Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pair Slim Down!

You may not have set any exercises goals back in January, but chances are you will now, what with summer - and more revealing clothes - right around the corner. One strategy that can help you get in shape fast while upping the fun factor: Find a workout partner.

It makes you accountable to someone, so you're more apt to show up: it helps you pass the time on the treadmill or going for a run/walk; and it can prompt you to push yourself.  Try these "buddy up" tips below to maximize your workout relationships...
  1. Choose the right person.  Whether it is a friend, relative or member of your running group, look for womeone who is excited about working out and seems knowledgable about fitness.  Notice I didn't mention boyfriend or husband....statistics show that these don't always make the best workout relationships as it can cause more conflict that it's worth.  There are exceptions to every rule, of course, so if you and your signifcant other workout well together...then GO FOR IT!!!
  2. Use your partner for strength and flexibility moves.  Stretch together, throw the medicine ball to each other or use the opposite ends of tubing for great workouts.  Use your imagination!
  3. Challenge each other.  Use cardio machines side-by-side and see who finishes 500 m the fastest, or who finishes 20 push ups first.  This is an ideal opportunity to push your limits and have some friendly competition spur you on.
  4. Play follow the leader.  Take turns deciding on the workout.  One day you lead the workout, the next your partner does!
  5. Use each other for inspiration.  Talk about the changes you see ("Wow, your abs are looking great!")  to encourage the other person.  Or, use your partner's good results to fuel your motivation. 
  6. Let your buddy be strong when you're not.  If you go out for a post-workout dinner and are tempted by the Fettucine Alfredo, let your partner order something healthy for you!
 I get by with a little help from my friends.  - John Lennon

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