Why exercise by yourself when you can have double the fun with a workout buddy? Whether you work out with your best friend, a neighbor, or a family member, having someone by your side can help you stay accountable to your weight loss goals and keep you focused on taking your fitness to the next level. Moreover, studies show that people who work out with another person or in a group have more success at losing weight than those who don’t. Let’s face it, you’re a lot less likely to hit the snooze button on your alarm if you know a friend is waiting at your door to take a brisk walk. Here are some fun ways you can partner up with a buddy and get more out of your fitness regimen.
strength in numbers. You’ll need two resistance
bands of equal resistance (light, medium, heavy, or extra heavy, both with a
handle on each end (you can purchase bands with handles for about $30). You and
your partner should stand facing each other with a handle in each hand at waist
level, but you can also hold the handles at chest height to increase the level
of difficulty. Stand far enough apart so that there is tension on the
bands. Then, as you both continue to pull on the bands, you each perform a
backward (or reverse) lunge. This kind of resistance will help you build
the muscles in your upper body as well as your lower body. Do 3 sets of 8
repetitions, alternating legs.
on you, count on me. As you exercise, enlist your workout buddy to help you count through your reps and
focus on your breathing, exhaling on exertion and inhaling on the recovery. After
each set, switch spots and do the same for your partner.
Make it a
a weekly — or better yet, twice weekly — 20-minute interval
walking workout with your buddy. When you walk in intervals, you alternate
short bursts of fast walking with periods of slower strides to catch your
breath. Start off easy and work up to walking as fast as you can during each
interval (and always include the recovery periods). You may not be able to chat
easily once you work up to a superfast pace and increase the number of
intervals you can do in 20 minutes, but you’ll enjoy your buddy’s company, and
the outdoors as well.
intimidated to sign up for an exercise class like Pilates or Zumba that you’ve
never tried? Take along a friend! If you don’t have a gym membership, purchase
a workout DVD that you can do together.
the end of one of your weekly get-togethers, have a weigh-in and celebrate your
successes on and off the scale. Whether you’ve lost 3 pounds, worked out for an
extra 5 minutes a day, enrolled in a new group fitness class, or increased the number
of reps for your strength training exercises, recognize each other’s
- Through thick and thin. If one of you lost weight but the other didn’t do as well, share words of encouragement and be a good listener if your buddy needs to vent. Remind your partner that slow and steady wins the race, and brainstorm some ways that the two of you can work more exercise into the following week.