Finding Your “Sole” Mate, Your Workout Buddy

By: Cindy Atoji

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You have work friends, pals in your neighborhood, chums at church or temple, and old childhood playmates. It’s fun to do things together, whether it’s pitching a project, playing an online game or cramming for an exam. So why not find a workout buddy as well? Studies show that sharing an exercise routine with a like-minded partner can help keep you motivated and help you work toward a fitness goal. If you feel lazy one day, your workout buddy can get you pumped up about doing that extra half-hour on the treadmill. But it’s not easy to find a fitness partner who likes the same kind of activities as you and who has a schedule that fits your busy life. Ithelps if they are emotionally supportive, too, like your very own cheerleader.

More Motivation

Whether it’s running a few miles every week or going to yoga class, training with a partner will help you stick to a schedule, which will hopefully reduce the number of workouts that you miss. If Joe is expecting you to show up for hoops at 10 a.m., you won’t sleep in, because you know he’s expecting you –right?

A Helping Hand

Any bodybuilder knows that a spotter is necessary for safety when lifting heavy weights. A smart and knowledgeable buddy can also correct your form, give you valuable tips, and push you to your limits. No matter what the sport, a training partner can be valuable.

Compatibility Is Key

If you run the mile in 6 minutes and your partner does it in 11 minutes, obviously this isn’t a good match. Find someone with the same level of skill and expertise as you. You’ll also want someone who you can count on and not cancel at the last minute. And of course, attitude is everything: If you know someone who almost seems to enjoy criticizing you or sabotaging your efforts, look a little further when searching for a workout buddy. You need to find someone who’s there to build you up, not tear you down.

Role of a Buddy

You and your buddy can evaluate each other’s progress, compare tips on exercise habits and healthy eating, and encourage each other when you’re down. Set goals that you can accomplish, and reward yourself when you achieve them. Finally, like any other partnership, choose someone with whom you enjoy spending time. If you’re going to be sweating together for a few hours every week, it doesn’t hurt to like them – and have a few laughs along the way.

How to Find a Partner

Maybe your friends would rather chill than spend their Saturday afternoon at the gym. Or they like to play basketball, but you’re clumsy on the court. Then perhaps it’s time to try to meet some new people from outside your school or town. Consider connecting with some new kids through organized community sports clubs, such as hiking, running, or tennis or ski clubs, or even 4-H or scouting. You can search for these types of organizations online, or check programs at parks and recreation departments.

No Regime? Go Outside

Some people think working out equals drudgery. Did you ever hear someone say, “I have to go exercise?” But with a workout buddy, you can do things that are difficult to do on your own, whether it’s a game of catch, one-on-one hockey scrimmage, or just a race around the block. With so many distractions inside – emails, video games, TV, computer – it might be hard to get outside, but once you do, you’ll find that the sunshine will lift your spirits, as well as your urge to get moving. Sometimes the most difficult part is just getting out the front door.

This article is republished from Bodimojo’s website here with their permission.

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