The number one tip to sticking to any exercise program is getting a workout partner. Because of the importance of this addition to your exercise sessions, I am republishing a post I wrote a few years ago on the value a partner.

Let’s face it, we are social beings. Most of us are influenced by those we associate with including our families, friends, our church group, school groups and even the books we read.

It’s easier to do things when you have a friend who has similar interests. For example, playing a game of pool or shooting hoops or sharing thoughts about a book you recently read. Doing these things with a friend makes it more fun and interesting and even competitive.  The same goes for exercising.

Advantages of a workout partner

Some of the best workout sessions I have had in the past happened when I exercised with partners. We are able to . . .

  • Push each other to lift more weights
  • Run faster or longer
  • Provide motivation
  • Add variety to exercise program
  • Participate in friendly competition
  • Meet your goals faster
  • Overcome plateaus

For me, the most important aspect of having a partner is motivation, especially when I started on my exercise journey. One of my workout buddies drove a taxi in Manhattan, NY for his livelihood and after doing that for twelve hours he would hit the gym with myself and a couple other exercise buddies. His motivation was to overcome his pre-diabetic condition.  If after driving a cab all day, he found time to exercise for a hour and a half, what excuse did I have after sitting on my butt in an office for eight hours?

Many a winter night, with snow and icy-road conditions, we would be in the gym pushing each other.

How do you find a workout partner?

It’s no fun to play or interact with someone of lower skill level . . . unless you are a teacher. When trying to find a partner to help motivate you, seek out a person of similar or better skill level who can encourage you and teach you new ideas.

The best way to way to find a partner is to join a gym and begin exercising. After a few days you will notice other exercisers who are trying to accomplish the same goals as yourself. Ask them to spot you or show you how to do a particular movement or the reason for doing certain exercises. For example, if you notice someone doing sprints, ask them why sprints and not a steady state run (don’t ask them while they are running). They will be more than glad to explain.  Or when is the best time to stretch . . . before or after exercising?

Another way to find a partner is to ask the gym manager or personal trainer to point out members who are looking for training buddies. You will be surprised to know how many are exercising with the same or similar goals as yourself . . . who need that extra motivation.

If you prefer to workout at home, incorporate your partner or a neighbor. You may notice a few people in the neighborhood who are out running or have their own personal gyms at home and are willing to train with you.

Sign up for a local race . . . a 5K or 10K competition. By doing so you will meet other runners at the same fitness level as yourself who need a training buddy.

Some don’ts with a training partner

Having an exercise partner is great but there are a few things to be mindful of including . . .

  • Don’t be a chatterbox as this defeats the whole purpose of a committed partner. For example, if you are on the treadmill and are able to keep a conversation going and not be out of breath, you are wasting your time
  • You don’t need a ‘social butterfly’ who gets distracted and drawn away from the session at hand
  • Don’t be the one who skips out on training
  • Don’t let your partner push you to do things you are not yet ready for.

Sometimes you may just want to exercise by yourself. Let you partners know this. They might want to do the same . . . respect their time. However, you can get a lot more accomplish when exercising with a partner. Get one today and be on your way to a healthier future.

Visit How to Prevent Pre-diabetes to get exercising tips that can help reverse the effects of pre-diabetes or borderline diabetes.

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