spirit, so one of the best ways to push your limits is to exercise with a partner. This isn’t to say during the workout either person is trying to ‘out-do’ each other, rather by each working as hard as they can, they encourage each other.
Don’t Let Me Down
It’s one thing to skip the gym when it’s just you, but it’s a whole other thing to skip out on a commitment with someone else. No one wants to let down someone they care about so a workout partner will keep you accountable for showing up regardless of the excuses you can think of.
Have Some Fun
Is exercise hard? Sure. But nothing makes something hard better than laughter. Who better to sweat with than someone you can laugh with?
Finding a Workout Partner
Ask your spouse, a friend, a neighbor, a classmate…anyone can be your a workout partner.
I’ve personally had my husband as a workout partner and while our strength and abilities are very different, we both benefited from the training sessions. Aside from all of the benefits listed above, we were both physically challenged and grew in our abilities.
I’ve also had friends and neighbors as workout partners and my relationships with each of them grew. There were times that we all lacked the motivation for class, but because we didn’t want to miss out on time with one another, we’d take turns picking each other up along the way. Whether it was driving or walking to the gym, we couldn’t ignore the knock on the door asking if we were ready to go.
If you can’t think of a workout partner, contact me. I’d love to help connect you with someone. While you won’t have a foundation going into the partnership, you will certainly have the opportunity to grow one as you workout together.
Don’t believe me that you can develop relationships through working out? Check back this week…I’ve asked some people to write about their experience and how their workout partners have changed their lives.
If you are in the Lombard, Glen Ellyn, Elmhurst area, contact me about connecting you with a workout partner. I’d love to help you start achieving your fitness goals.