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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Buddy System

     Are you "going it alone" with exercise and finding it difficult to stick to a regular routine?  The key to successfully maintaining an exercise program may be to find an exercise partner.  Humans are social beings.  We thrive on comradeship and social connectedness.  Experiencing social interactions and developing relationships with other exercisers can help you successfully make a lifelong commitment to exercise. 

How?
  • Accountability:  You are less likely to skip a workout if you know a friend is waiting for you at the gym.
  • Motivation:  It is much easier to accomplish a difficult task when you have someone cheering you on.  Furthermore, a little friendly competition between exercise partners can be of benefit.  For instance, whomever wins the tennis match gets to choose where to go for dinner.
  • Validation:  Knowing that someone else is experiencing similar challenges as you creates a sense of connectedness.  This, in turn, can increase your confidence that you can overcome the barriers to exercise, especially if you know you are doing it together.
  • Distraction:  Conversations during the physical activity helps time to "fly by."  Discussing your weekend plans with a friend will keep your mind off of the normal muscular fatigue that you experience during moderate-intensity exercise, allowing you to stick with it to the end.
Who should you choose as a partner?
  • Your exercise partner should have a similar fitness level and ability.  This helps with motivation and validation.
  • Someone who has similar exercise goals.  Accountability and motivation can be effected if your partner wants to use runs as training sessions for a marathon and you are only interested in running a 5K.
  • Your exercise partner should have a healthy attitude in regards to exercise and well-being.  Choose someone that you know is committed to adhering to a healthy lifestyle.
  • A fellow exerciser should be someone with whom you have "good chemistry."  That is, choose someone with whom you enjoy being around.  This will make exercise more enjoyable, positively effecting motivation.
Successful exercise adherence can occur through exercise partnerships.  The social support and validation experienced will have a positive effect on your motivation.  Exercising with someone who brings you joy will help make the journey to better health a little easier.

Note:  Before beginning an exercise program or increasing the intensity level of a current routine, a physician's approval should be obtained, especially for older adults and those at risk for or who currently have chronic health conditions.

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great blog....Thanks for all the fantastic information!

July 9, 2009 at 2:02 PM 

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